WHEN IT COMES TO PLANNING THERE'S ONLY ONE QUESTION YOU NEED TO ANSWER...
Do you want to be a great organization?
And if so, are you willing to put in the hard work and dedication to be one?
If you hesitated, close up your browser and continue on with your daily work. We don’t want to waste your time.
If you said yes, let’s continue.
As you know, it is only too easy to get mired down in day-to-day tasks and lose the ability to focus on the big picture – the vision, mission and goals that guide you.
Not to be cliché, but you miss the forest for the trees. And man, if we’re talking emails, that’s a darn lot of trees out there.
That’s why it is so important to have a solid plan in place to guide your organization and help your people rise above the trees.
Setting time aside to undertake planning is vital to the health of your organization.
It allows you to re-establish your core priorities, renew your focus, identify measures of success and develop guidelines for decision-making.
It gives you the opportunity to identify those things that distract from your goals and take steps to eliminate them.
Your organization has so much potential, but these distractions, at the operational and foundational levels, can prevent you from achieving your full potential.
We know that planning has some negative connotations these days. Maybe that’s even the feeling in your organization. You set up meetings and retreats, and then spend days, sometimes months putting a plan together. You struggle to identify what’s important to you, argue about where you need to be in the future and stress about who to assign to which tasks.
We’ve seen this happen time and again in organizations.
The most disappointing part is, not only was a lot of time wasted putting together a plan that never got implemented, but if this happens often enough, organizations give up on planning altogether.
That’s why we take a different approach to planning.
We don’t want your planning to become just another distraction and for your plan to end up as yet another good intentions activity gathering dust on a shelf.
We want this process to provide clarity and prepare you for action because we know that creating real change requires hard work and accountability.
Our approach to planning is to make sure that your team doesn't get caught “in the weeds” and remove accountability and empowerment from the process.
We don’t see planning as on-off deals – a time for everyone to come together and talk big ideas and then leave and bury their heads amongst a pile of to-do lists and “urgent” work. All the important details that will truly move you forward pushed to the sidelines.
Our mission when we work with you on planning is a simple one – make you better than you are today. We provide you with the clarity you need to focus on what’s really important to you.
When we offer planning services, we focus on three key areas to help organizations find where their focus needs to be and what steps they need to take to get there.
There are many questions organizations have to ask when discussing a vision: What does the future look like? How do we, as an organization, develop into that future? What is stopping us from achieving that vision?
Through the visioning process of planning, your organization develops what their future looks like. Some of the visioning techniques our consultants use include imagineering, turbo brainstorming, creative imagery, and individual and group questioning.
Furthermore, we advocate that organizations ask questions about what data collection is needed in order to track their performance and know that they are moving towards their vision. This way leaders can make evidence-based decisions in this area, using their data to see where they are falling short and exploring opportunities for growth. Interweaving data into your vision is a crucial step.
That’s why our consultants work so closely with you at the Vision stage to identify the right questions to ask in order to improve your performance.
Once the vision of the organization’s future has been established, the work of developing the strategy begins. The purpose of the strategy is to begin mapping out the ‘how’s’ of reaching the vision and identifying how to proceed with the least amount of distractions and interferences. This includes establishing the objectives required to reach the vision. It is at this point that the organizational development plan starts to take shape.
Our consultants help organizations work through the process of strategic planning using a number of approaches, including facilitative; SWOT; appreciative inquiry; vision, mission and values identification; and open space concept.
Once the strategy has been established, our consultants can also meet with you to review your organization's practices and procedures and show you how to ask simple questions in order to identify your organization's key performance indicators and metrics to support the achievement of the strategy. We help you isolate specific business problems you want to solve or opportunities you want to develop and then show you how to collect data to measure your progress towards fulfilling your strategy.
Data will give you the “what” and you and your people will provide the “why” and the “how”.
Why are you collecting data? What decisions will it be used to make?
Why are those decisions important to your organization? How will the right data help you?
The last stage of planning, arguably the most important, but most overlooked, is determining the actions that are required to make the vision and strategy a reality. These actions must be more than just notes on a page, they must be actions that can be assigned, and where teams and individuals can be held accountable. We provide consultation and training to develop these actions to be at the correct level; tools, such as dashboards, to track the results of the actions; and can provide coaching in how to hold people accountable for them.
Only by bringing together the vision, strategy and actions can you begin to work towards the organizational development changes necessary to reach the performance potential. Without a vision and strategy firmly in place and actions to move it forward, there will be no focus on what is really important.
The Ball's in Your Court
So, are you looking to be good or great? If you’re aiming for great, let us help. Putting a plan in place is the first step.