darren-nowThe year is always bookended by goals. We create them at the beginning of the year, then circle back around in December to see if we achieved them. What’s left in the middle? If you’re doing it right, a lot of hard work and hustle. But you don’t have to make this process difficult.

That’s where strategic planning comes in. Strategic planning is all about organizing and managing your priorities, energy, resources, team and operations toward a common goal. This encompasses all the ongoing activities and tasks that will get you to the finish line.

A strategic plan starts with a document that can communicate:

– Your team’s goals
– The actions needed to achieve these goals
– The elements that will be required once you’ve mapped out your journey to success

The value of a strategic plan is that it brings your aspirations into focus. It’s like a roadmap in that it lays out where you are, where you’re going, and how you’re going to get there in the safest, fastest, most direct route possible.

This sort of comprehensive plan also allows you to identify your team’s strengths and weaknesses as you create and delegate tasks and analyze results. This can be a great asset as it gives you perspective on where your team stacks up in the current market and where you are in relation to competitors.

Creating a strategic plan may seem like a fancy management exercise, but rest assured, it’s not. Thanks to this focus-driven approach, team members know exactly what they need to do – and precisely what is expected of them. It gives your group a sense of purpose as no one should walk away from this exercise unsure of what the common goal is or their role in it. When you leave a strategic planning session, you should have a well-defined mission, crystal-clear goals and objectives you need to accomplish.

It’s as simple as that. If you haven’t built out your strategic plan for 2021, block out some time for you and your team to plan and brainstorm.

Regional Vice President - Southwest

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