Are You Thinking and Planning or Just Doing?

In past articles I have introduced the One Page Strategic Plan (OPSP). It is a treasure chest that provides a clear way forward for creating strategy and implementation. It allows organizations to offer more concise direction; bring teams together, achieve goals, and lay the groundwork for continued growth and innovation.

It’s important to understand that Strategic Thinking and Execution Planning are two different activities. Thinking and planning are often confused, creating a block to progress. Strategic Thinking in a successful company is done throughout the year by a select group of leaders, who then bring that thinking to the rest of the company for Execution Planning.

As we are all aware, Execution or Implementation is the secret to creating profit. And Team Engagement is a huge part of this. I have spent many years encouraging teams to meet and to know one another outside of the habitual behaviors that typically create “little businesses” within a company, eroding communication and contribution to the overall plan.

Creating a meeting rhythm at all levels means that implementation is part of the DNA of the business, and involves everyone.

  1. Core values
  2. Purpose
  3. Brand Promise
  4. BHAG

Core values: These are the foundational aspects of your values. They are values you do not want to change, and are basic beliefs. You might fire someone, or lose a sale, to be sure these values are kept. Also these values are alive and present in the business. They are not values you aspire to, but rather values that you live and are alive now.

Purpose: The why of the business. Why you do the business. What inspires you, and all of the people in the organization, to come to work and create?

Brand Promise: What differentiates you from the others in your business area? What do you deliver? What supporting processes and systems are in place for success?

BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal, From Jim Collins book, Good to Great.) This goal can be 10 to 25 years out. The inspiration, strategic opportunities and execution plans can all be a part of this goal and give a clear road. It also can be altered of course, however, the detail and excitement about what is possible gives strategy and the execution plan a strong and clear focus.

Once you have these aspects in place, the rest of the strategic thinking and the execution planning can be developed in a way that includes the team approach, allowing for greater achievement.

I spoke to a VP today in a large public company that has an atmosphere of impromptu meetings and interruptions that have created a lack of focus and an individual contributor mindset that is affecting the flow of business. We have begun implementing a meeting rhythm for her team of leaders to create a clear flow of communication and accountability, without the constant interruption and disruption that has become an everyday occurrence. This meeting rhythm is improving the ability of the entire organization to focus and concentrate on the main priorities, instead of compromising the goals. The company now has a regular method of staying in touch with each other and efficiently solving problems.

Stay tuned! Recently, I become a member of the Gazelles International Coach Group, and working with their Rockefeller Habits 4 Decisions Tools: People, Strategy, Execution and Cash. I look forward to sharing some of this with you in our next newsletter. In the meantime, I encourage you to read their latest book, Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make It…and Why the Rest Don’t.

Do you have a strategic planning question, challenge, or success you would like to share? Please be sure to leave a comment. I would enjoy hearing from you! – Patricia