Worried you are not using your strategy enough? 4 steps to jump start it!

Louise with post-itsWhen was the last time you worked with your strategic plan? If it is 6 months or more you should be concerned and it is time to get curious as to why.

Your team invested time, money and energy into the plan’s development and these are not things you intended to squander I’m sure. So what part of the process has caused the plan to start to collect dust on your boardroom shelf?

Jump start it! With these simple steps revive your strategy, recover some of the energy and drive better results?

Three basic steps I suggest to get started and energized:

Step 1:  Conduct a strategy audit (below is a quick jump-start version)

Step 2:  Based on results, take three specific actions to start

Step 3:  Institute a 30-day meeting cycle for the first three months and then a 90-day meeting cycle after that

One additional step to ensure sustainability of your strategic conversations:

Step 4:  Improve your performance measurement process so you have objective data for your strategy progress conversations.

Tips to make Step 1 an easy and productive kick-off:

Step 1.1:  Book a two-hour meeting in a room that allows you to work collaboratively with wall space and flip charts (eg. no big boardroom table that doesn’t move)

Step 1.2:  Develop an agenda that states the purpose of the meeting and what you expect to accomplish in those 2 hours (eg. Why aren’t we using our strategy?)

Ask these simple questions:

  • What’s working about our strategy?
  • What’s not working? Do we know why?
  • Why aren’t we using it more?
  • Then shift to forward-thinking:
    • What does it look like when we are using the strategy well?
    • What 2-3 priorities do we want to take on first?
    • What are our next steps to keep momentum?

Step 1.3:  Invite key influencers who can re-focus your organization’s attention on strategy and collaborate to achieve your meeting outcomes (no less than 4, no more than 7 to start)

Step 1.4:  Facilitate the meeting and get input on all the questions. Set priorities and end with clear next steps with responsibilities and timelines. Set your next meeting date with purpose and outcomes).

There are more complex approaches to strategy audits, but this is one where you can take action that is quick and easy to do. Make sure you act on the input!