Yesterday Mandy and I conducted the bookend to our 2015 Opportunity Session, our 2015 Strategy Session. As stated in our Opportunity Session post, we take time and discuss and document all of the current, potential known and potentially created opportunities. The opportunity session is long, but the process is rather easy. The hardest thing is trying to separate all legitimate from invalid opportunities. The Strategy Session, that is a different ball game.
During the Strategy Session we have to take all of the legitimate opportunities and put them in a structure. This involves estimating timelines, assigning responsibilities and creation of action items. This is all pulled together into an overall strategic plan that can be used to implement tactics over the next year.
The most challenging part of this is allowing for flex. No one and I mean no one can accurately plan out every action over the next 12 months. So, you have to establish your plans in the short-term and give them more actionable detail. As the time frame extends out, you more or less set milestones that you strive to achieve. As you get closer to the milestones, you edit the strategic plan and insert relevant more detailed and actionable tasks. This continues through completion of the plan at year’s end.
One thing that I have found is that this is more difficult to do for myself than when I am contracted to do this for businesses. I commonly get to ask others questions and, from an impartial 3rd party position, begin to formulate the strategic plan and then present it for review. In this process for myself, I essentially have to ask myself and Mandy the questions, give the answers, develop the plan and then review the plan all while trying to keep emotions, that may make us stray from logic, out of the equation.
But we did it and the 2015 Strategic Plan is now developed. The only step left is to organize it in an easily readable document so that we can begin its implementation. In my opinion, the implementation is the fun part! We are thrilled with the prospects and looking forward to an exciting 2015. Safe Travels.