Likely your Middle Market firm does some form of developing strategic plans. You might be newer to the process. Or, just want to give your strategy sessions a little shake-up. Either way, there are definitely areas you can pay more attention to. So, you can make sure your strategic plans are robust and set your organization up for success.
Timing Can Make A Difference
Strategic plans usually look towards short, middle and long-term goals and timeframes. You may, for instance, focus on six months as your short-term. You might select a year or year and a half as the middle. And, plan three to five years as your long-term. You probably are getting an idea that you need shorter, faster planning for short term goals, And therefore a longer planning process for years down the road. It may be beneficial to set up different planning sessions for each.
Also, make sure you give your Middle Market teams time to fully investigate and decide upon action items. Action trumps inaction for sure. But, you don’t want to make a decision too quickly. Or, immediately start on something without the full picture of what’s needed and what the outcomes could be. In general, you may find it better to have regularly scheduled strategy planning sessions throughout the entire year. That way you can take your time instead of trying to push it all through in the last quarter.
Are The Right People At The Table?
Success in any plan requires having all accountability partners and affected areas represented. So, you may find it useful to have general idea sessions and then as you latch onto a plan you can bring in the necessary people and keep refining the plan. It may make sense to hold an “open” strategic plan session twice a year for instance and make sure all of your C-Suite and top leadership attend. At the meetings, you may identify two or three key focal points and then your next sessions focus on adding in key players on the teams that will be affected. Your executives and leadership may stay on for a period of time and then shift out of the actual planning when it gets to the finer details. Aim to have the people who can answer the questions and share the right perspective at each point of the process so you can limit time wasters or need to table items for a later date when possible.
Only Look At What You Really Need To
When you look at strategic planning, you obviously will need to build in metrics or ways to measure efficacy and success. One area that might lead you astray is looking at too many metrics or using too broad of a stroke. Part of your strategy sessions should be to figure out what truly matters to track and what indicators actually will show success. You’ll keep your meetings shorter in general and have a more accurate picture if you pick a select handful of metrics to track and watch rather than trying to measure everything. It may be helpful to even decide on a number in advance. Say 3 key measurables that you really focus in on and refine. If you find the items you are tracking aren’t really helpful, you can shift and adapt as needed.
Strategic planning is an effective tool for keeping your Middle Market firm innovative and moving in the right direction. Set yourself up for greater success by making sure your plan is robust and successful.
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