Plans Are Useless – Planning Is Essential

From a CEO Roundtable not so long ago, the discussed topic was the Strategic Plan and how to make turn it into action. As we decided, its one thing to make a plan, its yet another to execute.

So, how do you turn a plan into planning?

First you want the lowest level person in the organization to be able to articulate the vision. So, from the part-time receptionist, all the up to the CEO, everyone should be able to describe where the organization is going. How do you do that?

Well, first you must provide relentless communication about the mission and vision and you must also use multiple channels of communication.

Social media is a great tool and its a wonderful way to stay hyper connected, yet disconnected at the same time. Check out this video on Socailnomics. Amazing facts there!

The world is demanding more, strong, assertive leaders and associations are ripe for this.

In order to be bold – you have to know your cause.

1. First identify the why? Why do you exist?
2. Then comes the how we do it.
3. Then, what we do.

A lot of strategic planning focuses on the what not the why and how. You must make strategic planning a living process. We need to figure out what we want our worlds to look like.

Our goals should be bold and its ok to have a BHAG – Big Hairy Audacious Goal – one that is so big, it makes you a bit quesy – a goal that is bigger than yourselves.

Also, the days of the 5, 7, 10 year plans are over. Why, 10 years ago, we weren’t even using words like tweet and hashtag. Today they appear on the nightly news and during the Olympics. A three-year plan is much more realistic.

Your plan must include targets. Goal setting is crisis avoidance. So,  develop[ some KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators). These all related back to your goals and are indicators of the goals success. Once you do this, you can further extract that overall plan into a 90-day plan and break that down further into a weekly action plan for the organization. This is the organizations’ to-do-list.

Using these tools you can turn your strategic plan into an overall strategic planning process – one that lives and breaths in the organization and no-longer collects dust on the shelf.

Thanks to Jim Jubelirer for facilitating this CEO Roundtable.


1 Comment

  1. If you’d like a tool for setting your goals, you can use this web application:

    You can use it to manage your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, and a calendar.
    Syncs with Evernote and Google Calendar, and also comes with mobile version, and Android and iPhone apps.

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