Positioning Systems - Small Business Coaching



Articles > Positioning Systems Newsletter # 79 3-25-08 “One Page Strategic Plan”

People are always saying I’d like to get everyone on the same page in my company. Is it really possible to do that?

While it certainly feels impossible, it’s not. In fact the simplicity of this idea is why it is so good and why it will work. Still don’t expect this to be something you can do overnight. 

What’s your strategy? What’s your measureable brand promise?  What’s your core values and purpose?  How quickly can you answer me? You can understand a great deal about your company by how quickly and easily you can respond to that question. If you do know it, is it any wonder why your people in your company don’t know it? Is it easy to understand why your people are not aligned to your vision? Can you see where the problem is? 
Communication today is critical, and many of us are failing at the most basic fundamental level. Tom Meredith who as Chief Financial Officer for Dell is credited with turning around Dell’s Cash Conversion Cycle from a negative 63 days to a positive 21 days noted the simplicity of creating a great business is similar to being a good parent:
  1. Have a handful of rules
  2. Repeat yourself a lot
  3. Act consistently with those rules [which is why you better have only a few rules].
You may have seen other books on creating a One Page Strategic Plan, Verne Harnish’s Mastering the Rockefeller Habits includes one of Gazelles signature coaching tools, our One Page Strategic Plan. In one page it gives you the ability to communicate with your people exactly what it is that you are focused on. Better yet when understood and followed correctly it provides your people with their own set of accountabilities and metrics to keep them focused on producing the specific set of results your company needs to continually move the needle forward.
In a time when the media is constantly reminding us that we are headed for a recession what could be more important than to make sure all of your people are on the same page?
Recognize that completing a One Page Strategic Plan isn’t just a one or two day affair. It takes time to complete accurately, yet if you don’t start now when will you?
One of the reasons it takes time to complete this is due to the number of elements that it includes: Core Values, Purpose, SWOT, Relationship Drivers, Productivity Drivers, 3-5 Year Goals, Key Initiatives, Key Performance Indicators, Core Competencies, Rocks and Accountabilities, Annual Goals, Quarterly Goals and Themes, Brand Promise, BHAG, Individual Accountabilities and Metrics to visually measure progress.
Don’t be concerned with the many input areas, but rather recognize that it will take a bit of discussion, thinking and research to complete this. The result of which will align your staff with the vision you intend.
Pat Lencioni, author of the Five Dysfunctions of a Team, notes that teamwork remains the ultimate competitive advantage because it is so powerful and so rare. He points out that if you could get all your people in your organization rowing in the same direction, you could dominate any industry, in any market, against any competition, at any time. What would that mean for your business?
Several of the components that work with the One Page Strategic Plan are so powerful on their own they can immediately make an impact on your business. 
Several of my clients have seen almost instantaneous outcomes from simply implementing their Daily Huddles. Henry Ful of Technology Center in Atlanta, GA noted that his staff is more accountable and the sense of urgency and focus increased in the very first week. 
Scott Bennett, of Nations Financial Group has seen a marked improvement in the communication of his staff, and a recent stressful situation was handled with remarkable ease and professionalism which he feels six months ago would have rendered his company and employees into chaos. He noted that the routine provides stability and is like exercise training. If you had to run 1 mile in an emergency wouldn’t you like to have spent the past six months to a year preparing so you know you could do it?
That’s the value of these tools. That’s the value of the One Page Strategic Plan. Your people won’t need to wonder what’s up, what’s the priority or how they should make decisions, they know the rules, they know what’s important, they know their accountabilities and they respond and act accordingly.
Don’t you think your staff would like to know what is important and what their performance will be measured by? Sure they do, in fact most employees want to know how they will be scored. They’d like to keep score for themselves, and the One Page Strategic Plan will give them a company and personal scorecard so they can track how well they are doing. They will motivate themselves and be encouraged and positive about their progress and celebrate those of the company’s as well knowing they’ve contributed and been responsible for your success.

Need help implementing these ideas?

Positioning Systems helps business owners and entrepreneurs transform their business.  We provide the tools and coaching to help you take control of your business -- rather then having your business control you.