As football season gets under way commentators fill hours of airtime predicting the strengths and weaknesses of teams, coaches, and players. Everyone involved understands that a pattern of success has an inherent vulnerability. As it was depicted in the 2009 film of the same name, it is a good practice to know your strengths and to place powerful and trusted people on your blind side.
This is also the season when many focus on strategic planning. While there is a standard playbook for the process it is the strengths of the team that shape its direction and success in implementation. For most the process looks something like this:
- Define or revisit the mission, the stated purpose for which you show up to work.
- Describe the current state of the company. This is often accomplished using the SWOT analysis to discuss Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.
- Customer analysis, look at who currently buys from you and why they do.
- Depict a future state. Based on all the information gathered set goals for reaching the desired future state in three to five years.
- Prioritize the objectives. Assign action items, target due dates for completion, and criteria for review.
- Align these goals with rewards and accountability so that people are working out the strategic plan every day.
I suggest we add a preseason to strategic planning season. Preparation will make all the difference in the outcome. Lets start the planning by thinking about who will be in the room. You have a personality, your team has a style, and your company has a culture. These are different terms of scale, all defining the way we get things done.