Getting back on track with simple, effective strategic plans

Put your hand up if you’re ready to simplify life? These days, it’s hard to stay focused and on track. We get pulled in different directions and get distracted by shiny objects.

When running a high performing organization, you can bet that your team is also having a hard time staying the course. We’ve had too many pivots, shifting demands from our clients, and virtual meeting overload from work-from-home hot desks (the couch, kitchen table, bedroom…).

What if you could inject simple, easy-to-use tools into your planning approach? Could your organization benefit from a clear framework that: clarifies where you want to go, focuses efforts on the things that matter most, and includes a roadmap to guide your team and board of directors?

I’ve worked with a range of different organizations and I keep coming back to these tools because they can be implemented quickly and get results before the next quarter. Here’s what’s in the toolkit I’ve created for my clients:

Strategic Plan on a Page

Most companies do not need a 35-page strategic plan with piles of data or background information to guide day-to-day operations. They would be better off with a 1-pager that highlights strategic direction. Instead of a tome that collects dust on the side of someone’s desk, a clearly-written 1-pager can be framed a your desk or put up on a wall for easy reference. Visual cues like this are key to keeping the brain focused. Some of my clients ask for icons and colours to pull out themes and focus areas as these also help to keep priorities top of mind.  The Strategic Plan on a Page typically includes: purpose, vision, mission, values, focus areas, goals and strategies.

Action Plan

Implementing the strategic direction can be fuzzy until the strategies are broken down into unique actions. These are the specific tactics that can be prioritized to deliver on strategies. Keep the Action Plan separate from the Strategic Plan on a Page to avoid conversations that pull the board and leadership down into the weeds.  Instead, work with the operations team, managers and supervisors who know how their capable front line teams can contribute to the strategies.

Operational Plans

With the strategic direction and action plan in place, different divisions within an organization would use an operational plan to guide their focus for the year ahead. These plans also outline a budget required to deliver on specific actions and meet operational goals. Operational Plans can be valuable to help ensure business continuity should there be changes on the team (read: gives the Board peace of mind), and they are helpful tools to groom and train new leaders in an organization.  They’re also key to creating a rhythm and flow to your work week so that the team remain focused and with their eye on the prize, so to speak. Including rewards and accolades for achieving milestones and quarterly results can be fun and effective elements for operational plans.

If it’s time to dust off your organization’s strategic plan and refresh it with some simple and effective tools, let’s talk. We can design a customized planning approach that includes:

  • Engaging facilitated sessions with your board and leadership
  • Strategic planning training sessions for leadership and management
  • Strategic Plan on a Page
  • Action and Implementation Plan
  • Operational Plans
  • ESG Plans for Board oversight

Contact us to get started today.