Strategic Plan > Quarterly Priorities workshop


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In this workshop Stephen Lynch guides you through a curated selection of some of the key elements of the strategic planning process to help you identify the current issues facing your business, and then align and focus your team on the key strategic moves you need to make to set your company up for success.

Plus you’ll see examples of how you can use the management software platform to fully engage your people in the execution of your chosen Strategic Projects & Tasks, and how to drive increased accountability for performance.

Published in: Business
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Strategic Plan > Quarterly Priorities workshop

  1. 1. Strategic Planning -> Quarterly Priorities Stephen Lynch
  2. 2.
  3. 3. - One Page Strategic Plan
  4. 4. Access your Strategic Plan from the software
  5. 5. - One Page Strategic Plan
  6. 6. Review Strategic Execution
  7. 7. What were the notable achievements you / your team accomplished? List your answers below:
  8. 8. What did you START doing that has been of value? List your answers below:
  9. 9. What did you STOP doing ? List your answers below:
  10. 10. How effectively did you measure progress and keep it visible? List your answers below:
  11. 11. In the past, we used Spreadsheets / MS Excel
  12. 12. Now we use software
  13. 13. Key Performance Indicators / Key Metrics
  14. 14. Everyone knows their own individual accountabilities
  15. 15. They can also see how the entire team is performing
  16. 16. Team leaders can drill down to identify the cause
  17. 17. Looks like one person is holding the team back
  18. 18. What are the reasons for this trend?
  19. 19. Craig
  20. 20. Take action to diagnose and solve the problem
  21. 21. How well did you hold each other accountable for hitting KPI “Green” thresholds, & achieving Task deadlines? List your answers below:
  22. 22. What valuable lessons did you learn during the last planning cycle? List your answers below:
  23. 23. What is Strategy?
  24. 24. "If everything you do needs to work on a 3 year time horizon, then you're competing against a lot of people. But if you're willing to invest on a 7 year time horizon, you're now competing against a fraction of those people, because very few companies are willing to do that. We can't realize our potential as people or as companies unless we plan for the long term."
  25. 25. “Companies need to operate with one eye focused on the short-term, and one eye focused on the long-term. Short-term is about projects related to improving the current core business, and meeting the needs of today’s target customers.” Philip Kotler
  26. 26. “Long-term is NOT about performance improvement. It is about forgetting the past and reshaping the business to compete more effectively in the future. Often, this demands bold, disruptive strategic moves away from the present to reshape the company for future success.” Philip Kotler
  27. 27. Gary Hamel
  28. 28. Industry Analysis
  29. 29. “The questions remain the same. It’s the answers that keep changing” Albert Einstein
  30. 30. Don’t know the answer to a question? You need to know! What will you do to find out?
  31. 31. Rivalry between existing competitors
  32. 32. Who are your Key Competitors? (the “players”) What moves are they likely to make? ( Industry life cycle: introduction > growth > maturity > decline / Industry growth rate / Industry profitability / Number of competitors / Market share / Capital requirements / Globalization / Commoditization / Cost advantages / Economies of scale / Friendly vs. Aggressive competition) List your answers below:
  33. 33. New Entrants
  34. 34. "Firms are remarkably creative in defending their entrenched technologies, which often reach unimaginable heights of elegance and design and technical performance only when their demise is clearly predictable.“ James Utterback
  35. 35. “ Out there in some garage is an entrepreneur who's forging a bullet with your company's name on it. You've got one option - shoot first ” Gary Hamel
  36. 36. What New Entrants could disrupt you? ( Industry barriers / Capital requirements / Learning requirements / Access to supplies / Access to distribution / Performance vs. incumbents / Perceived differentiation in customers’ mind / Loyalty to incumbents / Switching costs / Retaliation by incumbents / “Innovator’s dilemma”) List your answers below:
  37. 37. Substitutes
  38. 38. What Substitute products / services could disrupt you? ( Technology changes / Industry structure changes / Availability of substitutes / Performance of substitutes / Perceived differentiation in customers’ mind / Switching costs / Customer desire to seek out alternative solutions to satisfy their need) List your answers below:
  39. 39. Suppliers
  40. 40. “Who” or “What” do you need to pay for to run your business?
  41. 41. Who are your Key Suppliers? What moves are they likely to make? ( Cost of supplies / Negotiating power of suppliers / Access to alternative sources of supply / Switching costs / Forward integration – supplier becomes competitor) List your answers below:
  42. 42. Customers
  43. 43. Who are your Key Customers? What moves are they likely to make? ( Customer demographic and psychographic description / Power to dictate prices or terms / Ability to influence other customers / Customer reviews / Perception of differentiation between vendors / Loyalty / Switching costs / Backward integration – customer becomes competitor) List your answers below:
  44. 44. Political Factors
  45. 45. What political factors / laws / regulations are likely to impact you? ( Industry specific regulations / political spectrum left vs. right / political stability / laws / taxes / trade policy / wars / environmental issues / health / safety / consumer laws / employment laws) List your answers below:
  46. 46. Economic Factors
  47. 47. What economic factors / changes in buying behaviors are likely to impact you? ( Economic growth / interest rates / exchange rates / inflation / availability of credit / investor interest in your industry / changes in customer purchasing habits / use of debt and leverage vs. more frugal spending) List your answers below:
  48. 48. Social Factors
  49. 49. What social factors / trends / attitudes / behaviors are likely to impact you? ( Demographic trends / career attitudes / health issues / environmental concerns / communication styles / social behaviors / online behaviors / media consumption / purchasing behaviors / cultural differences / generational differences / income equality / society’s evolving attitudes, values & beliefs) List your answers below:
  50. 50. Technology Factors
  51. 51. What technological factors / trends / are likely to impact you? (New technologies / Rate of technology adoption / Impact of internet and mobile / Social media / New devices & interfaces / Jobs replaced by technology / Business models disrupted by technology) List your answers below:
  52. 52. “Leaders must decide: What is our business? What should it be? What is not our business? What should it not be?” Peter Drucker
  53. 53. “Strategy is resource allocation. When you strip away all the noise, that’s what it comes down to. Strategy means making clear cut choices about how to compete. You cannot be everything to everybody. You have to figure out what to say NO to” Jeff Immelt
  54. 54. “Many managers do not understand the importance of having a clear strategy. Strategy is about making trade-offs. The essence of strategy is choosing what NOT to do.” Michael Porter
  55. 55. “The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say "no" to almost everything” Warren Buffett
  56. 56. “The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say "no" to almost everything” Warren Buffett
  57. 57. What do you need to START doing? (Because it is strategically important for your long term success = “Core”) List your answers below:
  58. 58. What do you need to STOP doing? (Because it no longer serves you / not working out / purposeful abandonment = “Non Core”) List your answers below:
  59. 59. - One Page Strategic Plan
  60. 60. Describe your current reality and make it obvious !!
  61. 61. Be specific with your SWOT: Use 3-5 word phrases “Our people” is not a strength What is it about your people that makes your team strong? E.g. “Highly qualified software engineers” “Marketing” is not a weakness What is it about marketing that is weak currently? E.g. “Insufficient # of target customer leads” “Communication” is not a weakness What is not being communicated? E.g. “Strategy not well understood”
  62. 62. Think like a VC
  63. 63. What are the top strengths / assets / competencies within your business you can leverage (or build) in the next 12 months? Rank your Top 5 Strengths in order:
  64. 64. What are the biggest weaknesses within your current business that could be fixed or improved in the next 12 months? Rank your Top 5 Weaknesses in order:
  65. 65. What opportunities can you pursue over the next 12 months (aligned to your BHAG & 3-5 Year Strategic Moves) that will position your company for future success? Rank your Top 5 Opportunities in order:
  66. 66. What external threats do you need to reduce (or closely monitor) to ensure they do not derail your plans? Rank your Top 5 Threats in order:
  67. 67. - One Page Strategic Plan
  68. 68. Current Strategic Projects
  69. 69. “Every leader needs to clearly explain the top 3 things the company is working on. If you can't, then you're not leading well” Jeffrey Immelt
  70. 70. “SMART” Projects S Specific M Measurable A Achievable R Relevant T Time bound
  71. 71. What are the top 3 Strategic Projects your company (or team) needs to execute the coming period? - Each must address 1 or more issues described in your SWOT analysis (relevant) - Describe the tangible end-point milestones (so you know when to celebrate) - Balance short-term business improvement initiatives ( = improving “what is”) vs. building long-term strategic capability for the future ( = creating “what will be”) Current Strategic Project 1. 2. 3. Due Date Person Accountable
  72. 72. - One Page Strategic Plan
  73. 73. Single Point Accountability Many people can be involved in executing each Strategic Project, but only 1 person can be named accountable for the overall outcome The project leader makes sure everything “gets done” (it does not necessarily mean they do it all themselves) You may be leader in some projects and a follower in others
  74. 74. Balance Optimism with Realism Set yourself up to succeed. “Stuff happens”. Fires need fighting. Set realistic outcomes and due dates that take into account “stuff happens” - yet still achieve your milestones. Don’t underestimate the difficulties and challenges you will face. Your colleagues are counting on you. Only make promises that you know you will be able to keep.
  75. 75. Strategic Project #1 Associated Individual Tasks Due Date Person Accountable
  76. 76. Strategic Project #2 Associated Individual Tasks Due Date Person Accountable
  77. 77. Strategic Project #3 Associated Individual Tasks Due Date Person Accountable
  78. 78. Make time for Strategic Execution: The #1 Thing 90% of your time is spent on “Business as usual” activities You still need to create opportunities, make sales, deliver products and services, and collect money…. i.e. the things you do every day to pay the bills. Set aside 10% of your time ( ½ day) every week for strategic execution. Aim to complete 1 specific meaningful task “the #1 thing” that will move each Strategic Project forward.
  79. 79. What does being accountable overall for the execution of a Strategic Project mean? – – – You make sure everything “gets done” related to this Project Colleagues with associated Tasks report to you as “project leader” You meet with the project team on a weekly basis to make sure: – Current status of the Project is up to date (% complete / color / commentary) – You are aware of issues / delays - and know when it will actually be completed – The #1 TASK to move each project forward each week is agreed and visible – You help source the necessary support to keep things on track – You report to the company leadership once per week showing that you fully understand what is happening and have things under control
  80. 80. Tip: Due Dates In the first 2 weeks of the period allow people to research and plan the execution of their individual Projects and Tasks Agree and “lock in” the due dates after this 2 week window We have now set the “rules of the game” for this quarter. We do not alter the due dates after this point If a project falls overdue, there may be a valid reason but you must show that the person did not complete their Project / Task on time
  81. 81. Using software to track projects
  82. 82. Strategic Projects  RED = Project behind schedule. Sound alarm!  YELLOW = Watch closely. Need help?  GREEN = Project on schedule
  83. 83. Team View
  84. 84. Drill down into the Accounting Team
  85. 85. Team View
  86. 86. Project Goal with associated Tasks
  87. 87. Project Goal with associated Tasks
  88. 88. How will you keep progress visible on your Projects? How will you hold people accountable for Task achievement? List your answers below:
  89. 89. Get the software demo: Get the slide deck: Connect with Stephen Lynch: