Charting Your Course vs. Any Wind Will Do



Here we are…halfway through Q1 of 2020.  Is your family business on track with its strategic plan, executing without drama and producing industry-leading results? Yes? No? 

Are you among those that don’t have a plan?

One of the biggest barriers to growth that we find in family businesses is the lack of a written strategic plan.  Why written? Because research shows when you write down your goals, you are 42% more likely to achieve the desired results. Who doesn’t want those odds on their side?

Larger organizations don’t give a second thought to strategic planning. They just do it. They make the investment of time, energy and a focused team effort. Committing to writing out a strategic plan annually is how you get your team focused on a small set of clearly articulated outcomes and the actions to produce the desired results.  Smart entrepreneurs know and do the same.  

Running a business without a strategic plan is like sitting in a sailboat in the middle of the ocean with no destination in mind. No map. No compass. You are literally saying “any wind will do”.  When we run our businesses like this, the outcomes are generally not what we’re looking for. 

The KEY to a successful strategic plan is a practical, implementable framework developed by the whole team.  When done well, it creates clarity, confidence and direction for the business. Accountability is built in and the owner begins to feel a sense of shared responsibility amongst the team. 

Our strategic planning platform is the One Page Strategic Plan introduced in Verne Harnish’s breakthrough book, Mastering the Rockefeller Habits, and his follow up book, Scaling Up.  

The One Page Plan provides a logical framework of critical points that charts the course to drive growth:

• Core Values
• Core Purpose
• Core Competencies
• Core Customer
• Brand Promise
• Business Sandbox

• Key 3-Year Thrusts
• Annual Priorities
• Quarterly Rocks

Further insight and alignment come from a SWOT analysis where challenges and opportunities are identified.  This type of deep dive creates new ways to see old problems, surfaces new ideas and aligns the team. It also forces the team to communicate about choices regarding the direction of the company. A strategic plan is a roadmap for focusing people, energy and money on achieving measurable results.

The next step is identifying your BHAG (ala Jim Collins…Big Hairy Audacious Goal). This vision fuels the top five key thrusts (or capabilities) the organization must focus on over the next three years in order to move towards the BHAG.  

From here, the 3-year key thrusts are further broken down into the annual priorities, ”what we are going to do this year?”  Next is to drill down Annual Priorities into Quarterly Rocks, “what we are going to do this quarter – the next 90 days – and who is accountable?”  

This is how you get things done – moving from planning to execution. Without action, you are aimlessly adrift.

Do you know the biggest benefit of strategic planning? THE PROCESS ITSELF! When a team works together to think through future challenges and develops the strategies to break through those barriers, the resulting Strategic Plan can be a real catalyst for growth.  

Under the tools section of our Compass Point website, you can download the One Page Strategic Plan template.  If you're stuck, or you're looking for a coach to help you, visit the events page to check out a number of workshops where you and your team can work on your business.  Or contact us directly for 1:1 coaching on the process.  

The direction of a family business – present and future – needs the right compass. Start your strategic plan here and then take the actions necessary to set sail to the desired destination of success.

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