3 Key Factors to Successful Strategic Planning
Posted by: Joseph Kuo | February 6, 2019
Having spent more than a decade working on strategic planning and annual operating plans, I’ve gained much appreciation on the similarities between business planning and personal planning. Both settings require us to think deeply about the outcome we really want. Both involve harmonizing long-term strategic direction and short-term optimization of resources. And both necessitates resourcefulness, resiliency and flexibility, as future is uncertain and people are complex beings. Finally, the chances of “success” in both settings are significantly increased when we take the time to plan, execute, and monitor.
Over the years, I have realized 3 important factors to successful planning, both professionally and personally.
- Understanding that the process of successful planning is more important than the plan itself. In the fast-paced world of today, most plans are obsolete the moment they are finalized. However, the planning process is immensely useful because it forces us to ask questions, explore underlying beliefs, and seek out our blind spots.
- Monetary rewards are the byproducts of adding value. As the saying goes, only governments can make money; the rest of us have to earn it. I’ve never seen any mission statement or corporate value specify monetary gain as the primary goal. It is the same with personal mission statements and family values. Frequently, what drives personal success is a focus on core values that goes beyond money. At the same time, we must have confidence in the value we deliver. Many people subconsciously limit what they receive because they don’t believe they deserve it.
- The importance of having an aligned team. In corporate, I had experienced occasions when our recommendations were not adopted by the executive team. At that point, we had 3 choices:
- Step back to see things fall apart and be satisfied that we were right, or
- Accept the executive decision and do our best to help achieve the company goals.
Recommendations are not predictions; they are our best attempt at projecting what might lie ahead.
If we can let go of our egos and be open to clients’ perspectives, we can often collaboratively uncover new paths that we never saw. Keeping these distinctions in mind, I built the firm to:
- Learn how clients see their personal and business challenges instead of how we would look at them.
- Cultivate resourcefulness and the mindset that we can handle whatever comes our way.
- Coach and support clients to do what they want but have difficulties carrying through.
- Accept that people change their minds, goals, and perspectives.
We are here to listen, appreciate, and collaboratively implement plans of action.
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