Great strategy spontaneously emerges at least as often as it’s deliberately planned. New starts and smart starts are often developed in the spur of the moment when ideas are flying! If your  idea of strategic planning relies upon a template with a rigid format, you can easily prevent the innovation produced when everyone on your team is allowed and expected to think out of the box.

There are several keys that will help you rethink your strategy:

  1. Set stretch goals. Why limit yourself or your organization? in his best-selling book, Sean Covey suggested companies need “WIGs,” or “Wildly Important Goals.” Having big goals lets your team dream and think big, which can motivate them to develop ideas that will transform how you do business.  
  1. Set target measurements. I learned an incredible amount from Dr.’s Kaplan and Norton’s book, “The Balanced Scorecard” and have turned back to it many times when determining what’s a reasonable set of KPIs. Their scorecard has helped me keep many clients on track and on time by integrating their organization’s strategy with the success level they wanted to achieve. 
  1. Hire leaders, not managers. I realize this last key may go against much of the past 25 years of leadership advice that advocated for strong administration to win the war of client retention. Although I think strong administration is required for any organization of any size, I do not think it is a strategy for success. Instead, I think it is a necessary function that all organizations need. What is far more important is to hire leaders who can cause a positive difference in the people around them and those they serve. 

Leaders are the kind of people who drive relentlessly toward the goal. Managers make sure everyone colors inside the lines and don’t particularly care for people who don’t! But if we’re honest, most people hate bureaucratic policies that stifle creativity. What is needed today are leaders who can look at the needs of those they serve and find new ways of helping them.