Strategic Planning – Creating your Map

Strategic planning is necessary. It is the process of evaluating where your business is now, and where you want to be. Without a clear starting point and a defined destination, how do you think you will be able to maneuver through the chaos and day to day noise?
When you figure out where you are and where you are going, it is much easier to define what it will take to get there. Despite what many consultants would like you to believe, strategic planning is not hard, and it can be done many different ways. The difficult part is getting real about where you are starting from since not everyone will be willing to say, ‘we really suck at this’, and to get consensus on where you want to be (defined destination). Once you have that, its all in the details.



Successful Strategic Planning:
1. Be concise and specific with where you are now. The more concrete the answers are, the better your GPS will work on navigating your first steps of execution.
2. Define Destination – how will you know you have arrived, if you don’t know exactly where you are going? If you say ‘New York’ as your destination, you better be more specific or you may end up on the wrong side of the city, and be forced to call it a success.
3. Identify Resources – what do you have available for people, time, money, power/influence, equipment, expertise (legal/accounting) etc. Once you know what you have available, it makes decision making easier
4. Get out your map and plan your journey – there are a lot of ways to get from here to there, its up to you to select the journey to get you there.
4. Get Specific – create your budget, plan your timeline, and allocate the resources as required
5. Contingency Plan – change hats and be the devils advocate and ask what could go wrong with the plan. If the risk is too high in a certain area, you may want to change it, if not, create the contingency plan to keep on course.
6. Simplify!! Now go back and simplify what you just strategized. Bring it together into 2-4 pages, and use it as your quick reference guide at all meetings and when making any decisions.

If you were taking a trip to New York you would require a map that would show you the highways that would lead you there. The closer you got to New York, the more specific your map would have to be – your measurement of space and time would go from miles and hours, to blocks and minutes, the frequency of checking the map would go from every hour or two, to every minute or two. If you are using a GPS, instructions would be coming in more frequent, and the ability to coast and enjoy the drive would be replaced by the need to be very aware and pay a lot of attention to detail. The exact same principal is true with strategy execution. We will help you create your map accurately, help you create measurables that are relevant and meaningful, and coach you as necessary to increase your chances of reaching your destination successfully – on time and on budget.



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