The Start of Another Year

So. Another year.

If, by chance, you haven’t already established your strategic plan for 2013, now’s a good time to jump in and get it done before you’re completely swamped with day-to-day activities.

Another year.

Another year.

In some ways, not having a lot of time to fuss around can be a very good thing. It makes you zero in on critical priorities without starting to second guess everything.

However, it’s worthwhile putting your thought process into two components.

Strategic: What, why and how

Using your trusty balanced scorecard framework, put down in writing the overall objectives that are necessary from financial, customer, process and learning & growth perspectives along with their rationale and basic approach.

If you’ve already created a set of metrics that you use for tracking your organization’s health – and hopefully you have – establishing new targets shouldn’t be a huge effort. Keeping metrics stable over time can be a very good thing; it lets you focus on progress rather than obsessing on what the correct measurement should be.

Tactical: Who, when and where

Now it’s time to execute. If you can’t determine the ownership and timeline of the strategic initiatives, you might as well not bother with any of it; simply let nature takes its course.

On the other hand, it’s a great time to let everyone in on the plan; you might be surprised that certain people will be more than willing to “abandon” old activities or practices to make way for the initiatives required to maintain success. More than a few hands might go up.

Agenda Management

Finally, and to sound like a broken record, let agenda management be your best friend. Make your monthly management meeting an enjoyable place where strategic conversation can pick up where it left off. Don’t ask people what they want on the agenda; pre-populate it based on your scorecard and initiatives. It should pretty much look the same month by month. Let the initiative owners know to speak to their status.

Momentum is everything. Plan the work, then work the plan.

Happy new year!

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