Strategic Plan Template

11 May Strategic Planning

Previously Posted on Bloomerang.com Blog,© James Mueller, March 2017   The winds of change can blow harshly. And in today’s environment, change can come rapidly and unexpectedly. So, what’s the point of strategic planning? First off, there is a difference between having a plan and having an effective planning process. Dwight Eisenhower said, “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” Mike Tyson was equally terse when he said, “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.” As Tyson explained to Mike Berardino of the Sun Sentinel in November 2012, “People were asking me [before a fight], ‘What’s going to happen?,’ They were talking about his style. ‘He’s going to give you a lot of lateral movement. He’s going to move, he’s going to dance. He’s going to do this, do that.’ I said,…


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Strategic Planning

16 Mar Strategic Planning, Individual Work Plans (Part One)

  The workplace is changing—employee expectations are no longer what they were a few years ago. There is a lot of evidence that this movement is being fueled by the influx of Millennials, who are unlike the quiet generation of the Xer’s and definitely different from the Baby Boomers. Managing performance in this new work environment can be tricky. There are many approaches and consultants out there with good ideas. My advice is pick the one that makes sense and run with it. But be consistent. Over the years as a team leader, I recognized that if I paid attention to a few important human factors, not only did individual performance improve, but team members are happier. And when people are happy, the have more energy to invest. The four things that I pay attention to are: clarity, trust, aspiration, and the experience of success….


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Strategic Plan Effective Action

10 Mar Turning a Strategic Plan into Effective Action (Part Two)

Converting a strategic plan into effective action is a challenge for many organizations.  So much so that there is an anti-strategic planning movement afoot.  Proponents say that strategic planning takes too much time and energy.  That in today’s rapid-paced, fast moving world, strategic plans don’t remain relevant long enough to be worth the effort. I sympathize with that sentiment. With all that we have to do, why waste time in another series of meetings.  But until we figure out how to have instantaneous environmental intelligence and strategy, we still need to take the time to research, reflect, and integrate in order to create order, organization, and direction. A better term for strategic planning is probably the one coined by Willie Pietersen at Columbia University School of Management:  “Strategic Learning”. A well-designed strategic learning process is worth the effort.  The failure is the inability to efficiently convert plans into effective action.  There…


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Strategic Plan Template

04 Mar Strategic Plan Template (Part Three)

  Since we’ve had requests for a written strategic plan template, here it is. However you craft a plan, it should not be too complex or overblown with lots of narrative. Be concise. The written plan should be a tool for focus and action. It is also a tool for communication. An effective written plan tells your stakeholders where you are headed, how you will get there, and who is responsible. Some organizations choose to write a document that includes the statement of organizational strategy, strategic imperatives, and long-term goals, and then use this template to write a succession of annual plans.  Adapt to your culture.  Allow for flexibility.  Use this template as a guide.  Allow this to be a working document that can evolve.  As Drucker wrote, “When the environment changes the rules change.”  If you have a tech savvy, engaged team you can find…


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Strategic Plan Template

24 Feb Strategic Plan Template (Part Two)

Though the planning template is laid out in phases, strategic planning is not a linear process. It is more of a conversation, with each element informing the other, and through an interactive process, the best strategy to pursue evolves. A strategic planning process template has three components: information gathering, deliberation, and decision-making. Information gathering includes the following elements: Stakeholder needs and expectations: Explore needs and expectations through carefully constructed interviews and surveys, beginning with the leaders, key decision-makers, and important stakeholders. Competitive challenges and collaborative opportunities: Conduct initial research early in the process to identify those who provide similar products and services in the same marketplace. Trends in the profession: Gather research on expert opinions of emerging issues and future directions. It is important to gather these from an objective observer’s point of view. Critical External Issues: Assess key external factors that impact your ability to…


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Strategic Plan Template

07 Jan Strategic Plan Template (Part One)

We receive a number of requests for strategic planning templates. Over the many years I have been involved in strategic planning, I have seen seemingly limitless approaches. On the face of it, one might think: this is easy, just give me a model to follow. Though there is some truth to that statement, it’s not quite that simple. The purpose of strategic planning is to develop sound strategy, to provide an organization with a well-informed, reliable sense of direction that also brings order and organization to the activities it undertakes. Strategic planning should be a worthwhile learning process. Using a timeframe for a strategic plan is quite common. We usually think in three to five year segments–though some Japanese companies are now developing 100-year plans. The greatest value of a longer timeframe is to free our thinking from the constraints of the “now.” It allows us…


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