Category Archives: Strategic Planning

Have you laid out the steps to achieve your stretch goal for 2017?

Last week we discussed a stretch goal I made for hiking in 2016. This week I said I would discuss how to reach a stretch goal. Sometimes, we think people reach their goals without very deliberate practice. Ha! That has not been my experience.

Let’s say your stretch goal for 2017 is to grow 50% more this year than you did last year. Say, you grew 8% in revenue while maintaining a 5% net profit margin. This year, >

How are you making the pie bigger?

Entrepreneurs are tricksters – they create something where there was naught. It could be a new way to buy every day items like groceries. It could be a product we didn’t know we needed like an I-pad. Currently, it is all about


Are you investing enough to make new projects succeed?

Take a look at a few paragraphs from the Los Angeles Times of May 14, 2016.

“Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday threw his support behind an ambitious $2-billion plan to build housing for California’s mentally ill homeless population.

“The governor’s action comes as cities from Los Angeles to San Francisco, have seen homelessness increase in recent years, sparked in part by >

How do you keep focus on your strategic projects? – Part 2

Last week we laid out a tactical plan for how to make progress on your strategic projects.

I had some feed back about how people executed on the plan.

A Senior Leader of an organization with over 300 people, shared my blog with her direct reports and together they made plans for this week, honoring each others’ focused times and setting goals together. So, now they have created an accountability group within their team to move forward together. They are making this part of their culture.

A small business owner sent me an email mid week telling me about his day. Based on my blog, he took a really important but not “today urgent project” and set himself the goal of finishing it by the end of the day around all the interruptions by staff, phone calls from clients, etc. Each time when he finished with the interruption, he went back to his focus time and continued working on the project. He finished it by day end. He told me that the satisfaction he felt was unbelievable. And, that in the normal course of his workdays, this would never have happened.

Keep those strategic projects top of mind. Plan time to work on them. Find the small acts that have big results. Aargh. It is so annoyingly simple to describe and so hard to do consistently.

If you started this last week, keep going! If you haven’t started, there is no time like the present.

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How do you keep focus on your strategic projects?

As a Vistage Chair, I often hear a speaker more than once – sometimes 3 days in a row. I always learn something from each talk, and this week was no different. Mike Scott was giving his advanced workshop on accountability, and he asked us to write down our top strategic projects. I wrote down what my critical brain said “looks like tomorrow’s tasks to me”.

When Mike called us all back from our thoughts, he said, “Like Nora, one of my strategic projects is to keep my pipeline full. So this morning before we started, I made 3 calls to follow up on prospective work.”

Gulp, that wasn’t even on my list. Yet, as he said it, I absolutely knew that keeping my pipeline full is or should be one of my top 3 strategic activities every week. In fact, it went to the top of the list. Mike suggested that we write the top 3 strategic activities into our phone, or somewhere we can often see it.

That seems so obvious, doesn’t it? Keep our focus on our strategic priorities. And, we don’t do it. We lose our focus on the important, overwhelmed by the urgent.

Further, we don’t plan time to work on the strategic. We get to it when we get to it. Maybe after everyone has left for the day. Or, first thing in the morning because we get in so early. Or, its weekend work, or we stay home to do it cause we can’t focus in the office.

Stop it! Make appointments with yourself to work on your strategic projects. Close the door and do not answer when people knock. Put your cell phone in a drawer set to Airplane Mode. Make it part of your culture so that everyone has focused strategic work time. Keep track of your outcomes. Let’s see if you don’t reach your strategic goals faster and with less stress.


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