“Let’s just do something! I don’t have time to plan…” The question (inside that statement) is, in a nutshell, “Why was I suggesting a planning session, when I could just use my expertise and suggest something—anything?” Well, I could make suggestions based on experience, but it is important that an organization define its own direction. Implementing someone else’s plan will not work, as no one understands your company like yourself and your team members.
Step Back and Plan the Plan
First, step back and look at the overall situation. Think and brainstorm what you want, this is the important first step before strategic planning. A key element in creating a successful plan is to treat planning as a project unto itself and plan the plan, by the creation of a vision and a commitment. Strategic thinking is about intuition and creativity — begin strategic thinking by answering:
- What do I want for my business? What is my vision and mission?
- What are my three top business goals for the next year? Five years?
- How can I communicate my goals to all stakeholders?
- What strategies (plan) will I use to achieve those goals?
- How will I measure the plan’s success?
- How will I continue to adapt the plan to allow for change?
These may not be easy questions to answer, but they lay the foundation and determine the starting point for your business and plan. It really does take time, reflection, and planning to plan…
It is so easy to get distracted in the day-to-day operations of business. Taking the time up front to identify your vision and commitment will save time in the long run — by providing a strong sense of direction for your business. Remember, a sense of direction is not only for you, but your employees, your clients and your community…
Review the 5 top success factors of strategic thinking.