Everything has changed. Have you revised your strategic plan to continue to scale your business? During these unprecedented times, all company leaders need to take a step back, evaluate where they are relative to their competition and where they are going, and then build and implement a new strategic plan. As a serial CEO and executive coach, I’ve helped many companies break through growth barriers and exceed shareholder expectations over the past 20 years.
No matter their size, all companies hit natural barriers resulting from company growth, market evolution, and out-of-date products and services. The secret to success is to not only make sure you take the time and work with your team to create and implement a new plan, but also that you are consistently monitoring your OKRs and business metrics to track your progress. To take your company to the next level, there is no time like the present to take a step back and prepare your company for your next stage of growth. Like Benjamin Franklin said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” Creating your new strategic plan is essential to ensure your resources are moving in the right direction. Everyone in your organization needs to clearly understand what success means for the company and how they contribute to that success.
Where are you going, and how are you making a difference?
It’s easy to get caught up working on the next task on your list or the latest email or text, but the most successful leaders take the time to work on the business, not just in the business. As a leader, it’s your responsibility to take a step back and make sure you are going in the right direction and have the right people working on the right priorities.
What are your purpose, mission, vision and values?
Having the right culture is critical for your success, and culture grows from your purpose, mission, vision and values. Your vision statement describes the idealistic view of where you are going long term. Your mission statement describes the steps to accomplish your vision, and your values are the “rules of the road” along the way. Your purpose statement describes the difference you are making in the world and why your employees should come to work every day.
What is the current state of affairs?
To get to any destination, you must first know where you are. Having an honest understanding of where your current business is today will help you make the right decisions for the future. It’s easy to get caught up in your day-to-day deliverables and lose sight of the big picture. The best way to understand where the business is today is to speak with your employees, customers and partners. Asking questions like it’s your first day on the job will give you new insight into your current reality.
Who are your customers?
As customers and markets evolve, many companies lose sight of the problems they are solving. Likewise, you need to have a realistic view of your competition and what bets you are making to win next year and in years to come. Customers are demanding, and unless your products and services are at least three times better, you may not win their business at a competitive price. As you dig into your future products, services and customer success strategy, you should also figure out what you will stop doing. Trying to be all things to all customers is a great way to burn out your team and deplete your capital.
What is your ideal organization?
Now that you understand who you are, why your employees should care, what problems you are solving, and what bets you will make to beat your completion, it’s time to start with the end in mind. The right way to build your organization is to start with a “clean sheet of paper.” Instead of taking your current team and adding responsibilities to their existing roles, design your ideal future organization and leadership roles. You can then evaluate who on your team can step into those roles versus the positions you will need to fill with new team members.
What should you measure and why?
Now it’s time to put real numbers behind your ambitions. Defining your KPIs (key performance indicators) and articulating how you will measure success is not only critical to hitting your targets but also to employee satisfaction. For your team to take full ownership of their goals and outcomes, you must take a collaborative approach when building your metrics and OKRs (objectives and key results). To confirm you are not tracking too many metrics, run this test: Make sure that every metric helps you understand what to do more of if the numbers are moving in the right direction. If you are missing your goals, this will help you identify your issues. As your business scales, you should also define and be prepared to implement new scalable processes and systems to streamline your daily reporting, operations and collaboration.
Ideas are free; it’s all about execution.
Now it’s time to dig in and deliver results. Whether you are tracking daily, weekly or monthly metrics, you need to set up the right meeting cadence to review the results so you can do more of what’s working and less of what’s not. It will also take planning to ensure that everyone in the organization is working together. Be prepared to roll up your sleeves and put in the hours to take your company to the next level. Now that your team is working “smarter,” do not forget to celebrate your successes along the way. To have sustainable and scalable growth, you want to create an environment where people feel trusted and understand how they make a difference. With the right strategic plan, you can build an ecosystem that thrives from within, and everyone will enjoy the journey as you scale your business.