So You have a Strategic Plan. What’s Next?
By: Rachel Godwin
In a previous blog post, Dennis Sherrin talked about how a strategic plan can be a great tool to help organizations achieve the goals they need to grow and improve. Today, I want to focus on what comes next for an organization after they go through the process to develop a strategic plan.
Creating a Strategic Plan
Creating a Strategic Plan helps a company and its leadership set ambitious goals, create a better team, and take action to achieve largescale successes. A group of your organization’s leaders will go offsite and work with a consultant to develop the plan for a couple of days. Your hb&k consultant facilitates the conversation, challenges you to stretch out of your comfort zones, and helps you really define what initiatives you need to implement over the next year to move forward.
You end up with a one-page document that contains your strategic objectives, how you will measure success, specific actions, and a guide to who should champion each action.
Maintaining the Momentum
During the creation of the plan, you will have great ideas. You will be excited about specific pieces that you can’t wait to come back to the business and implement. However, real life pops up the moment you step back in the office. You will have to return to focusing on your day-to-day where you handle problems, talk to customers/clients and vendors, track your billings, etc. If you aren’t careful, the daily grind will get in the way of your great ideas.
Here are some ideas of ways to maintain that momentum and keep your plan on track.
Share the Plan: First, set a date for a company-wide rollout of the new plan if this is feasible. We have learned that it is crucial for the whole organization to hear the same message. This provides clarity of the initiatives and expectations surrounding them.
Invite Questions: After sharing the plan, invite questions and feedback from all the staff. Getting everyone involved is what makes the plan successful. A strategic plan is not intended to just be something the owner(s) carries out without any help.
Divvy It Up: Each of the initiatives will be assigned to a responsible party during the creation of the plan. However, this person or group may not be the only ones who will actually do everything related to that initiative. They have the overall responsibility to make sure it happens. Task forces or committees may be formed to carry out parts of the plan. At our firm, several departments developed their own strategic plans that are derived from the firm’s plan and tailored to the goals that department will focus on as a team.
Schedule Quarterly Meetings: Have quarterly accountability meetings/calls with your consultant to check in on your progress. You can also schedule internal team meetings to report on how things are going in each area. These accountability check-ins are key to making the plan successful and keeping the team engaged. When the groups can see the progress being made, it creates momentum. It also provides opportunities to see where more attention needs to be focused if some areas are not developing according to initial plans.
At hb&k, we are passionate about strategic planning because we’ve seen its success in our firm. We love working with our clients to define what success looks like for them and facilitating strategic planning sessions that helps create their successful future.