Remember last year when you sat down as a team and looked at 2020 with fresh eyes? Everyone (including us) promoted “2020 Vision” as part of the strategic planning process. Well, it seems that 2020 vision quickly became “beer goggle vision” because everything got blurry, on a loop and, “How did I get here?”
Now, just like that, you are heading into the final quarter of another year following a period of plans, contingency plans, plan B’s, and even plan C’s that may have landed in the circular file. In flames. Without a fire extinguisher. Of course, some businesses are growing and thriving as the marketplace adjusts. Just take one look at the home improvement gains and retail alcohol sales as an example. Unfortunately, other businesses are licking wounds and counting losses, learning to reinvent or start on a new path. So, how in the world do you strategize for a new year while you are still trying to steady yourself after this roller coaster ride? How do you set your 2021 Vision? Perhaps you need a new prescription!
A New Plan
Here are the steps we are facilitating to help organizations and teams dive into a formal planning process for whatever lies ahead.
- Honestly define your current status. You cannot create a plan until you get real about where you’re starting from. Ask the tough questions. Talk about the elephant in the room. Where is your organization and what are your viable priorities? What is the status of your client base?
- Start with the basics. What is profitable right now? What are the non-negotiables?
- Unleash your goals. Set your 2020 caution aside and get all the possibilities outlined. Dream big and get creative! We like to use mind mapping exercises to get the juices flowing. However you do it, just brainstorm everything and capture all the ideas in order to get broad goals identified.
- Identify critical success factors. What resources do you have and what do you need to achieve these goals in terms of money, people, supply chain and intellectual capital?
- Shoot holes in it. Bring back that 2020 caution, and look at these goals with your new ‘glasses’ to shoot all the possible holes into your plan. Figure out if the wounds are fatal or if they just need a little triage to put these goals into action.
- Good, Better, Best. Here’s where you create an ideal plan, a realistic plan and a bare-bones plan with a budget to match. Align and assign actions and create a process & timelines for accountability. You can do it!
In the end, don’t avoid planning just because 2020 blindsided everyone. It’s not that you were unprepared to carry out last year’s plan, you just got hit with the pandemic stick! So let’s all take those lessons-learned and put that wisdom into the next strategic planning process. Get real. Make a plan. Challenge it all and see what hold’s up. Come out with a solid strategy, a fresh (informed) perspective and a new prescription for 2021. If you don’t already have a formal strategic planning process (or even if you do), we are here to help! For inspiration, we leave you with the wise words of the 90’s British rock band, Chumbawamba, “I get knocked down, but I get up again. You’re never gonna keep me down!”