Strategy is not Planning

Have you ever noticed that the word strategic is almost always followed by the word planning? It is as if they were created to go together – like peanut butter and jelly.

That, however, is NOT the case!

Strategy is about tough choices. It is about deciding WHAT the organization is going to do – not HOW. And it does not need to be painful, cost a ton of money or take days of your executive’s time.

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Strategic Purpose

  • Identify/Verify Mission, Vision & Values

  • Verify focus – Customer Intimacy, Operational Excellence or Premium Product

  • Review and Update Areas of Focus

  • Understand where we are currently (what is going well, what could we be doing better


Strategic Definitions

  • Define the Areas of Focus – what does winning look like

  • Complete an Environmental Scan – what is going on in the industry, regulatory, communities we serve, member, employee, stakeholders, etc.

  • Dream of the future by asking: What does world class look like?  What could be?


Strategic Priorities

(Focused 1-3 years)
  • Compare the list of future & world class to what is happening currently – what are the differences?

  • Identify where we need to focus the next 1-3 years

  • Prioritize the focus for the next 12-18 months

  • Remember – Great leaders say no to good ideas


Strategic Planning

(Next 12-18 Months)
  • How we will accomplish the prioritized list

  • What resources are needed (e.g. budget, time, people)?

  • Formalize the outcomes of the priority – how will you measure success beyond just getting the work done?


Strategic Execution

  • Work the plan & review monthly (at a minimum)

  • Adjust the plan and priorities based on the needs of the business – if something new needs to start, determine what needs to pause or have resources adjusted to accomplish the determined outcomes

  • Follow the monthly meeting review process