A Guide to Gazelles’ One Page Strategic Plan
Gazelles’ One Page Strategic Plan is one of the most popular strategic planning templates available on the market today. Created by Verne Harnish in his book, “Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make It…and Why the Rest Don’t,” this approach to strategic planning is meant to help businesses simplify their strategic priorities and create a plan that is both actionable and effective for growth.
The 3 Tenets of the ‘One Page Strategic Plan’ Approach to Strategic Planning
Gazelles’ One Page Strategic Plan is designed to help businesses make the decisions that will best support their growth goals. The decisions can be broken down into the following broad categories:
1. Strategic Priorities
Defined as ‘Rocks’, strategic priorities define the actions and the involved stakeholders for the business’s quarterly activities. Executives are asked to complete a Core Values/Beliefs section, as well as a Purpose section, to define the direction of the organization moving forward. Building on this foundation, executives then complete five ‘Rocks,’ or quarterly objectives, and assign an accountable party to each Rock. By limiting executives to five priorities per quarter, the Gazelles system is meant to encourage focus on the largest drivers of organizational growth.
2. Resource Allocation
When it comes to resources, the primary concern is the people necessary to execute the aforementioned Rocks. Executives are tasked with enumerating the people involved with execution, assigning accountable parties to Rocks, and determining the critical number of people necessary to achieve objectives. The purpose of the exercise is for executives to gain insight into the productivity and utilization of their employees. Upon seeing how many employees are aligned with strategic Rocks, and how many are not, executives can reallocate employees to the organization’s highest priority objectives.
3. Financial Viability
Here we explore both the key financial drivers of the organization at large, as well as the financial impact of the organization’s headcount. The One Page Strategic Plan includes current and expected financial metrics from the balance and income sheets, including revenue targets, profit margin, cash, accounts receivable, inventory turnover, and revenue per employee. By listing these financial drivers, executives can correlate the strategic priorities and allocate resources accordingly.
Questions the One Page Strategic Plan Helps Executives Answer
Building on the three themes listed above, Gazelles approach to strategic planning enables executives to explore a collection of key business drivers. These are broken down into organizational timeframes: big picture, three to five years, annual, and quarterly.
Big Picture Questions:
- What is our core mission, and what is our vision moving forward?
- What is our organization’s purpose?
- What are our Big Hairy Audacious Goals? Where will we be in 10 years?
Three to Five Year Questions:
- What are the opportunities and threats in our market?
- What are our priorities over the next three to five years?
- What are our financial targets over the next three to five years?
- What is our brand promise in the market?
- What are our Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for this timeframe?
- What are our most critical priorities this year?
- What are our most critical financial numbers this year?
- What are our most critical KPIs (key performance indicators) this year?
- What are the objectives that everyone needs to be focused on, and accountable to, in our day-to-day operations?
What is truly unique about Gazelles’ One Page Strategic Plan, and that approach to strategic planning, is the focus on growth. With this template, priorities are set with a special focus on the financial resources and the people needed for execution, which is why many people believe Gazelles provides a strategic planning format built specifically for strategy execution. But planning is only as good as the actions that follow, so it is important that once the template is complete, it is placed into an environment that allows for the assignment and tracking of outlined priorities. This is where AchieveIt can help! Contact us today to see how our business insights platform can help enable the execution of your strategic plan.
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