A Shelf is No Place for a Strategic Plan
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If you’re the leader of a company, you’ve probably spent time taking your management team offsite and creating a strategic plan. You’ve probably created a 1 year, 3 year or 5 year plan. It reads great and you’re proud of what your team accomplished. You printed it in color and put it in a nice binder. Each person on the team is given a copy and the binder’s now prominently displayed on everyone’s shelf. In today’s world, you might have even created a special file or space on your corporate hard drive to put the plan so everyone can look at it. Nice Job! Now what?
As a leader, how do you make a strategic plan live at your company? What are the ways in which this plan can drive change, growth and improvement? At Assurance, we grappled with this issue ourselves and have created a process to make the plan an active document. The following are the four processes we’ve created to allow our annual strategic plan to “live” at Assurance:
- Strategic Projects
At the end of the planning session, we create 5–7 corporate projects we want to achieve in the year to move our plan forward. The projects are voted upon by the group to decipher how to reduce a large list of potential projects down to 5–7.
- Project Plans
Each project is given a project leader. This project leader assembles a project team. It’s the responsibility of this team to complete the project.
- Monthly Plan Review
There are two leadership teams at Assurance: Our Senior Management Team (a larger group) and the Executive Team (a smaller group). The Executive Team has a meeting each month where the overall plan is reviewed to ensure all areas of the company are on track.
- Quarterly Plan Review
Quarterly, the Senior Management Team meets to review each of the corporate projects to ensure each project is on a path to completion. Many times at this meeting, insight is given from other members that helps or aids the project team.
These are four simple processes that help us make sure our strategic plan doesn’t just sit on the shelf. One additional benefit of having a process like ours is that it helps bring your leadership together, as they‘re meeting with some frequency to achieve projects and goals.
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