A strategic plan sounds intimidating but is far simpler than many leaders believe it to be. In its most elemental form, a strategic plan first identifies who you are and what your purpose is as an organization, and what you want to achieve. Then, the strategic plan sets out a pathway for achieving your goals, breaking them down into daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual goals, while also assigning staff, resources and timelines to each goal.
Defining Your Organization’s Identity
The first section of a strategic plan deals with the overarching picture of your organization and ties in several crucial statements:
- The Values Statement: Can you boil down your organization’s elemental values to just three? When making a business decision, which value or values are non-negotiable?
- The Mission Statement: What is the general purpose of your organization? Why does it exist? What good does it do and for whom?
- The Vision Statement: Where are you going as a business? Where do you want to be in 3 to 5 years?
Defining Your Organization’s Path to Success
With these foundational statements in place, the next section of your strategic plan becomes very practical:
- General objectives: What does your organization need to do each year to be on the road to success?
- Annual, Quarterly and Monthly goals: Establish specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound goals that mark the path to success. Assign a staff member responsibility for each goal, along with resources (equipment, budget, staff) and reporting mechanisms.
- Hold daily team huddles of 10 minutes or less to discuss progress, necessary resources, potential barriers, and opportunities for improvement.
- Have staff members submit informal weekly progress and formal monthly goal status reports.
- Hold quarterly strategic planning review sessions with key leadership and staff.
- Hold strategic planning meetings with full strategic team (executives, key managers, top staff, critical vendors, community members, industry stakeholders, etc.) every one to three years
With these two elements in place, you have a strategic plan that will serve your organization for years.