Strategic planning is all about who does what by when. Even though this is a solid small business strategy to high level business strategy, implementing a strategic plan is a constant and consistent business issue. The reason is usually two-fold:
- There is not a strategic action plan.
- The SMART goal criteria are lacking.
A strategic action plan is part of the strategic plan. This simple working document contains:
- Foundational statements of the organization – vision, values and mission
- Critical goal categories and respective goals for each category
- Key Performance indicators or what some call a dashboard that are monitored on pre-determined basis
The benefits of a strategic action plan are many from seeing immediate accomplishments to strengthening the motivation in strategic planning.
Many individuals in business know about the basic criteria for consistent goal achievement:
- Realistically set hit (stretch)
- Target date, time driven
These criteria have been around for many years. However with all the changes in the 21st century business world, workplace and workforce, the SMART criteria need to expand to include three additional criterion.
- All goals should be written. By having a strategic action plan that includes all written goals helps to keep focus on the desired end results. Even repetitive goals as making 20 phone calls per day need to be written someplace within the strategic action plan.
- All goals should be aligned to the strategic plan. This is part of the planning process. Additionally, the goals need to be aligned to each employee’s personal action plan.
- All goals need to be yours. Even though the strategic action plan contains organizational goals, each employee needs to own these goals. The What's In It for Me (WIIFM) leads to the What's In It For Us (WIFFU). Today's workforce is far different than 50 years ago. Assembly line mentality no longer drives today’s workforce. Knowledge workers demand to know that their efforts are important.
W. A. Y. S. M. A. R. T. goals within the strategic action plan will help in the implementation of the strategic plan. Just give it a try for 30 to 90 days and experience the results.
Leanne Hoagland-Smith, M. S. is a business coach who specializes in strategic planning with offices in Indianapolis and near Chicago. She writes, speaks and coaches people in businesses to quickly double to triple results through the creation of an executable strategic plans.
One quick question, if you could secure one new client or breakthrough that one roadblock holding you back from success, what would that mean to you? Then, take a risk and give me, Leanne, a call at 219.759.5601 to experience incredible results.
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