Brian Rassi of Enstigate recently reminded me of a quote he keeps nearby in his office,
“To know and not do, is to not know.” 1
Yes, the first part is to know, and the second is to do – but without the doing, you are right back to the beginning.
If you do not take action on what you know, then you miss an integral step.
So what’s missing? What’s keeping you from the action? Perhaps what is lacking then is true understanding. For if you understand the reason behind the action, then taking the action becomes easier. (I did a deeper exploration of why we don’t do what we know we should here).
Of course, there are things that make both the knowing and the doing much easier – and my favorite is a strategic plan.
Anytime is a good time for strategic planning, but as we turn to the beginning of a new year, there is a greater impetus to take time to know what it is you would like to do for the coming year and then to put that plan into action.
All the things involved in a strategic plan
What then is involved in a strategic plan? How do you go about creating one? How do you ensure you will do it?
Here are the steps that I take annually to plan and with my clients and those attending the Strategy Symposium.
1 – Intention – It’s a simple thing, but prior to sitting down to create your plan, set your intention or focus on what you desire to achieve. This decisiveness will ensure that you are clear and precise.
2 – Reflection – This is a taking stock exercise to look at what you accomplished, what you did not accomplish, what worked, what didn’t, how you did it, and what you learned. You will use what you glean from this exercise as the tools to build your plan. Often we are so focused on a specific goal that we miss what we have already accomplished. Take time for reflection.
3 – Vision – When you see your vision, you imagine the possibilities. I find it helpful in this step to put myself into that future time – as if all that I am imaging has already come to pass. In doing so, I can see that it is possible, remove the current constraints, and ideas of how it became possible start bubbling up. However, this can be an uncomfortable exercise for some, but research has shown that when we connect to our future selves, we make better decisions in the present.
4 – Set Goals – Now that you have seen what is possible, set the goals that support that vision. Typically, I will walk my mind backwards from the endpoint to my current time to imagine what needs to happen in order to reach that vision on time.
5 – Focus – From this, set the first quarterly milestone along with the focus areas for the next three months leading up to that milestone.
6 – Calendar – Plot everything you just determined onto a calendar along with events and other important dates that you need to be aware of throughout the year.
7 – Measurables – Determine the metrics to track that will give you an indication if you are on target or not. In addition, I will determine the keystone measurement or the task/behavior/action that can be consistently activated to ensure the result I desire.
You can see that this is not a complicated process, but it does take time to pause and think.
Where can you find the time?
Every year I guide CEOs and entrepreneurs through this process during the Strategy Symposium. This year the 2022 Strategy Symposium will take place January 18-21st (all the details are available by clicking the link), and it’s the ideal event for giving yourself that time to work on your business and create your strategic plan.
In addition to the plan, we also provide:
- Presentations from leading experts on areas you might include in your strategic plan (such as sales, leads, marketing, negotiation, revenue, public relations, mindset, networking, and visibility – just to name a few) – along with access to these experts to help you design your plan.
- Connection and networking with other CEOs and entrepreneurs because you are not operating your business in a vacuum. You learn from your peers and collaborate with them to ensure you both succeed.
- The time and space to do this thinking work. It’s hard to pause to think. Often, travel is desired but not always feasible. We have learned how to create this space in an online environment without burning out. What’s needed is just ONE day outside of your normal business operations.
- The resources to help you move forward when you are stuck.
I would love to see or hear about where you are taking your business in 2022, and I would love to see you at the 2022 Strategy Symposium.
1 This was quoted by Steven R. Covey and is attributed to him in many places but a little internet research indicates it has also been cited as a Chinese proverb and also attributed to Goethe. I did not do a rigorous search however I find ‘truth’ tends to permeate across many times and cultures in similar phrases and that may be what has happened here.
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