How Leaders Must Reset Strategic Plans
Today I want to speak directly to leaders and aspiring leaders about how to reset your strategic plan.
There are four strategies or concepts to think about when you are rewriting a strategic plan or whenever you find yourself having to completely pivot during times of tumultuous change like what we’re in right now.
These core principles can really help, and frankly, I have a feeling we’re going to be pivoting again. The only constant is change is ringing very true for me right now because there’s still so much uncertainty.
Here are four key concepts that have really helped me and our team here at Bossed Up pivot strategically.
Take stock of progress already made
The first is to take stock of the progress you’ve already made.
We’ve seen in our lives that taking stock and focusing on progress is fundamental in our human nature. Maybe you’ve heard me talk about this before, but if not, I want you to know about something called the progress principle. Teresa Amabile is a professor at Harvard, and she wrote a book along with a colleague of hers all about the power of making progress on meaningful goals.
To be fair, everyone’s job involves some mundane aspects to it. Nobody finds inspiration or meaning by attaining inbox zero at the end of the day. So, if we can remind ourselves of our impact on the world around us when we make progress on our work goals, we’ll see how far we’ve come each and every day. Taking stock of accomplishments – as little as they may seem, intensifies meaning behind our progress.
Identify the bright spots
Once we’ve established and taken stock of our progress, it’s really important to identify the bright spots.
Dan Heath, who is one half of the dynamic cognitive science brother duo Dan and Chip, describes why identifying your bright spots first, like what is working on the team or what is working in my life right now is really important – and an often-overlooked, place to start when navigating change.
As leader instead of coming down on our team and saying, ‘This is failing, we need to fix this.’ We have to remind ourselves that a lot of things are probably working that we’re not even acknowledging instead of just focusing on what’s not working.
Let’s replicate and almost accelerate or duplicate the systems and processes that have led to success. Before you jump into problem-solving, focus on what’s working.
Identify the deltas
Once you’ve identified the bright spots, explored what’s working about them, and how you can replicate it, then we need to focus on the delta.
Delta is that mathematical symbol – the triangle, that says here’s an area that needs to change. A variable that we need to mix up. Instead of thinking of it as a failure that we need to hide from or run away from, explore it as an opportunity for change.
I’m a big believer in the iterative design process. You try something, you see what works and what doesn’t, and you try again. You have to be more agile and that has really helped us over the years.
Develop new KPIs
The final piece of advice here for resetting and redirecting your strategic plan for your team is to develop new KPIs – key performance indicators.
I am reminded of the motto: measure what matters. If you are not measuring Facebook likes, then they don’t matter to you, which is true of me. If you are not measuring sales, then that must not matter to you.
For the team, make sure they’re measuring what matters. Make sure the entire team is aware of what metrics matter and where you’re at in terms of progress to the goal.
What does the data tell you? Do you have the right metrics that are truly connected to your overarching objectives as a business or team?
I hope these tips, in terms of navigating change as a leader inspire you to be optimistic about your ability to change for the better.
I would love to hear from you if you found today’s blog helpful. How are you applying this framework to maintaining a sense of forward momentum?