So, the New Year has hit and if you are in the majority we are all trying to implement those great plans you made in the last quarter of 2011. WHAT? Oh…you didn’t make a “Great” plan for 2012. Well don’t fret, it’s never too late to plan, as a matter of fact I’m going to share with a few of my secrets for “Great” planning and a profitable 2012. Okay, well they aren’t secrets at all, just great advice from my “Growth” mentor Verne Harnish “The Growth Guy” at Gazelles.
Now, I guess you may be wondering what a Technology Architect is doing dishing out Strategic Planning advice. The answer is simple. At Transformyx we aren’t just interested in making technology work we are interested in adding value and profits to your bottom line and that begins with a “Great” plan and goals.
Strategic Planning 101
- Validate the Company Name: Make sure what you do and what you call the company is still valid. I know that sounds pretty basic but you would be surprised how over time the name of a company it’s branding don’t necessarily fit with the current products and services you offer.
- SWOT Analysis: Do a quick SWOT Analysis. This is an exercise you should do at least once a year. Define your organizations strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
- Core Values: List and define your core values. Make them well known throughout your organization and by all means live them.
- Core Purpose & BHAG: List your core purpose for the company’s existence. I know that sounds like an odd question, but I guarantee it will focus you and your team. BHAG = Big Hairy Audacious Goal…have you got one? If you don’t you really need to come up with one. My BHAG is to have an Anti-Trust suite filled against us. Now that’s a BHAG.
- 3-5 Year Goals & Financial Outcomes: Pick a date from 3 -5 years from now and define what you’d like to see in terms of revenues, profits and market capitalization. You develop your strategy based on the defined goals.
- Special Sauce & Brand Promise: Define what makes you different, why you are better than the competition and what are you promising to the customer. At Transformyx our brand promise is “Superior Customer Experiences”. We want the customer to feel good about doing business with us.
- Smart Numbers: Most people call these “Metrics”. Metrics are simple numbers that give you insight into how you are performing. Defining and reporting on these crucial numbers in a timely basis will be the keys to your success.
- Accountability: Every person should have a job description and every job should be assigned to a responsible party. I realize that most jobs require many people to accomplish but make sure someone in the organization is the primary person who owns that task. Failure to assign ownership will most assuredly guarantee failure.
Okay, so I’ve given you a quick informal taste of how to get started. If you want to learn more visit www.gazelles.com and use the many free resources available to you through Verne’s website.
If you need help internally getting this process started, developing metrics and manipulating your data systems to drive your “Smart Numbers” into your hands, then call me and we can sit down and talk about your company, your goals and what it is going to take to achieve them.
It’s not too late to get started but you had better get started soon.
There’s a saying I love: Every morning in Africa a gazelle wakes up. She knows she must outrun the fastest lion or she will be killed. Every morning a lion mother wakes up. She knows she must outrun the slowest gazelle or her cubs will starve. It doesn’t matter if you are a lion or a gazelle, when the sun comes up you had better be running.