As Benjamin Franklin said, “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. But it’s takes more than a plan to be successful.
If you’ve ever done strategy consulting for your small business, you know that a strategic plan is worthless unless it gets executed. Strategic plans are detailed proposals developed to achieve some end result. Let’s call the end result your Strategic Goals.
Here are a 3 reasons why strategic plans get derailed
- Short memories + no check-ins = Plan Failure
You worked to create the perfect strategic plan. You revisited your core values and core mission, performed a SWOT analysis, defined the BHAG and developed 3-5 strategic priorities for the next 12 months. Everyone is on board. The strategic goals are SMART. Everyone leaves the meeting excited about the future.
The new year begins. Things get busy. You meant to schedule a review of the plan, but it gets delayed. January passes, February passes and now it’s March. What were the strategic goals again?
Your short memory combined with no check-ins to see how things are tracking drastically decreases the ability to execute against the plan everyone was so excited about almost 3 months ago.
We recommend a monthly check-in to review those strategic goals and measure results against them.
- Poor Accountability = Plan Failure
Everyone is high-fiving coming out of the December planning session, but have you determined who’s accountable for each of those strategic goals?
I understand that some goals are a group effort, but I am a big believer in having a single person who is accountable for EACH strategic goal. When multiple people are accountable, no one is accountable. A team loses as a team, but typically each member of the team should be accountable for specific results. That is how the team wins.
- No Success Metrics = Plan Failure
Another key driver behind plan failure is a lack of success metrics / KPIs tied to each strategic goal. For example, if your strategic goal is to grow revenue by 10% to $5M, then you should have a KPI which measures revenue each month. During your monthly check-in (see point #1) you should review this KPI with your client. If the KPI is in the red, you suggest ways to get it back on track…adding more value to the relationship.
I know some of these things seem obvious, but they are very common.
How to avoid these problems via technology — Envisionable
We created Envisionable as a way to help small businesses (1) avoid these problems (2) stay more engaged by creating software that automates much of strategic plan execution follow-up.
- Use Envisionable to track strategic goals
- Use Envisionable to assign accountability to each strategic goal
- Use Envisionable to track KPIs associated with each strategic goal
- Use Envisionable to break each strategic goal into quarterly initiatives and much more
Your Next Steps