Everyday strategic planning
The words ‘Strategic planning’ easily conjure up a confused image of senior members of an organisation making decisions.However, I have come to learn that sometimes terminology and some pre-conceived ideas of things we do not fully understand can often hide a simple and effective message.
We practice good strategic planning in our day to day working and personal lives on many levels, we possibly just don’t realise it! I have been thinking about this and looking at what we do as a team, and I have found that we achieve our organisational vision through activities we do already.When everyone works together and is decisive about setting small, achievable goals, it ultimately enables us to navigate towards where we want to go.
Some simple steps which help this process for our team:
- Regular team meetings each week; be it 15 minutes or 2 hours, coming together as a team to communicate and plan how we best support each other on projects, and managing our priorities is a key part of creating a strategy for our work. This is only effective when it takes place regularly, ideally on the same day and where possible the same time. Then it becomes a rhythm. It takes effort to make this happen, but we find it a key part of strategic working. Without it, we would not function as effectively as a team.
- Easy to follow but robust processes that everyone understands.Clear guidance and processes reassure people and ensures that everyone is clear about where and how to manage activities.
- Re-establishing and returning to our “North”. We review and focus regularly (usually twice a year) on things such as team roles and responsibilities, marketing plans and innovative ideas, in order to make sure everyone is working effectively towards the same goal and is clear on the direction of travel.
- Finally, a very important part of creating a strategic way of working is to stop and look at what we are doing and check it works! Otherwise there seems little point in the effort put in. As Winston Churchill once wisely stated:
“However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.”