Every once in a while, you have to acknowledge your inner nerd, for me, that was last weekend. The world discovered that a new asteroid would pass by the Earth last Sunday. With great awareness and tracking, NASA was able to safely say it would not hit the earth. Huzzah! Your images of Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck on an asteroid can now safely go back into archives. However, sadly there are moments when the unexpected does hit without warning. Back in 2013, an undetected asteroid hit a frozen lake in Russia causing over 1500 injuries. This was exactly at the same time while a different asteroid that was heavily tracked and passed by without a problem. While the world looked in one direction, an asteroid hit from another angle.
So what does any of this have to do with strategic planning?
If you are diligent with your strategic plan, then you have identified key performance indicators to track and measure over time. However, when measuring and tracking aspects of your strategic plan, what contingency plans have you put in place for your unexpected asteroid hit? I’m not necessarily talking about business continuity or disaster recovery plans, but rather metrics that can take a big hit because of the unexpected event. For a hospital, it could be a reimbursement change that could affect your bottom line. For a smaller company, it could be losing one of your largest accounts because they went bankrupt.
For us at Achieveit, we have done two steps to ensure we understand how to move forward if an unexpected asteroid hits us.
Step 1. Identify and measure the key metrics that impact your ability to continue to function as business. Such as, cash flow, accounts receivable, performance times, critical staff levels, etc.
Step 2. Map and construct how the different departments of your business connect together. Make sure to understand the bottlenecks that could prevent either a scale up or scale down scenario.
Using software like Achieveit, to identify and track those metrics and store your process documentation can give you an edge since all team members will be dealing with one version of the truth through cloud based software. Having clarity on these two steps can make a huge difference when the unexpected hits on how to continue to succeed in an ever changing environment. You will know how to engage the machine that is your organization and push forward to greater levels.
How has your organization added elements to your strategic plan to handle the unexpected?