2020 Strategic Planning

“Build a plan that is ambitious enough to inspire by practical enough to be implemented.”

Dave McKeown, INC

It’s that time of year again, to look forward and put together your strategic plan for 2020.  It’s hard to predict what’s coming next or how it will affect your company.  2020 is the start of a new decade and is also a number that represents vision and clarity.  Use these steps below to give clarity to your 2020 vision and plan your strategy for business in 2020 and beyond.

  1. Stay focused on the now. Keep your team focused on Q4 with the spotlight on 3-5 things that must happen by end of year.
  2. Learn from the wins and losses of the past year. Start by asking everyone on your team the top 2-3 things that went well as well as the 2-3 aspect they would do differently.
  3. Keep your vision top-of-mind. Take time to review your vision.  Dave McKeown, with Inc, asks these three questions to stress-test company visions:
    • Is it simple to understand? (Could a 9-year old make sense of it?)
    • Does it excite you and your team?
    • Does it describe why your team exists?
  4. Set the bar for the new year. Come up with 1-3 over-arching goals.  Whether it’s a financial goal or customer satisfaction make sure they are clearly defined & easy to measure.
  5. Keep technology developments top of mind.
    • Invest in cutting-edge thought. Outside of investing in tech, develop expertise internally or bring in experts in a sector of your business you want to capitalize on.  Give your brand a powerful edge moving forward.
    • Make it digital. “Anything from accounting to marketing could almost certainly be streamlined using a digital platform, so how is your company preparing?” from Personal Branding Blog.  Remote work can save money on commuting and office overhead while video conferencing can slash travel costs while still enabling personal face-to-face communication.
    • Go green. Not only is renewable energy getting cheaper but more than 70% of consumers are willing to pay a premium of at least 5% for more sustainable products.
    • Automate, correctly. Start with menial tasks to allow your team to focus on the most important work.  Get ahead of your competitors as automation develops more every day.
  6. Determine your strategic initiatives. Bring your people into a room and brainstorm the 3-5 new initiatives that help bring you closer to the goal.
  7. Prioritize your steps. McKeown describes has two buckets – ‘must-do’ and ‘nice-to-do.’
  8. Who does what by when. Make sure the team agrees on who will be accountable for implementation of the strategic initiatives.  Draw out what the key milestones look like.
  9. Communicate – consistently and repeatably. As a leadership team, agree on what needs to be communicated, who will deliver the message, and when it will happen.  While meeting with all employees is a great way to kick off the new strategic plan, make sure to structure the communication down through the organization to individual leaders sharing the plan with their direct reports.
  10. Allow room for re-adjustments. Set dates in the future of when your leaders will reconvene to review the plan and progress.  Better yet, develop a process for making changes to your plan throughout the year by defining metrics to drive change and communication of the updates to the team.