Gain Traction Through Effective Planning

February 10, 2017 | A Love Story: Meet Iowa couples who've found success in love and business Rena Striegel, Transition Point Business Advisors,

The beginning of the year is when most teams take time to reflect on the past year of activities and are energized to plan for the year ahead. Despite the excitement, many planning sessions end up in frustration and with a sense of disengagement. Here are three suggestions to keep your team energized and your strategic plan on track:

  1. Have the right people in the room. Often people are invited to participate in strategic planning sessions to avoid conflict. The larger the group, the more difficult it can be to stay on track, come to agreement, and get the highest level of participation from everyone. Limit your group to the people who are going to be accountable for execution of the plan.
  2. Have a clear target that is compelling. Is your vision clear, known and understood by all? If the answer is yes, use your company’s vision to help you create a compelling one- year target. You will know if it is compelling if it is exciting but scares you just a little bit. If it doesn’t make you “feel” something, keep working until you do.
  3. Don’t get lost in the weeds. Don’t get distracted by minutia. Keep your strategic plan focused on initiatives and activities that are going to drive your company forward. Keep your target in mind. If the activity isn’t something that is going to help you hit your target, it shouldn’t be in your plan.

Once you have your target and activities established, don’t throw your plan in a drawer. Use it as the centerpiece for communicating with your employees and driving activities throughout the entire organization.