One of the key measures of success for any strategic planning session – is how well you have been able to create alignment across the team to the company’s goals.

When it comes to that – generally speaking, less is more.

All to often, it’s easy for business owners to get caught in the detail and design huddles, scoreboards and bonus plans that support the strategic goals of the business, that make complete sense to them…. but are over complicated and difficult for the team to connect to.

We challenged a client recently on what they had in mind for their upcoming planning day – suggesting that running through what we call a high involvement planning process, with their team, can be a great opportunity to take a step back, gather the crucial information, and give clarity to define their most important number for the year ahead and how their team can work towards that – in a simple yet effective way.

So how can you keep it simple and get focused on what matters most?

Here’s the four key areas we’d recommend you pause to reflect on, with your team, in the lead up to any high involvement or strategic planning session –

  1. Employee perspective – what do the team feel are the critical issues facing the business? Ask them to provide feedback anonymously can give greater insight.
  2. Management perspective – are the employees and management team on the same page? Identifying and recognising differences is crucial to planning the company’s critical number and drivers.
  3. The financials – what are the numbers telling us – is everyone on the team reading the same story?
  4. Marketplace – with the first three areas in mind, how does the business sit in the marketplace? What benchmarking data can we look to to measure ourselves against?

With thought given to each of those areas – you and the team can collectively agree what winning is, identify the one or two key numbers to track for the year, and most importantly, agree what the one or two or three drivers are – the activities, behaviours and choices the team are asked to make each day to support the achievement of those goals.