Ten Tips to Keep Your Strategic Plan From Hitting the Shelf (4 mins)

By Shannon Sage

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Ten Tips to Keep Your Strategic Plan From Hitting the Shelf

With these 10 tips you can ensure that your strategic plan gets executed and doesn’t collect dust. We’ll show you how to involve your team, clearly communicate your strategy and track your progress.

For more resources on building your strategic plan, view the Essentials Guide to Strategic Planning.

Video Transcript

“Hi. My name is Nancy. Today, our whiteboard session is 10 Tips To Keep Your Strategic Plan From Hitting The Shelf. How many times have you developed a strategic plan and spent a lot of time doing it, and then say “Oh, my gosh, we never did anything with it.” Today I’m going to give you ten tips to keep your plan as a living document and it’s not going to hit the shelf and collect dust, I promise.

Tip Number one, lead by example. You, as a leader, are critical to the success of your plan, your commitment, and you talking about your plan is so important. I can’t stress how important that is. Your plan will stay alive if you are committed to the plan. Tip Number two, get everyone involved from the start. Get everybody on your team, your staff involved in getting engaged in the strategic planning. Everyone should feel a part of the plan. Assign every staff member, at least one or three or five goals. Everybody should be able to put their finger print on the plan. Tip number three, appoint a strategy manager. Appoint somebody who actually will be able to update the plan, be able to track the progress, will be able to communicate the plan, and hold the strategy meetings, that’s an important function. Tip number four, keep you plans simple. Keep your plan simple such as this. I have a strategy map here such as a road map. It depicts where you’re going right now with your mission, where you are right now with your mission, where you’re going with your vision, and how you’re going to get there with some objectives and some actual goals. This way everybody can clearly see the direction of the organization. It also tells you what is going to be in the plan and what’s not going to be on the plan.

Number five, is keep it understandable. Everybody in your organization should clearly understand your plan. Eliminate any of that business jargon that you may use, and also any text that you’re not going to use, get rid of it. It needs to be kept very simple and understandable. The other thing too is tip number six, is create a one page plan. If you have a one page plan like this, people look at it and they’re able to see exactly what the plan is. The plans communicated to them is very understandable. The other thing too is if you blow it up and put it on the wall, everybody sees it, they always know the direction of the company. Tip number seven, use a score card. A score card actually is very simple. You just list the goals here and then you can put the targets here. And then every month you can check off the status of the target, and that way it keeps everyone in the loop, and you know exactly how you’re measuring on currently against your targets.

Number eight, hold monthly strategy meetings. “Oh, my gosh, another meeting.” I know what you’re already saying. What I would suggest is that you replace one of your regular meetings with a strategy meeting. Just talk about strategy and during that meeting, have everyone on your staff report on one or two things that they have accomplished and have them limit their report to one minute. Number nine, incentives. Everybody loves incentives. They love to be paid for their performance. Incentives can come in many different shapes or forms, you can get money, time off, presents, but it really keeps everybody engaged in their strategic plan. Number ten, lastly, is celebrate. Celebrate those big successes and the small successes. Celebrating those successes along the way keeps everybody excited, engaged and motivated in the plan. If you follow these ten tips that are up here, your plan will not sit on the shelf but you’ll have a living document.”


Shannon Sage

Shannon is a Client Engagement Manager at OnStrategy with experience in marketing, social media and strategic planning. She manages the survey database, supports the integration of survey results and analysis, and she answers client’s questions and concerns.
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