I know a person, call her “Ann,” who has had the exact same New Year’s Resolution every year, year after year, for the fifteen years that I’ve known her. I ran into her in town a few days ago, and she grabbed my arm to tell me, “This is the year!” She was really excited and committed and certain.”I’m really going to do it this time!”
I politely asked what she meant, even though I knew exactly what she was going to say. Sure enough, she told me that not only would she get down to her goal weight, but she would also walk at least one mile every day and go to yoga no less than three times a week. I found out where she was going to walk and what studio she joined and things like that. I eyed the brand new waking shoes she was wearing and the brand new yoga mat she was carrying.
And I offered her my heartfelt support. For the fifteenth year in a row.
There’s nothing wrong with Ann. We all know that only a tiny minority actually follows through on their New Year’s resolutions. We know this because we have made countless resolutions to ourselves that we didn’t keep.
The Key To Failure
Notice that Ann had a “Business Plan.” She was going to walk and go to yoga. The cumulative effect of doing these things consistently for an entire year would change her completely. She’d be healthier, she’d be in better shape, she’d probably make new friends and she’d feel great. She’d also, without a doubt, lose some weight and get stronger. It’s a great plan, and I hope this really is her year.
I worry that it’s not going to be, though, because a Business Plan is not enough. She also needs a “Strategic Plan,” because a Strategic Plan is all about creating your future.
A Business Plan is your “intention:” This is what I’m going to create.
A Strategic Plan is your “execution:” This is what has to happen for me to create it.
If Ann had a Strategic Plan, she would have defined her BHAG for the year: miles walked, yoga classes attended, Numerical Targets for strength and endurance. She would have a SWOT analysis fearlessly listing everything obstacle in her way. She would know her Value Discipline and her Key Benefits. She would know the difference between Non-Core Activities (buying shoes) and Core Activities (walking or doing yoga).
But she doesn’t have one. If Ann was your business…well, do you have one, or not?
How To Get Yours
You have two ways to get your Strategic Plan.
The first option is to hire a Strategic Planning Consultant for around USD$5,000 a day and to hold a retreat with your top executives for at least three days. The consultant will start with your Business Plan and will walk you through every part of your Strategic Plan. It’s similar to Ann hiring a personal trainer who will motivate her to walk and go to yoga and who will be next to her the whole time to help her follow-through.
The second option is to spend USD$1 a day on the ResultsBI Strategic Planning platform. Four users are included. Our videos explain exactly how to finish each section. Our workbooks guide you through the process. Get your team together in the same room, or have them contribute asynchronously and/or remotely. It’s similar to Ann buying a fitness app.
The Key To Success
Even at this point, a critical key is missing. You’re still in New Year’s Resolution territory. To get into Strategic Execution territory, you need to pay attention to your Strategic Plan every single day.
This is how apps work: Ann will get alerts constantly, and she will either follow-through or she will give up.
If you and your team pay attention to the things your Strategic Plan tells you must happen in order for you to build the business you want, and if you never give up, then you will execute your strategy.
This is one area where our app is much better than the consultant. You can pull projects and metrics directly into it, so anyone who sees your Strategic Plan will understand it and will know how well you’re progressing towards accomplishing it.
Helping you do that is our Core Purpose. You set the intention. We help you pay attention to it. And, just like Ann, the cumulative effect of following-through, every day, every week, every month, will transform your business completely.
(FYI, in 2019, only 26% of companies used technology to improve themselves, and the ones that did propelled themselves into the top quintile in their markets. You’re not following the crowd by doing this—you’re joining the elite.)