Welcome to the new year! Did you create a new strategic plan last fall, or are you in the middle of a multi-year plan? Either way, how do you create and sustain the energy to move the plan throughout the year?

Start with bringing the plan into action. What steps (aka goals) can be taken in this first quarter? And, of those steps, what can be done in each month? Create a ladder for your plan so the top rung is your outcome and the rungs are steps with specific timelines.

Let’s say Grow, Rich and Now have decided to increase their client revenue base by 20% over the next 5 years. They also want to increase the number of clients such that their top ten clients contain no more than 20% of their revenue over the next 5 years. These are two elements of their overall plan and, as specific and measurable as they are, these are poised for immediate action.

Set aside time with your executive committee to discuss how you want to move forward this year. Moving at 4% a year is much easier than 20% in year 5. So, how do we get there?

Now that we have broken down the long-term goals, we create action items for each year. As an example, the first 4% increase will result from attention to specific (named) clients who will receive extra attention through what measurable efforts? These efforts can now be broken down into monthly goals, with assigned responsibilities. These goals are tracked through the leadership discussions of the firm, including budgeted expenses related to the efforts, and the commitments made by individuals.

As the strategic plan grows into tangible and measurable efforts in more frequent time increments, the success of the overall plan rises. This energizes your leaders in developing future strategic plans, while reaping the benefits of the time invested in developing the current strategic plan into smaller, actionable efforts.

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