It’s a new quarter, and chances are there is something about your strategic plan that needs to be addressed. All master forms of diligence aside, strategic planning is not a sure bet into the future. Great plans rarely if ever survive intact in the quarters and years after they are crafted.
In fact, the single greatest benefit of planning isn’t the plan that is created, it’s that the process is inclusive. There will be change. It could be disruptive. It might even be chaotic at times, but when the team has a common understanding of direction and their role in the direction, people become empowered to move forward on behalf of the organization in their own individual ways.
Everyone needs a reality check, and organizations are not immune from this. A quarterly review is your opportunity to reap the true benefits of planning. A quarterly review is an opportunity to rapidly assess what has happened in the past three months and assess what it means for the direction of the company. In reviewing the internal and external environments, look to see if how and where your organization needs to shift in response.
Use quarterly reviews as an opportunity to be more innovative in how to communicate strategy. The challenge with strategy is translating the plan into a real-time effort. Part of making the 30,000 ft level strategic objective tangible is to bring a situation that helps others visualize the problems, solutions, or progress in a compelling way. What the plan is presented in a consistent, compelling manner you also tap into the human side of the organization. In doing so, you appeal to the ‘feeling’ side of the workforce and tap into an emotional drive that is more powerful that data alone in moving everyone toward a common goal. Data alone rarely induces the same reaction.
Is a quarterly strategy review meeting on your calendar yet? Three months of clutter and overstimulation have passed, yet in the hustle things have changed that matter. Ignoring it for another three months makes the assumption that nothing important has happened in all those days and weeks. If anything is accomplished in your quarterly review, it is challenging that assumption alone.
After all, shift happens. A quarterly review helps you mitigate the more rapid changes with a shared organizational-level perspective, making sure that the shifts do not fly in the face of your strategic intent.
What kind of momentum have the first three months of the year created for your organization—and is this momentum on the right strategic trajectory?