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What's the Plan, Stan?

     In this time of uncertainty every Company needs a Strategic Plan that points to future certainty and calm the nerves of everyone in the organization. But even in a bad economy a Strategic Plan should help the Company achieve maximum competitiveness in the marketplace and earn above average returns.  However, most Strategic Plans are only 50% effective in achieve their goals, even in good economic times, because: 1.      Employees don’t understand the Strategic Plan and their role in it. 95% of Employees don’t know what their Company’s Strategic Plan is and don’t understand how the work they perform relates to the success of the Strategic Plan!  Employees with knowledge of the Company’s Strategy and who see a clear connection – "line of sight"- between what they do and how they can contribute to the success of the Company, have heightened levels of commitment, job satisfaction, and trust. Without the "buy-in" of the Company’s most important Stakeholders, who are charged with implementing important elements of the Strategic Plan, the right work will not get done or it will not get done right and the Company will not realize its full potential.  
  1. Employees are not involved in the Strategic Planning Process. Since the Strategic Planning Process is usually done only at the top level of management, other Employees are not involved in the Strategic Planning Process. Isn’t it the height of hubris to assume that only top management has the answers to issues – especially internal issues - that will determine the success or failure of the Company over the next 12 months? Since there is no question that engaged Employees give their Company crucial competitive advantages - higher productivity, lower turnover, and sales growth- doesn’t it make sense to engage the Employees in one of the most important tools for the Company’s success?  
     The current WorkQuake™ economic crisis presents the ideal opportunity to turn the concept of Strategic Planning on its head and improve the potential for the success of the Strategic Plan! How can this be accomplished?
  1. Get over the idea that Employees are not capable of Strategic Planning.
  2. Top management explains the Company’s Strategic Plan for the next 12 months and the barriers the Company faces in executing the Strategic Plan.
  3. Every Work Group develops a one page Strategic Plan that establishes its alignment with the Strategic Plan and a one page Action Plan outlining what the Work Group will do to ensure the success of the Strategic Plan.
  4. Top management approves each Work Group’s Action Plan. 
  5. Once a quarter, top management meets with each Work Group to discuss how the Work Group’s Action Plan needs to be adjusted.
  6. At the end of the 12 months celebrate the success of the Strategic Plan.  
The Bottom Line:  In a time of crisis it is imperative that every Company enlist the cooperation of its Employees if it is going to succeed. One of the ways to do this is by involving Employees in the development of the 12 Month Strategic Plan. This involvement generates the engagement, alignment and commitment needed for organizational success in the time of the WorkQuake™.   Try it.

Questions:  Does your company have a Strategic Plan?  Do the Employees understand it and their importance to its success?  Are the Employees involved in developing the Strategic Plan?


Paul Glover, President                                                                                                                                                                           Go Go to for more information about Strategic Planning.