By Connie Armstrong
Bring Momentum into the New Year to Create Your Strategic Plan

It’s arrived. The year you are going to create an amazing, directive and success-driven strategic plan, right? Like other resolutions you probably have reservations. After all, we all know that driving organizations forward in a planned, purposeful way is not always as simple as it seems.

Like in life, business momentum means increasing the things that move you forward and decreasing those that hold you back. Momentum, by its nature, requires a lot of upfront push to get the ball rolling. Here are four suggestions to jump start the momentum in your 2012 strategic planning efforts, which we think are pretty handy for applying to our own individual lives as well.

  1. Eliminate Your Energy Drains and Recharge Yourself
    Energy drains are those things that drag you down. It’s this kind of friction that can rob you of making progress where it matters. Find the time to do the things that give you energy. Then stick a post-it note next to each drain you identify with an idea for getting rid of it. Then direct this newly unleashed energy to overcome inertia and get your strategic objectives on track.
  2. Conquer Your Fears—Concentrate and Be Brave
    The greatest source of procrastination is often a deep-seeded fear—fear of success, change, failure, ridicule, or even just the unknown. Take a daily step to remove your fears by asking yourself every day, “What would I do today if I was really brave?” Mark Twain once said that if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long. So go ahead– be brave, eat that frog and get on with your charge!
  3. Let Things Evolve
    When the flywheel of momentum starts to turn, pay attention to clues, connections and opportunities that are presented. Be aware of environmental shifts and market changes that may strengthen the guiding role a strategic plan plays during these times. Don’t plan yourself into a corner that won’t be relevant next year. Have a goal in mind, but be flexible on the process of getting there. It will make the path one that makes sense to travel.
  4. Be Committed
    No matter what your organizational goals are, or how difficult they’ll be to achieve, maintaining momentum requires commitment. Be committed to the strategic management process, as it takes new habits to reference and incorporate long-term considerations into day-to-day actions. Be diligent and have patience, because like anything of importance, strategic achievements require a proper cycle for fulfillment.

– Copy adapted from Strategic Planning for Dummies, which was written by OnStrategy’s COO Erica Olsen.


What obstacle do you need to brave to make progress?