3 Common Strategic Planning Practices that Suck The Life Out of Teams: How To End Them And Get All Hands On Deck!

Aiming for a step-change in performance in 2019? Start now!

Don’t let a plodding strategic planning process suck time and energy from your team, and set the wrong tone for the next year.

You’ve got a lot riding on your 2019 plan; let’s set the bar higher!

Here are three tactics that you can use to create a breakthrough in the quality and impact of your 2019 planning efforts. By no means a complete list, I hope this offers a glimpse into how you could be settling for a sub-optimal planning cycle in your business, and what you can do about it.

  1. Set the date to roll-out your 2019 plan in November, not February. Give yourself adequate time to complete a proper “double-loop” that leverages and engages your staff (yes everyone) well before people take holidays in December. This may be obvious, but many teams don’t complete, approve or roll-out plans until well into the new year. Late plans lead to confusion and chaos in the opening months that puts schedules and budgets in jeopardy.
  2. During strategic off-sites, help your people focus on the year ahead! At late-year planning sessions, most attendees are more concerned about the security of their bonus (and possibly their job) than the company’s future. Posturing, finger-pointing, and sand-bagging become more important than “how best to focus and shift the business.” As their leader, you must lay a groundwork of confidence so the team can rise above short-term fears and urges and address the long-term strategy and vision.
  3. Start visioning exercises early with your team, and before setting the budget. Trying to realize the future from within the limits of an old funding model makes no sense – it’s backwards and impedes progress. Instead, focus on articulating the new strategy’s return on investment first, then the capital and operational budget needed to deliver on that promise.

Finally, within a high-performance structure, many of the problems associated with annual planning cycles go away. These organizations are continually in a state of planning, execution, and renewal: the plan is ever-green and continuously evolving. With a high-performance structure and culture, everyone shares the same vision and understands the plan 12, 24 and 60 months out.
2019 is almost here. Will this be the year where you decide to become a high-performance team?
You can do it!
Tim Sweet
A FREE TOOL TO HELP YOU: Use the TWE Big5 checklist to consider high-performance for your team and how to get there. 5 simple questions that help you get real, get together, get moving on performance!

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