Tell me the truth, did you get a chill down your spine when you read those completely overused words in the title of my blog post? Don’t worry, I did too. This weekend I reviewed articles in the Harvard Business Review looking for inspiration and happened on an excellent article written by Bryan A. Garner titled, “A Bizspeak Blacklist”. After I read the article I got depressed because I’m guilty of overusing many of the words on Garner’s list. However, I’m using this moment to make a vow to limit my use of the words on the list and explain why it’s important to be clear in your planning efforts.
Why is it important to be extremely clear and concise when writing your strategic plan? It’s your list of directions on how you’re going to get to your destination. Unclear directions would be similar to those MapQuest directions we all printed out in the early 2000’s. I think MapQuest told me to make a legal U-turn into traffic on more than 10 occasions. That’s an extreme example of how unclear directions can have disastrous effects but, you get the point.
This is why were always recommend using the words: increase, decrease, or maintain when building out your strategic plan. When you use specific wording, you plan becomes a document that can help your organization make decisions. If your goal is to become a “World class sales organization” and you don’t put any clear measurements behind it, it means nothing. Every goal has many ways you can quantifiably measure it. It may be difficult to track the information down to create a realistic baseline and target but I assure you, that’s time well spent. If you’re going to take the time to build a strategic plan, take the time to ensure everyone in your organization is crystal clear around your expectations. It doesn’t take much, it just involves choosing your words wisely.
At the end of the day it’s all about creating synergy through your value added efforts! 😉