Transformation Advisors, Inc.
B.I.G. Strategies for Business Excellence
In This Issue: Strategic Planning to Prevent Insanity*
Volume 9, Issue 2

     Even though you may not be able to tell by the weather, summer is almost over.  We are heading into September and for many business owners, it’s time to start thinking about next year’s plan.  What!?!  If you’re still trying to figure out what when wrong with last year’s plan, you may not be enthusiastic about spending the time and energy on a new plan.

Just remember, planning isn’t an event – or even a season.  Planning is a process.

     And for those of you without a plan, did you know that companies with written business plans have 100% higher profits, on average, than other companies?  (We didn’t make that up. It’s from a survey conducted by Arthur Andersen’s Enterprise Group in conjunction with National Small Business United, a Washington, DC trade group.)  Yet only 28% of the companies surveyed had written strategic business plans.  Why!?!

     If planning is so important to success, why do so few business owners plan?  When we ask we get answers like, “It’s too time consuming.  It’s too difficult.  I’m in the insurance business, not the planning business.”  Or, “What’s the point?  Tomorrow something will change and my plan won’t be any good any more.”  And we’ve also heard, “I want to be able to act quickly, to take advantage of an opportunity or respond to a threat.  I don’t want to have to worry about what I wrote down last fall.”

   Well crafting a strategic plan – and making sure that everyone is engaged in helping you can take some time.  But it’s time well spent.  The planning process isn’t as difficult as you might think.  And, as a matter of fact, having a strategic vision for you business will help you respond to your changing environment.  Clarifying your vision and defining your business purpose, identifying your values as well as your goals, will help you know which opportunities to leverage when they come along.  It will also help you maneuver the bumps in the road.  Especially if you ensure that your plan is created some key elements in mind.

So here’s how to take avoid insanity* and take strategic planning to the next level.

Envision Your Future. 

 

Start with the end in mind. 

 

Indentify Core Values

Create a Baseline

Answer these questions:


How do we impact the world?  Who are our customers?  What will we do best?
What promises will we make to our customers, our employees, our partners and our companies?

What do we stand for?  What is important to us?

What are our current Strengths, and Weaknesses, our Opportunities and threats?

 


Clarify Your Intention

Get down to basics

Set your sites

Answer these questions:

What key things must go right for us to survive and thrive?

What do we have to do to deliver on our promises?


Develop your plan

Get specific

Answer these questions:

What short-term results must we achieve within the next one to two years?

Enable your team

Build in Accountability

Insist on Measurability

Maintain Flexibility

Answer these questions:

Who is going to do what by when?

How will we measure our success?

What should we do differently to improve our results?

   Strategic planning doesn’t need to be difficult.  It will take some time, because you don’t want to do it in a vacuum.  You’ll need help to implement your plan so the best time to engage others is at the beginning.

     Planning isn’t pointless – and it isn’t confining – as long as your process has "___"-ability.
Build in accountability.  Measure your progress.  Take corrective action when things change.  These are the actions that will ensure the success of your planning efforts.  These are the actions that will take strategic planning to the next level.  When your plan and your organization are enabled, thinking SMART comes naturally.

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You can read my blogs at www.transformationadvisors.blogspot.com  or www.ownyourownjobblog.wordpress.com.  Follow me on twitter http://twitter.com/PAMillard

Link to Pam's Bio

Pamela A. Millard

We talked about thinking SMART in last month’s issue of BIG Strategies.  If you missed it, you can read it on line here

If you don’t have a strategic business plan for your agency, or if it’s time to revisit your plan, get a copy of our “Complete Guide to Strategic Planning.”  Send me an email or give me a call if you’d like help building Accountability into your plan.

 

Link to Strategic Planning Page

 

 

 

*“Insanity is doing the same thing again and again and expecting different results.”  Albert Einstein.

 

 

 

 

 

"Transformation Advisors isn't just a catchy name.  It's what we do and it's how we can help you transform your successful insurance business to one where every employee is a partner and every customer is an advocate."

Pamela A. Millard

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