I guess that it is that time of year again. Clients are thinking "new year . . . planning . . . Strategic Plan," lets get an outside skill to facilitate a strategic plan! Good Idea. But wait, can you give me your last Strategic Plan and could you show me how you turned that plan into achievable Goals with some outcome of delivery?
Well . . . we've got a number of Plans ~ we do this every year, but, mostly, we are just too busy making money, putting out fires, you name it, to turn those plans into deliverables.
So, what is needed is not a Strategic Plan so much, but a PLAN that is linked to a set of projects, which, through time ~ could deliver on that plan? That's it ~ but isn't that a Strategic Plan? Yes, it should be, but maybe that is another story. (see our "Must Read" paper)
are Strategic Plans superfluous?
We have a strong hunch ~ that they are! So we started a strategic plan of our own. We called in a peer Business Development skill. Got them to then analyse exactly what we wanted. Coupled that to what we could deliver, that would make substantial, deliverable & sustainable change in our own organisation.
100 years of Business Development thinking can't be wrong we must be on the right track! There must be a place for Strategic Thinking.
Then, the penny dropped, we hit on a kernel of unique (we thought) insight! Strategic Thinking and Strategic Planning are not synonymous! On the one hand, we need to think about the future, what our competitors are doing, what market changes can affect our business. But, to try and turn that into an operating plan can take our eye off the tactical imperative of keeping the ship afloat.
So, the outcome from Strategic Thinking should provide, with great care, the definition of a (set of) long-term project(s) we could weave into our tactical project planning for the year.
Two different mental approaches and distinctly two different outcomes!
could you help facilitating these deliberations?
The first thought we had was, how do we lift our eyes out of the chaos of everyday life and start dreaming about the future and how that could effect our business?
A favourite ice breaker we use, is to view some kind of thought provoking content. Where Good Ideas Come From ~ by Steven Johnson (4:06min) is a good way to facilitate this thinking process. But, it's even a better way to structure the meetings that you, as the Business Development leader, should have in place!
Should have in place as a firm business strategy! What are you - the business leader, doing to have a peer group of like minded individuals in continuous touch ~ in your own, focused, a coffee society? How easy is it for us to get totally absorbed by the chaos that is our business. How easy is it for us to be consumed by the "job" we have created for ourselves. The mantra of Business Development is to; "Work ON your business, rather that IN it!"
However, that brings us straight back to the issue with Strategic Planning. These hunches, these fertilised and cross-pollinated ideas have the danger of remaining ~ "a good idea!" We need another facilitation to turn some of these ideas into actionable projects!
Mel Robbins 5 second rule (5:02 min) works for us. We realise that the video is not everyones cup-o-tea, but, if you can look past the presentation style ~ to the idea ~ 5 seconds to take action. Then, we have a new personal habit and enterprise activity to turn ideas into action. So, there is not just; a thought - an idea - a to-do-list - with no subsequent action - therefore no change, but possibly, inspiration - education - application - implementation (IEAI).
IEAI ~ our mantra for change
Nothing happens until you go through these 4 steps in changing peoples vision from;
"more work for us" ~ to ~ "this COULD work for ME!"
We do this every day ~ this is what we do for a living. We change peoples vision of work into having a intimate hand in change! Positive change for themselves ~ which just rubs off on the enterprise. This activity has huge value to the work of Building a Legacy (BaL) that is your Business Enterprise. You're very welcome to use this icon, idea & "process" to guarantee enterprise change through personal change, deeper employee engagement with greater buy-in! Just imagine the increase in productivity and stability of your team ~ a desirable outcome for any leader!