How to Empower Your Organization
Those using S.M.A.R.T. strategic planning methods understand that "Strategy" is not a one-time event that takes place at the end or the beginning of a year. It is an ongoing process that does not have an end. It’s a built-in continuous improvement program that should be everyone’s responsibility within the organization. It is the same process of improvement that strategic consultants and executives apply, and yet somehow the thought of developing a strategic plan remains an overly complex and dreaded task for many organizations.
The best strategic plans are those that are executed with precision. A core strategy—or centric purpose—should drive every aspect of your organization. It should not be isolated to senior leaders because a successful strategy needs to be implemented throughout the entire organization! All successful strategies in the world are a complete waste of time if they are not implemented. Truly, a strategy is successful when everyone up and down the organization can articulate the plan—in their own words—and knows how to apply it to their specific role and responsibilities.
Examples of Smart and Not So Smart Strategic Planning
For an organization or department...
Not SMART: "Improve attendance at our ABC Training Program."
SMART: "Achieve and maintain a 10 percent increase in attendance at least three sessions (out of a possible five sessions) on our annual ABC Training Program by 10/2015."
For a steering committee...
Not SMART: "Create our 2015 strategic plan."
SMART: "Create our 2015 strategic plan, obtain final approval from the Executive Committee, and discuss it with our department heads so individuals can begin setting their performance objectives by 3/15/15."
Not SMART: "Improve customer service skills."
SMART: "Take the Customer Service Essentials workshop on 5/10/2015, provide feedback to associated team by 6/28/2015, and apply the relevant concepts while implementing our current steering committee."
Tom Marin is the Founder and President of MarketCues, Inc., a national consulting firm. He has worked for some of the world’s largest corporations and middle-market firms. Tom’s focus is to help CEOs drive their strategy shifts and strategic growth programs. Follow MarketCues on Twitter. Tom also welcomes emails new LinkedIn connections or calls to (919) 908-6145.