Today we’re continuing our discussion of things to consider to help you capitalize on new opportunities post-COVID. If you have yet to look through Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3, you may find a few helpful tips there about external, internal, and vision-level elements.
This post will help you translate your analysis and vision into the operational steps necessary for implementation. Again, I suggest thinking of this like a mind map with various branches that you can later re-evaluate for implementation.
- First, review your Mission, Values, Vision, and Goals. If you made any changes or updates based on Part 3, what are the strategy implications? What actions will you need to take to implement those updates?
- Review your existing strategies and actions. What is still relevant? What is no longer relevant? What has been achieved? What was intentionally abandoned? What has received little or no attention lately? Why? Is it still relevant? If so, what tweaks are needed to motivate action?
- If you added or made changes to strategic goals in Part 3 of this series, have you incorporated those goal statements into any existing strategic plan document? Are strategies grouped under the correct goals? If you added goals, do you need to create new strategies to move those goals to completion? If so, perhaps review your external and internal analyses for strategy ideas. Do any existing strategies need to be moved under new goals?
- Reviewing your analyses from Part 1 and Part 2, what strategy or action ideas do these analyses inspire that are not codified in any current strategic plan? Under what goals do those best fit?
- Overall, keep in mind that strategies are series or patterns of action that move us closer to the completion of Goals that make our Vision a reality and help us fulfill our Mission.
- Performance Measures
- Review any responsible party assignments for existing strategies. Do these parties know/remember they are responsible for these strategies? If not, how would you remind them? If so, do they have any status updates that would be helpful? Do they need any new or additional resources to make further progress?
- Review any new strategy additions. Who should be responsible for those strategies? Did they have or do they need input into refining and finalizing the strategies? How else can you bring them “into the loop” to make sure they own these actions and move them to completion?
- Review existing and add new deadlines, interim progress timelines, and similar time measures. When should items be completed given what we’ve all been through in the last year? What are the true immediate priorities for completion in the next 12-18 months? What can be pushed to the back burner for a little longer to focus on recovery and opportunity strategies?
- Review any existing performance measures and metrics. Are these still the appropriate measures of success to know you are making progress toward completing strategies and achieving goals? Do responsible parties know how their performance and progress are being measured? Have they contributed ideas to what are actual relevant measures?
- For any new strategy additions, add performance measures and any interim progress metrics. Think “from x to y by when”; or what is our current baseline, what is our goal, and what is our timeline. Be realistic. Be sure to ask for input from responsible parties or others who have access to more or better data than you may.
- Review any baseline data you already have. Is it still accurate and relevant? If not, can you easily obtain new data? If not, how can you establish new and better baselines?
- Are your performance measures aligned with any changes you made to your Mission, Values, Vision, and Goals? If not, what changes are needed?
- Do you have an internal roll-out plan for your updated strategy and related plans? How do you plan to communicate your revised Vision, Goals, and Strategies? How can you, simultaneously, instill confidence in your team that you will all find a way through the remaining uncertainty together? How can you remind them of successes you’ve already experienced since March 2020, and point out opportunities on which you all can capitalize as you move forward?
- Does your team know about any Values and operating procedure changes? Are the areas where you intend to return to “normal” aligned with your team’s expectations of our new reality?
- How and to what external parties will you communicate any changes and updates about your plans? How will you instill confidence in your suppliers and customers that you are prepared to move forward with enthusiasm and success? What opportunities are there to engage them in your new Vision, and how will you share that and motivate their participation?
- When and how will you check in on progress on strategies and goals? Do the appropriate parties know about those check-ins?
Again, these are just a few things to consider, not an exhaustive list. Keep in mind that most strategic plans and visions break down at the execution or implementation stages. Spend some time here, thinking especially about how you will communicate changes and updates and motivate your team.
In our final post in this series, we will look at how to put all of this together to prepare well for the next crisis…whatever that may be.
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