Sunday, February 1, 2009

Strategic Plan Check-up

Whether you run a one-person operation… or a multi-billion dollar organization, here are five questions to help you determine the health of your Strategic Plan:
  1. Do you have a Strategic Plan? - Before you automatically answer, "Yes!" and move on, prove it by finding the actual document and holding it in your hands... because if your current Strategic Plan is not written down (and easily accessible), it's not real.
  2. Does every member of your team understand it? - Yes, that means every member (not just the executives who spent countless hours creating it or the managers responsible to implement it)... from the CEO to the part-time receptionist. If every team member does not understand your Strategic Plan, how effective can it be?
  3. Does every team member have the ability to articulate it? - It's one thing to understand a plan... It's another thing to be able to explain it back to someone (or yourself). If someone is uncomfortable discussing something, it will never be discussed.
  4. Does every team member clearly understand his/her role in achieving the goals of your Strategic Plan? There are specific skills, behaviors and responsibilities that each person must have to drive a plan toward success. Are they crystal clear?
  5. Is your Strategic Plan 'alive'? - Is it a 'living and breathing' document with a person's name assigned to every task... with target completion dates... and reviews to hold everyone accountable? Or, is it dusted off once a year during the annual planning meeting?
Last month, we celebrated the inauguration of our new President... Today, many Americans' attention will be focused on a football game... Tomorrow, it's time to get back to work! One complete month of this year has already passed. How is your Strategic Plan helping achieve your goals?

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