Sunday, July 17, 2005

Strategic planning in 5 steps

I was giving a short and sweet seminar on strategic planning at McGill University when one of the participants, a highly capable freelance writer, asked if she could get a copy of my audiotape (I often tape myself for improvement purposes).

She said her teenage daughter was about to graduate from high school, and could use the Strategic Planning process I was describing.

At the time, I admit I was surprised by her request but now that I think about it, it's never too early to plan one's life strategically.

And it's never too late, either.

We seem to live in a society where there is a "profusion of means, but a confusion of ends," to paraphrase Albert Eistein.

The strategic planning process, I suspect, can help many people to clarify their goals, and plan carefully to gather resources, expertise and means to achieve their goals.

Here are the steps:
  1. Where are you now? (A clear and objectively verifiable assessment of one's current situation is essential since it is the foundation for all future actions)
  2. Where do you want to be?
  3. How are you going to get there? (Here, a person identifies all the means, resources, techniques, methods, etc. enabling him/her to get to the destination)
  4. Who has to do what? (Here, you identify all the people who are directly or indirectly involved in the planing and execution of your strategic plan)
  5. How are you doing so far? (This question should be asked at regular intervals, such as monthly or even weekly)