A new year provides an opportunity for reflection and observation. With 2014 in the rearview mirror and 2015 looming large, now is a great time to step back and ensure your business is operating at maximum efficiency.
With strategic planning set to be one of the top business challenges of 2015, here are two simple questions your organisation needs to ask in order to ensure it is fully prepared for the year ahead.
"Is our strategic plan stuck on the top shelf?"
Despite being one of the oldest and most common barriers to successful strategic plan execution, S.P.O.T.S. – Strategic Plan On The Top Shelf – syndrome remains a serious concern for many Australian businesses.
All too often, growing organisations fall into the bear trap of pouring precious resources into a strategic planning initiative, only for that plan to be placed on the shelf and out of reach, where it is left to gather dust over the years to come.
Ensure that your strategic plan for 2015 remains a living, breathing document – one that is out in the open and in a constant state of evolution. The top shelf is for unwanted Christmas presents, not for strategic business plans.
"Are our employees involved in the strategic planning process?"
Following on from this, you'll also want to make sure 2015 becomes the year in which every key member of your organisation becomes involved in the strategic planning process.
Although it's true that too many cooks can spoil the broth, it's important not to underestimate the value that alternative opinions within your organisation can hold. Inviting key stakeholders to offer input and direction can ensure your strategic plan is better tailored to the unique needs of your organisation.
Furthermore, make sure that you are communicating and expressing your strategic plan intelligently throughout the entire organisation. Not only will this help your employees understand the direction of the organisation, but it will also boost motivation and engagement by ensuring they feel like a valid part of the team.
Keep these tips in mind and you'll be well on your way to a successful and strategic 2015.