Unbeatable strategic planning model incorporates the following building blocks:
- Core ideology, or the purpose, vision, values of the organization.
- Strategic analysis of your external environment.
- Internal analysis of the issues preventing the organization from moving forward.
- Prioritization tools that identify key initiatives or projects from among many options.
- An easy-to-use, visual roadmap that helps you guide the work.
- Leadership accountability for results.
Putting the strategic planning model blocks together to build a plan
Vision Navigation® is Professional Growth Systems’ strategic planning model. We have incorporated the key building blocks listed above into a seven-phase planning model tailored to fit your organization’s needs. Whether all seven phases are rolled out as individual sessions or are combined into just one or two, the end product — your strategic plan — includes the key elements identified, above.
Here is a picture of how these phases meld together:
The phases of the Vision Navigation® strategic planning model are:
The strategic assessment phase results in a list of potential strategic initiatives or projects that grow your organization. Whether you are a for-profit company looking to increase revenues, or a non-profit wanting to grow or better serve your constituent base, a sound strategic analysis gives you the wherewithal you need to fulfill those goals. We help you define strategic initiatives that help you take advantage of opportunities, or mitigate threats. This strategic assessment phase includes a look at:
- Your competitive assets.
- The needs and wants of your customers.
- The competition (other service providers).
- New or better uses of technology.
- Key political and economic concerns and opportunities.
- Cultural and demographic trends and their impacts on your organization.
In the internal assessment phase of the Vision Navigation® strategic planning model, your management team turns its focus internally. The result is a list of internal challenges to be addressed. For example:
- The need to upgrade computer systems
- The need to reduce customer wait time in checkout lines
- The need for a new company website
Sophisticated prioritization techniques are incorporated to sift through the list and determine which challenges to solve first for the biggest impact. Results are built into your final plan so that your focus is not just on growing, but on fixing the impediments to real, sustained growth.
Establishing the vision
The establishing the vision phase of our strategic planning model focuses the organization on its core ideology. What are the purposes, vision and values the staff can agree to work with? Along with laying the important ideological foundation, a key prioritization tool is developed during this phase that is used in evaluating the potential value of any proposed project and its fit with the core ideology. The prioritization tool will be used on the proposed projects that were defined during the strategic assessment as well as on any project that is identified in the months and years to come. In many cases, the board of directors is involved in this phase.
Determine strategic agenda
At this point in Vision Navigation®, leadership has uncovered a variety of potential strategic initiatives and it has prioritized key internal projects to help move the organization forward. Finalizing the combination of strategic, and internal, projects into one workable list for the year is the goal of this phase. It is an important step, because the results will determine the strategic work of leadership for the next 12 months, and will largely determine the progress made toward the organization’s vision.
Plotting the course
The tools of strategic planning
During the plotting the course phase, the leadership focuses on the strategic initiatives and internal improvement projects that were selected in earlier phases, and it plans the work to be done. Each project comprises a year-end target, quarterly outcomes or milestones to be completed throughout the year, and a metric to measure the project’s impact.
Accountability for results, which is critical to the success of the plan, is built into each project. The information is compiled in the Vision Navigation® chart, a visual template of your strategic plan that is updated quarterly by your Professional Growth Systems team. See a sample of the Vision Navigation® chart, here.
Creating an instrument panel
Professional Growth Systems combined some of the theory of the Balanced Scorecard tool — made popular by the work of David Norton and Robert Kaplan — with the tools and theory of its Vision Navigation® strategic planning system, to create an instrument panel. The instrument panel gives leadership a collection of measures to track monthly. These measures, assess the health of the organization and the impact of the projects detailed in the Vision Navigation® chart. If the ultimate goal is to achieve the vision, work on the projects should be moving the organization closer. Are they? The instrument panel tells you.
Navigate the course/plan revision
This final phase of Vision Navigation® isn’t a single session phase at all, but rather the on-going work of the plan. Included are a monthly contact by the PGS consultant with both the CEO and board chair, to talk about progress, solve problems, and assess needs. During this phase, the management team is also actively reviewing the plan at least monthly, and recording progress on the Vision Navigation® chart. At the end of each quarter, leadership decides whether any outcomes should be deleted, added, or moved to other (fiscal) quarters. PGS provides an updated Vision Navigation® chart that reflects these changes each quarter. The chart also provides an updated picture of progress to date. This chart is a vital piece of the Vision Navigation® approach, because it makes the plan a "living" document that is a true reflection of priorities, and of the work being done. If need be, we offer executive coaching for as short or long a time as is needed to help you and/or your team overcome any management hurdles that impede progress on your plan. Learn more here.
Strategic planning model in a nutshell
A good strategic planning model is made of building blocks that can be organized to fit each unique organization. The strategic planning process is flexible and malleable so it can fit the organization’s unique needs. That is vital. But the process comprises dependable, stable components, and that is equally important. We built Vision Navigation® to be just that: a strategic planning model.
Find out more about strategic planning and Vision Navigation®.
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