Strategic Planning 101: Productivity is NOT the GoalWhen it comes to strategic planning, no matter what the industry, we all struggle with many of the same things. There are two Harvard Business Review articles I find myself continuously referring back to for guidance, so I thought I'd share them. It's easy to get caught up in every day's daunting tasks, so sometimes it's nice to bring it back to the basics and really think about why we're doing the things we're doing, and if what we're doing truly helps us achieve our overall goals. In this article, Harvard Business Review points to a bigger issue—most people are too busy to know if they’re actually being strategic and working on the right things. People generally tie their value to the projects they’re working on and it’s important to take a step back and understand what truly is “Important” with a capital I vs. “important”. The article makes the point that people's egos are often tied to their projects, and it's leadership's job to let their team know that although each team member's point of view is important, we just can't focus on that particular project at this time. If you change the conversation from a dialogue about importance, to one about focus, it changes the tone and ensures buy-in from your team. If your team sees their fingerprints are on the organizational strategy, they’ll execute at a higher rate, and if they’re aligning their projects to the organizational strategy, they’ll execute on the right things. For the full article, click here: https://hbr.org/2014/05/3-myths-that-kill-strategic-planning this article, 1.) It’s time to cut the fluff in your strategic plan. If you have a bunch of words like leverage, become, or reshape, then it’s time to take a hard look in the mirror. These fuzzy words illustrate a lack of clarity for what the organization's strategy really aims to achieve. Instead, use words like develop, implement, or create which denote real action and execution around qualitative items. These words make it easy to understand what's expected and the actions needed when executing. And 2.) Your strategic plan also needs to track quantitative items as much as possible. The words you need in that case are: increase, decrease, or maintain because that’s the only thing numbers, percentages, and dollars can do. Using clear precise language ensures that your plan is more than a list of buzzwords and it allows for you to actually track its completion. For the full article, click here: https://hbr.org/2013/10/four-tips-for-better-strategic-planning
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