Strategic Planning: Ready, Set, Go!

Strategic planning does not stop once the plan is written. In fact, what comes after the plan is written is the most important part: taking the necessary action to implement the plan.

Effective implementation, communication and follow up are three “must-haves” that will ensure that your well-thought-out plan will indeed become a reality. A good strategic plan will include all three.

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Here are some tips for putting your plan into action.

  • Each strategic implementation plan can benefit by appointing a project manager to oversee the implementation and keep stakeholders on track. Without a single point of contact for coordinating the implementation, the plan may fail.
  • Agreements to ensure ownership of actions must be up front, and duties should be spread out among key stakeholders. Over-relying on any one stakeholder group may put the plan in jeopardy.
  • Agree on a measurable way to track progress and share the process among the organization.
  • When it comes to communication, think, “How can we communicate the strategy in such a way that every member of the organization can articulate the key message?” Then, proceed to work these key messages into all organizational updates and use them as a frame of reference in all strategic conversations. You can never over communicate strategy.
  • Plans fail for many reasons — wrong strategy, wrong timing, wrong talent. However, the biggest contributor to failure can usually be tied to lack of any kind of drive to follow through, to adequately measure results or to fail to reinforce commitment. Give some concentrated thought on how to formulate a follow up plan or process which will not only hold members accountable but also provide a necessary feedback loop towards any required revisions/updates to the plan.

As a leader, I always looked forward to the strategic planning process. Today I enjoy coaching and sharing my experiences with other leaders.

I encourage you to put the effort into implementation, communication and follow-up planning — not just designing the strategy — and your strategy will take flight.


If you would like to discuss strategic planning, reach out to me at sandi (at) soundleadership (dot) ca. For other thoughts on leadership, go to www.soundleadership.ca/resources.

Sandra Hokansson

Sandra Hokansson
Sandi Hokansson is a certified executive-level coach and principal of SoundLeadership. Reach her at sandi (at) soundleadership (dot) ca.

Sandra Hokansson

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