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Checkpoint: Strategic Planning Steps

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Reviewing the Steps in a Change Effort Plan

Managing and executing any change effort can be stressful. Yet, we are well aware of the importance of continuous improvement. With a solid organizational culture, we’re more likely to get our lead team on board –  and truly involved. The more committed they are to the process, the more likely the change effort will stick. After all, their direct reports will be impacted too. Ensuring they are dedicated to the process is key. The brainstorming process will be much more lucrative, too.

So, we’ve got the general outline prepared. We’ve reviewed the change effort plan with our key people. We have a good grip on making sure we’ve conducted some type of readiness assessment. The strategic planning process has been initiated with full intent. We’ve covered things like the purpose of the change effort and the proposed steps in the overarching process. The schedule, roles and responsibilities, and requirements for success are clearly outlined. We’ve got a good idea of the necessary boundaries.

Organizational mandates have been refined.  As the leader, we understand the importance of refining (if necessary) our organization’s mission and values. We realize that the key to our success is addressing the needs of our stakeholders.

Our team understands the critical nature of assessing the external environment (i.e. via a standard SWOT) and we’ve got a good grip on our company’s distinctive competencies. We are all aware of our KPI’s in comparison to our competitors. We are confident that we can identify and frame strategic issues that may impact our organization’s mandates (and mission and values).

When it comes time to frame strategies, we’ve got a good handle on where we want to be or what we intend to accomplish. We all realize the importance of reviewing our new change effort plan because it is the baseline for establishing a vision for the future. While we’ve got a solid team, we do understand that we may need to go through this a few times before some of our team members understand the importance of our organization’s vision.

When we emphasize to our team that this strategic change effort plan has been created with implementation in mind and the more active they’ve been in the process, the more likely we’ll see sustained success. This also leads to more involvement when we are reviewing and re-assessing the plan to determine what worked well and what didn’t work so well.

We Need Them On Board

Ensuring our team is really on board is key. We need them genuinely involved in the process for a variety of reasons:

  • We can brainstorm and garner lots of additional viewpoints
  • We have the opportunity to identify and potential bumps in the road
  • When they are involved in the process, they adopt a sense of ownership. That eases the burden on us. Empowered teams are a gem
  • Our management team’s direct reports are likely going to be impacted by the change effort too. The better they understand why it’s taking place, the better the grip they have on executing the change plan with their staff
  • It provides a great opportunity to make sure they are clear with our organization’s mission, values, and vision
  • The process fosters collaboration

When we emphasize to our team that this strategic change effort plan has been created with implementation in mind and the more active they’ve been in the process, the more likely we’ll see sustained success. This also leads to more involvement when we are reviewing and reassessing the plan to determine what worked well and what didn’t work so well.

What have you noticed as the most challenging step for your team when managing any particular change effort?