As you start your planning for 2022, I want you to humor me for a moment. Imagine all your employees as little balls of energy. Those balls of energy point in some direction. If you rise above and look down on your company, where is all the human energy going? Is everyone’s energy pointed in the same direction? Are all your people crystal clear on where you are going and how you will get there? Do you have a clear vision and plan?
According to Harvard Business School Online, 85% of leadership teams spend less than one hour a month discussing their strategy. More than 50% spend zero time on strategic planning and execution. Worse yet, over 95% of employees have no idea what the company plan is. In other words, the human energy in most businesses is pointing in many directions, wasting tons of time, effort, and money. That’s why over 90% of strategic plans fail to meet their desired outcomes.
As Arthur Jones, an organizational design expert for Procter & Gamble, said, “All organizations are perfectly designed to get the results they get!” If you look down on your business and all your employees pointing in different directions, you need to change the underlying system for strategic planning.
If you can get everyone in your business, all that human energy, pointing in a single direction, you will do amazing things. You need a complete system for managing that human energy. That may sound very complex and hard. But I assure you, it’s not.
Every system, including your business, is made up of only a few core components. The Entrepreneurial Operating System® (EOS®) breaks down a company into Six Key Components™. You don’t need to worry about hundreds of things, just six.
To simplify, and to remove the anxiety you may be feeling about creating your system, you can use the process laid out in Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business by Gino Wickman or hire a Professional EOS Implementer® to help you.
The Six Key Components you will focus on in your strategic planning process are Vision, People, Data, Issues, Process, and Traction®.
Establishing your vision requires you and your team to answer eight questions, then get 100% of your company to answer those questions in complete unison. That’s the magic. That’s how we start becoming part of the 5% of companies that achieve their vision versus the 95% that don’t.
The first step in your new strategic planning process is to get your leaders in a room (the three to eight people you rely on to run the business) and answer these questions:
- What are your core values?
- What is your Core Focus™ (purpose/cause/passion and niche)?
- What is your 10-Year Target™?
- What is your marketing strategy (ideal client, unique value proposition, proven process, and guarantee)?
- What is your 3-Year Picture™?
- What is your 1-Year Plan?
- What are your quarterly Rocks?
- What are your long-term issues?
We use a simple document called the Vision/Traction Organizer™ to capture the answers to these questions.
The final step is to get the answers to these eight questions shared by all. Every quarter, forever, communicate these answers with all of your employees, like clockwork. You have to tell them where you are going and how you will get there.
You and your people deserve total role clarity. With your leadership team, define the proper structure for the business with clear roles. Then make sure that all your people get, want, and have the capacity to do the jobs and that they share your core values.
Define the five to 15 numbers that drive your business forward. Get with your team and create a Scorecard that you review each week. Make sure that everyone in the company has one number they are accountable for delivering each week.
Get with the team and create an Issues List. All progress starts by telling the truth, as Dan Sullivan says. Once you have the list, in order of priority, identify the root cause of the issue, discuss possible solutions, and create a solution that eliminates the problem forever. Do this every week with your team.
Identify the processes that you use to run your company with your team. Use the 20/80 approach and make them simple. Once they are documented, make sure everyone in the business is following them consistently.
Finally, use The Meeting Pulse™ for your strategic planning process. The proper meeting pulse should have weekly meetings, quarterly meetings, and annual planning sessions. Get with your team and find a time to meet each week to make sure your numbers are on track, your priorities are on track, and your people are happy and to solve your issues.
Imagine a world in which all your people are crystal clear on your vision, where they are going, and how they will get there. Imagine everyone executing well with accountability and Traction. Every team in the business is healthy and cohesive with no wasted time on politics. That’s what a company looks like when all human energy is pointing in one direction. It’s amazing.
You can get started by simply following the steps in this article to strengthen the Six Key Components, or if you want to go a little deeper, here are some options:
- Grab a copy of Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business by Gino Wickman and follow the process in the book.
- Sign up for Self-Implementer Base Camp for training videos and step-by-step guides.
- Hire a Professional EOS Implementer to teach, coach, and facilitate you and your team through the process.