The first year of strategic planning is often marked with shifting priorities and a continued focus on making strategy part of your organization’s every day. This is often the end-state goal for most organizations who embark on the planning process – but, what happens when you achieve this?
We certainly don’t recommend organizations ditch their plan if they achieve this desired end-state. As we help some of our clients update and refresh their plans for 2018, this is a topic we’re often covering. During the last few working sessions with St. Vincent’s Health Partners, we have been working to help refocus their organization’s plans with more strategic priorities and objectives rather than operational management.
To help you eliminate the administrivia (yes, it’s an awesome word we’re throwing around these days) during the second year of planning and execution, follow these steps:
- Remove Operationalized Items: If you’ve adopted or operationalized parts of your strategy during the execution process, take them out of your ongoing strategy reviews and instead place them in more administrative meetings.
- Evolve Your Goals: Create the “next generation” of your goals or metrics that might impact your plan on a deeper level. For example, a marketing metric might be to track the traffic of your website. The next generation could instead be the percent of qualified traffic (those who have activity to indicate purchase intent).
- Eliminate Operational Task Lists: Instead of filling your plan with quarterly or annual operational task lists, build annual goals or quarterly initiatives that speak more directly to achieving your organization’s vision.
Don’t just manage your strategic plan for the sake of management. Creating a strategic plan paper stack, whether that be literally or digitally, isn’t going to help drive your organization forward. If your entire plan is just a list of metrics with no strategic action, you’ll never get where you need to be. We commend St. Vincent’s Health Partners for staying dedicated to the process and working to make their plan truly strategic and forward-thinking.