When you hear “Strategic Business Plan“, what comes to mind for you? Does it conjure up images of pages upon pages of a business plan that no one ever reads? Or teams around a whiteboard with hundreds of post-it notes that will be written into a document that will never see the light of day?
An Aged Approach
That’s certainly what I knew of strategic business plans when working in large corporations. We’d spend days playing with post-it notes, writing up strategies & plans that we’d never remember in the days, weeks, and months that followed & that only the leadership team were privileged to see.
And then we’d write Vision & Mission Statements that were so long that no one could remember them & we’d put our Core Values onto posters & screensavers, to try to help us remember them.
No one really understood any of the Vision, Mission or Core Values & we certainly didn’t live & breathe by them.
Now I am sure it’s not the same in every corporation & have also worked in the local council, I know that they’re far removed from private businesses in the way they operate too.
And that’s been my experience in these larger companies & councils.
However, having run my businesses now for many years & having worked with literally hundreds of family businesses & privately owned businesses through The Icehouse & in my own business coaching practice, I know there is a better way.
A New Way Forward
Strategic, by definition, means relating to the identification of long-term or overall aims and interests and the means of achieving them. A strategic business plan, therefore, is about the long-term & the general direction that you will take to get there.
In my opinion, in a forever changing world & with a global economy, things change too often for you to go into great detail about the long term.
Plus, we know that the best way to achieve your long-term goals is to have all the people in your organisation rowing in the same direction. And to do this is to clearly articulate the long-term vision – which means less is more!
The whole team should know the vision. They should know the plan & should know what is needed to do to help get there.
Using EOS, we help entrepreneurial business owners & their leadership teams develop a strategic business plan in 2 pages – the first page is all about that longer-term vision & what you want to achieve & the 2nd-page brings that vision down to the ground with the goals, rocks & issues or the plan to achieve it. We call that part, Traction.
The great thing about this type of strategic business plan is that it is simple. It’sIt’s easy to get everyone 100% on the same page in terms of where you are headed & there’s no need to spend hours writing a plan that no one will read yet less understand.
In our businesses, we print these out once per quarter & laminate copies for everyone in the business.
We then refer to it at our weekly meetings & our leadership team’s quarterly meetings.
Everyone knows what the plan is. They can clearly articulate what we need to do to get there & they can link their day-to-day work with the plan.
Once you’ve got everyone on the same page, you can start to instil discipline & accountability to achieve your goals.
Getting everyone on the same page for your strategic plan involves having 8 questions answered & articulated in a way that everyone gets them & knows how they fit into that plan. We call that ”shared by all”.
And what are these 8 questions?
- What are your core values?
- What’s your core focus?
- What’s your 10-year target?
- What is your Marketing Strategy?
- What is your 3-year picture?
- What are your 1-year goals?
- What are your 90-day rocks?
- What are your issues?
And that’s it! Use these to:
Clarify. Simplify. Achieve your Vision.
The great thing about using the EOS-proven process & working with an EOS Implementer is that we develop this strategic plan, not in one day of rah-rah offsite meetings, but over time so that we bring people on the journey & we start to make changes to the way that we do things so that we get traction before we turn our laser-sharp focus to the vision.
Now, doesn’t that sound more exciting than post-it notes, core values screen savers & long Mission Statements?
The simplicity of the EOS Tools is that they help good companies run better. EOS has been proven to help thousands of entrepreneurs to clarify their vision, build healthy teams & gain traction in their organisations.
EOS is simple, but fundamentally changing how a business operates can be hard. If you love what you’ve read here & would like to know more about implementing these tools into your company in the most effective way possible, I would be happy to chat with you about how I can guide you & your leadership team through the EOS Process.
Just visit me at EOS worldwide, where you can book a meeting with me or just download the EOS tools, including the 2-page strategic business plan: