5 ways to improve Strategic Plans – Part 2

How to get your Team fully engaged in the Strategic Plan?  How to implement a Strategic Plan? How to get a plan that works?  Part 2 of the article provides answers.

What happened at your last Strategic Planning session?  Were you happy with the results?  Was the plan implemented?  These five tips are based on my client experiences.   They call for simple changes to the way we look at Strategic Planning that will bring us better results

3.  Talk before the session 

“Did he really say that?” “What the hell…”   You are hearing simple yes or No questions being asked about technical and operational issues.  Your team is bringing up old issues as if they happened yesterday.  Before you hit the roof you need to ask why.   Why have these questions and issues not been addressed at the regular Management meetings?  Because … A consultant provides a feeling of neutral leadership which makes the team feel “safe” to ask questions, challenge authority.  The members feel seen and heard.   Be honest, what happens at your regular meetings?  Is it a monologue, dominated by a few, the reading of reports or a show and tell?  Until you adopt a constructive agenda that allows your team to feel seen and heard at management meetings then the Strategic sessions will remain the forum for your Team to get answers.  They just want to be seen and heard.

4. Get a champion for each Strategic Initiative

After the Strategic Planning session, you return to your office.  You feel good, the session brought up some interesting topics and the strategy sounds dynamite.  You sit at your desk and start tackling the day’s work.  Six months have passed and it’s time for a Strategic Plan review.  Yikes, very little progress has been made on that strategic initiative. Some actions were taken but when you hit a snag it was easier to just continue with the daily stuff. Besides there was no real follow up by the Management Team; everyone was busy and involved with their own project.  It’s the same thing that happened last year.  You need to do something differently.  What would it be like if you get someone to champion the Strategic Plans?  Someone who could keep the initiatives at the top of everyone’s mind, pushing people to completion and helping them sort out snags.  Actually, that’s what I do right now.  Follow up with each owner of the Strategic Initiative, ensuring that they don’t forget what they need to do.  What do you think that will do for you?

 5. Get a facilitator 

You are sitting in the Strategic Plan meeting and you are completely bored.  You are listening to Ms.” Know it All” fight with Mr. “I’ve been here longest” and they are regurgitating the same pet peeves from last year.  You are thinking of what you need to do after the meeting.  Its strategic planning time and it’s a waste of time.  This year’s plan sounds just like last year.  You feel that your team could be better, but you just don’t know what to do.  Get a facilitator for your Strategic Planning session.  A facilitator who has a specific methodology for developing Strategic plans and who is willing to support your organization understand and use the methodology.

Try these steps and tell me if they work.  Looking forward to the feedback.

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