Strategic planning is applicable both to a business and in your personal life. It helps you look back, forward and it's essential for making steady progress.
Do you sit down and review your intentions for the coming months on a regular basis?
The simplest way of running a strategic planning session is to ask yourself three questions:
What went well since the last review? Why?
What went poorly since the last review? Why?
What do I want to focus on before the next review? How will I do this?
As I've mentioned before, it's useful to have some data to help you guide your planning. Now, in your personal planning this might not feature as highly but it all depends what your plans entail!
One Quarter at a Time
Creating this habit for your business will prove to keep you on track. Sure, your aims for one quarter might be scrapped by the following one but you'll be doing so in a structured and informed way. And you won't ever go more than a quarter working in the wrong direction! (Unless you manage to convince yourself more than once to keep going with something that ended up on the "not working" list.)
Your business will have its own unique measurements - this will depend on the industry, business size, and the phase your business is in. It helps to develop a couple things you want to review so that you can track that quarter-to-quarter.
The nice thing about knowing you will set time aside for strategic planning on a regular basis is that it lets you park ideas that could otherwise distract you. The next time you come across a great new tool you must have or a new venture idea, or plans to alter your whole operating procedures.... you can note this in your Future Ideas file. (Or the project in Asana you dedicate to your strategy and planning.)
This way you assure yourself that you won't forget to review it but you also don't let it take over an afternoon, a day or a week of your otherwise productive quarter before fizzling out because it hadn't been thought through or well-planned.
Need some help?
If you are new to strategic planning or you find that being accountable to someone helps you get things done then contact me and I can block off a few hours each quarter with you and we can talk through your current plans, and future ideas.