February 29, 2016

Most companies have some form of strategic blueprint, strategic development, goal setting and business planning.   In fact, when was the last time a major corporation didn’t go through their annual budgeting process or a start-up business didn’t submit a business plan to the bank?  These are all forms of business strategy.

Developing a business strategy and a high level plan is critical whether you have 1 employee or 500.  As the organization grows, the need for more strategy to unify the team and their efforts compounds.   It is critical the strategic plan is high level and considers every aspect of the business.  It also need to consider multiple time frames – now, short term (like this quarter), this year and even as far out as five years.  Beyond five years, it is often reduced to a broader vision and ambition with less defined strategy. 

All this said, Strategic Planning has to connect down to the actions required every week by all people, otherwise its a wasted exercise and wasted plan.   This is the downfall of almost all plans and strategy work; it gets done in a boardroom by a few key people and never makes it into the hallways – to the team of people who need actions, directives, timelines and tactics.

At Evolve, we love to help clients develop their strategic plan AND then help them start to implement it.  Good business demands both. Too often we find struggling companies with a solid strategic plan that is sitting in the president’s office on a shelf.   A plan without action is a waste of the time committed to thinking up the plan!  

So the best value is in being able to know each week, month and quarter, what actions each person is undertaking to move the strategy forward. This requires a review and discussion of strategy weekly, and even daily, at times.   The regular review of strategy keeps what is important out in front of what is urgent and on fire each day (where most people exist). 

Use some tools like the one page plan as an example of how your strategy should get down to a single page outline.   We then recommend you take each strategic mandate and break it into pieces that can be executed weekly.

Strategic business is like marathon running.  You know when the big race is, you know what training will be required AND you know what distance and speed needs to be implemented today to ensure you cross the finish line.

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