Wow. Where did the time go? It’s hard to imagine it is time to be thinking about how to move your business forward in the coming year.
No doubt you will spend hours upon hours researching, brainstorming, debating, deciding and documenting how you’ll move your business forward in 2019. And, you (hopefully) involved your employees, seeking their input and rousing excitement in them for the strategies ahead.
But we know how hard it can be to get started. There are countless distractions in the day which can make it hard to get started on something that seems so far in the future. But the work you put into a strategic plan now will help secure the funds you need to carry out a successful plan in the coming year. So don’t give up. Get started. Here are three strategies for jump-starting your 2019 strategic plan and reinvigorating your team.
- Get started;
- Empower your employees; and
- Follow through.
An estimated 20% of all people procrastinate for a variety of reasons, including fear of failure, disorganization, laziness, and depression or anxiety to name a few. For procrastinators, getting started on your plan is the hardest part.
“Procrastination makes easy things hard, hard things harder,” are wise words from famous educator, Mason Cooley. If you’re putting off creating your strategic plan because you aren’t sure where to get started, stop doing that! A large plan can seem daunting, but when you break it down into smaller chunks and delegate key portions of the plan to trusted and competent team members, that plan is much less intimidating.
Once you create your plan and are ready to start putting it into action, keep it on track by implementing consistent and simple strategy reports that will keep yourself and your team accountable. Each goal of the plan should have an owner assigned to it and be sure to give recognition to owners as they complete key portions of the plan. The plan should also be insightful, including an overview of where each objective began and how it’s progressing since you implemented your strategic plan. Using infographics (i.e. charts and related graphics) are extremely helpful in illustrating progression of objectives.
Empower your Team
Empowering your team reinvigorates them, increasing the overall level of ownership and commitment to meeting your plan’s objectives. A study from Zenger Folkman found that only 4% of employees are willing to give extra effort when empowerment is low but 67% are willing when empowerment is high.
According to Forbes Magazine contributor Joseph Folkman, giving employees decision-making authority is very empowering. Before handing over the decision-making authority to employees, leaders need to make sure that employees are skilled and knowledgeable enough to make a good decision. Says, Folkman, “The more control people have over their work and how it is done, the higher their sense of empowerment.”
Also, make sure employees have the right tools (software, reporting tools, etc.) to complete their responsibilities. For example, don’t ask them to create a robust customer relationship management (CRM) system without providing a budget appropriate for that type of program. Tasking employees with objectives that they are unable to meet is a surefire way to demotivate them.
“Most people fail, not because of lack of desire, but, because of lack of commitment,” said famed football player, coach and executive Vince Lombardi.
Nothing squashes excitement more than having a big kickoff meeting with your team to build excitement about the strategic plan, and then letting all those plans dwindle, due to procrastination, lack of commitment and failure to empower your team to execute the plan. A few pointers to keep your plan moving forward include:
- Provide regular progress updates via email or company meetings;
- Realize that hiccups will happen, so learn to work around them and adjust your plan as needed to eliminate obstacles and continue moving toward the goal;
- Celebrate wins along the way and create a list of best practices and lessons-learned; and
- Don’t let the day-to-day shuffle of business sideline your grand plan.
BRANDiac Strategies frequently works with clients to identify those robust goals and objectives. Contact us today. We’d love to help you.