Developing an Effective Strategic Plan

Strategic planning – now there’s a scary subject.  When you hear those terms, you’re likely to think about military strategy, perhaps even a game of chess.  In life, whether it’s part of the job hunt or not, having a plan is crucial.  Not only is it important to have a plan, it’s also good to know the plan and adjust it as things change. 

“Vision without execution is a daydream. Execution without vision is a nightmare.” -Japanese Proverb

Create the plan.  It all starts with having a plan.  Know what your goals are and what you want to achieve within one month, 6 months, and a year.  When creating your strategy, it’s also important to set deadlines for achieving or implementing that plan. 

Know the plan.  You can’t just create the plan and call it good.  If you plan to achieve your objectives, you’re going to need to know what the plan is, when the deadlines are approaching, and what you need to do. 

Review the plan.  Not all plans are perfect, especially the first draft.  Things change and goals are re-prioritized.  Review your plan on a regular basis, adjusting where it is appropriate.  By the time you reach the deadline, you most likely will have had tweaked your strategy bit by bit so that it fits with your priorities. 

Keep planning.  After the month, 6 months or year has gone by, take a look at your plan, your accomplishments, what worked and what didn’t work.  This is a great way to really see the true outcomes of your strategy.  Not all plans work the first time.  If you’re able to admit this and move forward, you’ll be just fine. 

Little adjustments here and there will help make your plan work out smoothly.  I’d like to share something that has helped me in all aspects of my life, including strategic planning:

Serenity Prayer

God, please grant me the serenity to accept the things that I cannot change, the courage to change the things that I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. 

Regardless of what your religious views are, I say take your inspiration where you can get it.  By keeping all four of the points above in mind when creating your strategic plan, you’ll set yourself up for success in all that you do. 

Please feel free to add your comments below.  I would love to know what you think about strategic planning.  As always, thanks for reading.


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