I always laugh when I hear businesses want to talk about how in depth and how much time they’ve spent with strategic planning. We took a week long retreat to really get focused on our strategic plan! Our strategic plan could barely fit into the 3-ring binder! We’ve been working on finalizing our strategic plan for 6 months now! Unfortunately, the amount of time and money put into it and how large it is can almost be worn like a badge of honor by some leadership teams and CEO’s.
The truth of the matter is, you may as well throw all that shit away, and here’s exactly why:
- It’s going to change as soon as you start executing – If you’ve been in business long enough, you know it’s about adapting and pivoting as fast as possible as change happens. Don’t bother creating a ridiculously long and extensive plan that doesn’t allow for that flexibility.
- None of your employees are going to read it – Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if a leadership team creates an elaborate plan and document to read and follow. It takes your leadership team to be able to get your employees to see and buy into the vision to create any traction and execution to begin with.
- They focus on achievements, goals and benchmarks rather than alignment – Most strategic plans have certain benchmarks you want or have to hit along the way to an ultimate goal. The proof, however, is in the pudding as they say, and getting your employees and organization honed in on what they need to be aligned to in order to accomplish these things instead. For example, instead of placing only a year end goal out there for a department, what are the daily tasks and values your group needs to stay aligned to that will get them there by the end of the year. Chunk down the enormous tasks into smaller pieces.
- It has to be a functional and living document for everyone in the business – A plan is great. Goals are super. All anyone cares about, however, is the execution and results at the end of the day. A great strategic plan is something that everyone in your business gets aligned to and is on the same page with. Everyone is tracking results and metrics within it. Every employee, department and team is constantly refining the plan, vision, goals, etc. on a daily and weekly basis.
- They include way too much and way too many goals – If you want to be successful at anything, you need to get laser focused on it. A gigantic strategic plan will only give your business too many rabbits to chase, and nothing will get done.
- It’s not driven by data and fails to be future-driven – The best businesses in the world do no operate on feelings, emotions and egos. They’re data driven. They look at leading indicators on a daily and weekly basis that allow them to be constantly evaluate, make changes and quickly adapt.
- It fails to create ownership and accountability for employees – The plan looks great! How are we going to execute it exactly now… Employees in the workforce now not only want to be closely tied to your company’s vision and see the value in all they do, they want to be challenged and driven with ownership and taking accountability toward the biggest goals. Ask any millennial why they left their job and they’ll say something related to either people and culture or value and WIIFM (what’s in it for me?).
- It fails to include every level of your entire organization – If your strategic plan only involves your leadership team and isn’t streamed and cascaded down through the rest of your organization, good luck! And remember, every employee will need to understand your strategic plan and be very clear on it so it better be extremely simple.
Ready to chop down your strategic plan into something that will actually function for you now? As part of the EOS Process®, we use a tool called the Vision Traction Organizer™. It’s a simple, easy to use 2-page document that can be successfully implemented in place of your strategic plan no matter what industry you’re in. It’s helped tens of thousands of companies get everyone on the same page and executing your company vision, as well as creating healthier, more functional and higher achieving leadership teams to get more out of the business.
If you’re looking to break through ceilings that are holding you back, increase your profits, and delegate within your business so that you’re able to step back and do more of what you love away from work, let’s schedule a free 90-minute meeting with your leadership team to show you all that EOS® will do for your company. Click HERE to schedule or call me directly at 701-412-1710.