Strategic planning is an oxymoron. In my view along with change management and performance management it makes the top three worst actions you could take in your business.
You do need a strategy. Strategy is like a compass.
In simple terms a strategy is the framework within which you make decisions about how you're moving from where you are to where you want to be.
You should be able to describe your strategy in a sentence.
Change cannot be managed. We lead change. You need a change process to lead effectively.
Performance cannot be managed either. We lead performance.
If you're still doing performance appraisals you are endangering your employees well-being. We do not want to be appraised and never have. What we want is to be appreciated.
In the new world of work wise leaders have discarded performance management and are embracing performance energetics. There's a short podcast and post with 25 suggestions about how to do this here.
Like leading change and leading performance you can only know the effectiveness of your strategy through its execution.
Execution is like a quilt. Everyone's piece is different. When everyone's piece is stitched together you have your execution plan. Not a strategic plan, an execution plan.
There are five critical success factors to execution of strategy that I've learned over 30+ years of doing this work.
1) People executing your strategy must buy-into it at worst and at best have input into it.
The days of Boards and CEO's being the sole strategy setters in my view are dead.
When the people doing the work are engaged in determining strategy, execution is almost a given.
2) Practices and Processes are paramount
Do your processes (this includes policies, procedures, practices, principles, systems and structures), mean that it's simple for people to bring their best to their work?
Are the daily practices in your workplaces, i.e. the rituals, routines, ceremonies, stories, narratives in alignment with the behaviours of your values?
Does every employees have a role clarity statement that overviews who they have relationships with and what is the value being exchanged and delivered?
3) Human connection and ongoing conversations are crucial
There are 15 conversations that count. You can download a playbook with my compliments about these here.
4) After-action-reviews highlight accountability
I recommend reviewing one action at a time and answering the following questions:
what happened and why?
what did we learn, relearn, and unlearn?
How can we be better, wiser and more valuable in applying these learnings?
Who will we become? What will we do next?
5) Integrating new learning with what is already working well
Post after-action-review determine with your colleagues how your answers will be integrated with what is already working well for you. Then I suggest these actions:
Upgrade your processes and practices and role clarity statements where appropriate.
Upgrade learning and development materials.
Should you like some help with any of the above please consider my one-off service.
Susan Furness and myself created a unique process called Strategic Heartistry which Susan facilitates. Learn more here.