A number of years ago in a corporate job, strategic plan binders filled an entire shelf in my office. We blue-skied and we wrote up 50 pages of tactical to-do lists. We were headed in the right direction, but we missed the target because we added every possible strategy plus the kitchen sink. The plan overwhelmed the team. So the binders gathered dust while daily business priorities took over.
“Been there. Done that. Bought the T-shirt!” I hear you.
Organizations that build measurable dashboards for one or two strategies banish dusty binders and make progress that matters. Start by choosing one or two strategies within four priorities:
1. Improving customer experience
2. Improving internal processes
3. Engaging your team
4. Watching your financial performance
You’ll get five to seven immediate needs for each priority out of your board and senior leadership. Fine. Give everyone three sticky notes and give them the chance to select their top three priorities. The top two or three vote-getters become your strategies.
Set up a measurement dashboard for your strategies that you track each month. Check-off achievements or use a red, yellow and green progress chart. Celebrate by praising the top performers who get it done in front of your board and senior managers. Highlight them in your company communications, on Facebook, whatever. Then, move on to the next target. Soon you’ll find you have something to celebrate at the board meeting every month.
That builds employee engagement and a can-do culture. Can-do people really care about customers. People who win want to win again.
That’s a recipe for success.