There are so many different definitions out there for strategic business planning & it can all seem highly complicated.
I took Wikipedia’s definition (and changed the z’s for s’s as it does my head in!) & this is what it said:
“Strategic planning is an organization’s process of defining its strategy or direction and making decisions on allocating its resources to attain strategic goals.
Strategy has many definitions, but it generally involves setting strategic goals, determining actions to achieve the goals, setting a timeline, and mobilizing resources to execute the actions. A strategy describes how the ends (goals) will be achieved by the means (resources) in a given span of time. Often, Strategic Planning is long term and organizational action steps are established from two to five years in the future. The senior leadership of an organization is generally tasked with determining strategy.”
So, what does this mean?
Well, in a traditional sense, strategic business planning is where the organization’s leaders define the vision for the future, identifying their business goals & objectives. The deliverable is a strategic business plan with a typical time frame of 3-5 years & it typically encompasses things like vision, mission, goals & actions.
It’s usually considered different to business planning, where a business plan tends to focus on short-term tactical goals ranging from several months to several years.
At EOS, we like to simplify things & so our strategic business planning is a simple, 2-page document.
The first page is the Vision page which covers the intrinsic drivers of a business, such as your Core values & Core focus, as well as the 10-year target (or BHAG – Big Hair Audacious Goal), Marketing Strategy & your 3-year picture.
In my opinion, the core focus is a much better way to share your vision with your team – it’s simplified into 2 parts – your why & your what – each told within a simple sentence rather than some long-winded mission statement that no one can remember.
And the 3-year picture is a unique way to start bringing the 10-year Target down to the ground.
Most people struggle to do long-term thinking & underestimate what they can achieve in the long term & overestimate what they can achieve in the short term.
The 3-year picture uses cold hard facts along with emotions to have people visualize where the business is going in the future.
Put together by the whole leadership team through a proven, consultative process, and this page presents the long-term, strategic business plan in a language & style that is easy for everyone to understand.
This keeps everyone on the same page in terms of Vision or where you are heading.
The second page is the Traction page.
This is where the rubber hits the road, or in traditional terms, it’s the business plan.
But again, it’s simple. Just 3 main parts to it.
The first part is the 1-year plan. Then, the targets you have for the year and the 3-7 goals you must achieve.
This then gets broken down into 90-day chunks of work or projects called Rocks. These are the important but not urgent stuff that sits outside everyday work but needs to be done within the 90-day timeframe to move towards the 1-Year Goals, 3-Year Picture & 10-year Target.
Finally, we have the Issues list. This is a place where you keep track of the long-term issues, opportunities or weaknesses & threats that you can’t solve in the short term, but as a leadership team, you need to keep an eye on & discuss them as your quarterly sessions.
And that is the EOS simplified version of strategic business planning.
EOS is simple, but fundamentally changing how a business operates can be hard. If you love what you read in this blog & would like to know more about implementing these tools into your company in the most effective way possible, I would be happy to have a chat with you about how I can guide you & your leadership team through the EOS Process.
And if you would like a copy of this 2-page strategic business plan, along with some insight into how to fill it out, then book a 90 Minute Meeting with Debra Chantry-Taylor, our Certified EOS Implementer – https://calendly.com/debra-chantry-taylor/eos-90-minute-meeting