Have you ever had to be part of one of those giant exercises where some manager has decided to go through an intricate process for determining the vision, mission, goals, objectives, strategies, etc.? It gets even worse if they’ve hired a consultant to help. Typically the objective of the consultant is to make this a fairly long and complicated process (that’s how they generate fees).
Personally, I find such exercises absolutely painful. I was involved in one that took over 12 months! There were multi-day sessions at fancy hotels, lots of consultants doing endless interviews, and thick binders describing complicated processes for completing the various stages of the exercise.
So how do you avoid all that while also achieving sound plans to be successful in the future? It’s actually much easier than the wizards would want you to think. There are only 3 things to contemplate:
1.) Vision – This should be one paragraph that answers the question: WHAT do you want to achieve? Maybe it’s moving from the number two market share position to finally achieving leadership. Maybe it’s executing an ERP conversion and saving big money and/or streamlining processes. Maybe it is reorganizing your responsibilities and replacing personnel in three key positions. Whatever it is, it should be described in fairly simple terms that just about anyone would understand.
2.) Strategies – This answers the question HOW you are going to achieve the WHAT (i.e., the vision). This is a simple list that should contain actionable steps with specific outcomes. It is important to make sure that if the strategies are successfully completed, the vision is achieved.
3.) Measures – This answers the question: Is the vision achieved yet? You should lay out clearly what the specific measures will be that will tell you that you achieved the vision. There are many classic examples in industry of leaders who picked the wrong measures; leading to surprising results that are in no way related to the vision they claimed they were pursuing.
That’s it. That’s how you generate business success. Stop making it so complicated!