Strategic planning for the next year, formal or informal, is what most people are busy with right
now and it is sad to see that most organizations do not execute to achieve their strategic plans — 2017 is not over
yet and a good push in the last quarter can enable a great finish.
So, it begs the question,
“Running start or great finish?”
We have found that less than 50% of the
organizations have formal annual strategic plans and less than 10% of those have tied their strategic plans to execution.
It is no surprise then that the top three issues revealed in our research on operational metrics indicated
Operational excellence has not been moving the needle – profitability and growth
Metrics are not aligned with the primary goal — mission, vision and values
are fluff for leadership and do not drive action – not meaningful to the doers
While conducting a workshop on “strategy cascading” for one of our clients; the strategic plan
was already in place and they had requested we facilitate a session to connect their strategy to their daily visual management.
It was interesting to note that not a single departmental head (vice presidents), knew the targets for their department —
“Oh! I didn ‘t know that was our target!”. It was this session that made everyone aware of their target
and drove them to develop plans to achieve it. You can imagine how much of the strategic plan would have been accomplished
if we had not held that session! Right now, the same organization is on track to almost accomplish their overall goal for
In another case, the organization was scrambling to hit end-of-year cash targets,
to the exclusion of almost everything else, including resources to execute the current plan. Strategic planning was delayed
well into the new year, with cascading not occurring until mid-year. Thus began a spiral into several years of poor results.
Going back to the question, “Running start or great finish?” — Why not both? At
this time of year, most organizations are focusing on the next year and a few are giving the last push to make the current
year a great success. Success begets success! It is important to have a great success this year — it is not the time
to give up! While some planning needs to be done for the next year, this is the time to focus on:
The current status of actual-to-plan
Identifying the gap
Bridging the gap
Garnering all organizational efforts to refocus on making
2017 a great year
Avoiding distractions like major focus on next year and deploying
With this challenging economy and the shedding of any extra fat
in the organizations, most people are busy these days: dealing with chaos, catching up with training, learning new tools,
planning for next year, and a few people executing their strategic plans.
ignore planning for next year. We need to strike a balance. In our mind we need to have a ratio, 80% focus on achieving the
goal and 20% for planning the future. Without a conscious decision, most people would prefer to talk and sit in meetings for
next year than to make things happen in this year.
The choice is ours. Yes, ours, and
each of us has a choice to make:
Structured, proactive and focused on executing the
NEXT SYNDROME — Live in the future rather than the present, focusing
on the next year, next new thing to implement, next new tool to be trained on, and be reactive to daily business
We will all be making the right choice for the fate of our organization and our people! We
wish you success!!