We’ve counted down and popped some champagne, so it must be true – it’s the New Year! With each New Year come resolutions – what will yours be this year? Will you eat healthy, get to the gym more or just resolve to smile? It’s great to make personal changes in the 2018, but consider what resolutions you can make for your organization as well. We at Bottom Line suggest a strategic planning resolution – don’t just prepare for a single new year, but three to five by creating a strategic plan!
A strategic plan is important to help set the direction, vision and expansion of your organization. Just like New Year’s resolutions, strategic plans don’t last forever. If five years—or more—have passed since your last planning session, it’s time to look at revising and changing your plan.
Not sure where to start? Here is a guide for achieving this New Year’s strategic planning resolution:
Like any good New Year’s resolution, begin your strategic planning by gathering ideas and establishing your organization’s goals, guiding principles and mission. These will reinforce the direction for your plan.
Next, gather information on your organization’s strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats, things going well and things to be improved. Engaging staff, decision makers and stakeholders can give you a diverse pool of information to analyze for key results and new ideas.
After information has been gathered and key takeaways have been identified, it’s time to gather to create your actual plan.
It’s important to ask a number of questions in your planning sessions: what do you want to accomplish? What will you do to get there? Who will be responsible, and how will you track if you’re making progress?
After these questions have been discussed and your ideas have been built on, it’s time to draft a plan to be shared with stakeholders and, eventually, finalized.
Don’t let your strategic plan be something you write and forget. After it’s finalized, it’s time to put it into action!
Depending on the size of your organization, it’s likely not everyone was in the room for planning. If so, be sure to distribute the plan and explain it to all employees of your organization. Responsibilities also should be delegated to involved parties (action teams) by managers and leaders as specified in your plan.
Once the plan is in action, managers should make sure to track progress and monitor how successful the implementation has been.
Keep in mind, your strategic plan is a living document. If something isn’t working, change it!
Weekly or monthly meetings with managers and actions teams can reinforce goals, deadlines and responsibilities, and reporting on what’s working and what isn’t can help keep the plan up-to-date. If major changes need to be made, you may need to reconvene planning groups to make changes, update your plan and circulate those changes to employees throughout your organization.
Resolve to better yourself and your organization this New Year. Hiring an external public relations agency can make a world of difference in your strategic plan. Our approach is flexible, offering everything from day-long planning sessions to several shorter sessions spaced out over months to match your organization’s resources.
Give us a call! Our best practice strategic planning process and third-party facilitation will guide your team to a tangible plan and a path to begin executing that plan, helping your organization make serious changes in 2018.