Today's Viewpoint: A MarshBerry Publication

REACHING THE GOALS OF YOUR STRATEGIC PLAN

Having an effective strategic roadmap can help drive growth and success for your company. However, it’s important to have an actionable blueprint to ensure the execution of the strategic plan.   

Creating a strategic roadmap for your firm is critical to the success of any business. And taking the right steps to create that plan ensures you have a blueprint to follow. However, where most strategic plans fail is in the execution of that plan.

After a thorough review of the current state of the business, including the financials and the existing talent, you can begin assembling goals that are focused, relevant, aligned and actionable, including long and short-term goals. Annual goals are those that can be achieved within the next year. Long-range goals involve more complex projects, transitions or implementing new systems that could take two to five years. Be realistic when setting timelines for goals. Ask if any goal can realistically be completed in one year? Or, can you fast-track a certain priority project to complete it sooner because it will greatly impact growth? This is where your priority list comes into play.

How do we get there?

Consider all the steps required to accomplish each long-term goal. What resources are required? Who’s accountable to lead the charge? What will it cost, and how will you measure progress?

Start with your list of objectives, then build each one out to include details that identify the true scope of what you want to accomplish. Next, address the who. Who is assigned to work on each objective? Break down tasks and figure out which team members will take on each role. Who will lead the effort and ultimately be held responsible for executing the objective? Very important: How will you measure performance? Are there metrics you will watch, or are there specific tasks that must be completed that signal positive movement?

Every objective must be measurable with checkpoints so your team can assess where they stand in terms of progress. Many times, strategic plans are created during a meeting with key leaders and decision makers, but the objectives are not communicated to the rest of the team. Spend time discussing how the plan will be rolled out agency-wide, and how you will motivate everyone on your staff to embrace the plan, even if they were not involved in creating it. While a strategic planning meeting can introduce the plan, smaller group gatherings with leadership can engage employees on a more personal level.

Consider using a motto, like “20 x 25” if your goal is to reach $20 million in revenue by 2025. Come up with a catchphrase that you can use to name the plan and promote it internally to employees. Finally, what are the incentives and penalties for achieving or ignoring objectives identified in the strategic plan? How can the staff be rewarded? How can the behavior be repeated?

Everyone likes to be appreciated for their hard work. Staff incentives for achieving objectives can go a long way toward building positive morale and ongoing engagement in reaching strategic plan goals. Likewise, penalties can serve as a barometer to identify who is not serious about getting the company to the next level. Individuals who habitually ignore their assigned objectives should be removed from the strategic planning group and replaced.

Celebrate success

A strategic plan provides opportunities to reflect on how far you’ve come when you review objectives and performance and see how your team has come together to grow the business. Refer to the plan often. Keep the strategic plan out and in the open. This will help ensure you are always seeing and thinking about it, rather than it gathering dust on the shelf. Make it your roadmap to growth and success.

Executing on a strategic plan is hard work. With this roadmap in hand and the support of your team and advisers, you can help transform your business and unlock its true potential.

If you have questions about Today’s ViewPoint, or about creating effective strategic plans that drive organic growth for your firm, please email or call Tommy McDonald, Director, at 440.392.6700.

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