Many people are unfamiliar with strategic planning, and how it can create tremendous growth within an organization. And even if you are familiar with the concept, there can still be a lot of confusion over how to do it, or create consistency with a strategic plan. Strategic planning is a process or a system, that can be taught and learned by your employees. If you follow the system and process and methodology, you can get some consistent execution. The goal is to create repetitive steps that are as simple as possible to get you executing your strategy as soon as possible. John Ferris explores how to grow your organization with strategic planning in this expert sales interview, hosted by John Golden.
This expert sales interview explores the 5 steps of creating a strategic plan:
- Step 1: Start with the “why”
- Step 2: Confront reality
- Step 3: Create a plan design
- Step 4: Address the death threats
- Step 5: Finding the rhythm of accountability
Step 1: Start with the “why”
When developing a strategic plan, the first step is to start with the “why.” The “why” is the reason and purpose of your organization. In the old days, mission statements used to be a prominent part of company culture, but it isn’t so prevalent these days. Take the time to find why you do what you do as an organization, and create a sentence or statement that describes your purpose. Let this be the guiding force of all that you do.
Step 2: Confronting reality
After you have your “why” statement, you have to figure out what your current state of affairs is. Have a good, honest discussion about what is working, and what is not working at the present moment. You can also do a speed of change assessment, where you explore how fast things are changing both inside and outside of the organization. The difference between the rate of change outside your organization and the rate of change inside your organization can help you set goals and determine how you want to progress and move forward. It’s important to not look too far forward, and focus on what is happening in the present moment.
Step 3: Create a plan design
When you’re looking at the next year or several years, look at the top three things you must assess. It’s a challenge for entrepreneurs and executives because they want to do everything. It’s easy to come up with 20 things to do, but it’s really hard to only do three things. If you do 20 things, you’ll execute 20% of the time, but if you do three things, you’ll execute almost 100% of the time. Once you have these three large things to grow your business, you can then break it down into smaller things, and pick three goals to execute on this year. And then break it down further, and create three goals that you want to complete in the next quarter, and so forth. This helps create a long term plan, but it’s broken down into smaller, more palatable goals.
Step 4: Addressing the death threats
Death threats are the things that go unsaid that get in the way of you executing on your strategy. This could be a cultural thing, or difficulties holding people accounting to the strategy. Sometimes with larger organizations, it could be a certain department or certain area that’s not on board with the larger goal. Step 4 is about calling those things out that could get in the way of you executing on your plan.
Step 5: The rhythm of accountability
If you want to have a strategy and you want to execute it, you have to have a regular cadence of pulling yourself out of the weeds, and the day to day problem solving, in order to focus on your strategy. Determine what the rhythm is, and how you’re going to pull yourself out of the day to day grind to focus on the business and not in the business.
John is the Amazon bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.