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The Power of Annual Strategic Planning

Have you ever had someone say to you, “do you see what I am saying?”  It’s a silly premise, yes?  You can’t actually see what someone is saying.  Can you?

What if I told you a story and used very colorful, descriptive words, and I went in to detail about what it looked and felt like to be in my story?  Could you kind of see it then?  Of course.  My words and descriptions would transport you to the place I was describing, and, perhaps, to the point that you could actually imagine yourself there with me. Good strategic planning paints this same kind of compelling picture.  It provides a vision and a roadmap to get the team where they need to go.  And, if the team doesn’t know exactly where they need to go, they are not likely to get there.

I work with several clients on an annual strategic planning process that includes:

  • Identifying or confirming values
  • 10 year vision
  • 3 year vision
  • 1 year plan (with SMART goals)

This simple process identifies what the organization is passionate about, how they see their mid-range and long-term future, and what they need to do in the next 12 months to get there.

I also highly recommend starting the session with team health building activities, as the most successful teams are not only talented, intelligent and hard working, they are healthy.  Healthy teams communicate more effectively and work through issues faster.

These strategy sessions are amongst my favorite engagements, as I love to see teams working together towards a common goal.  There is nothing more powerful.

Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the  world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”  Strategic planning creates and guides that thoughtful committed group  – and I as watch them execute their plans and change the world, I am grateful for the opportunity to have been a small part of their success.

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