|Strategic Planning Information|
The Power of Strategic Thinking: Creating Meaningful Success
Too much goal setting and strategic planning can leave you feeling like you're working against the forces of nature; too little and you end up where you never intended to be-with a life or business that is bigger, smaller, or different than what you genuinely desire. Though getting you and your organization where you most want them to be at any given time can be hard work it can also be exhilarating. Is there a better way? Is it possible to minimize the stress and maximize the exhilaration while still accomplishing those things that are most important to you?
Absolutely-it simply requires a shift in consciousness. The "win at all costs" mentality (win-lose) continues to give way to the "I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine" mentality (win-win). And this is evolving further. Today we can position ourselves for success, contribute to the success of others, and be responsive to the needs of our changing world (win-win-win).
If your first thoughts echo the sentiment "the world is going to hell in a hand basket," please note that we needn't go with it, nor must we turn back time. Instead, we must take responsibility for our thoughts, feelings and actions-in life and business. What we do affects not only the quality of our lives, but others' lives as well. We have an unprecedented opportunity in today's world to create meaningful lives, powerful and productive organizations, and contribute to a greater good for our global community. The change begins with each one of us.
IDENTIFY YOUR HIGHEST VISION:
"What is your greatest intention for your life and business?" Knowing the purpose for your existence is important. The quality of the goods we create, the services we extend, and the relationships we build are central to all that we are and all that we do. "If you don't know where you're going you might end up somewhere else" is a light-hearted statement that conveys very real wisdom. Yet when people are asked what they most want to accomplish in their lives they all too frequently respond with, "I just want to be successful."
This response is way too vague to be helpful. Genuine success must be personally defined and be inclusive of all aspects of who you are, what you do, and what you want to accomplish. That said, we also know that it is our financial integrity that sustains our ability to contribute in productive and meaningful ways, live in accordance with our greatest desires, and call forth the gifts and talents of others. Our personal and professional lives are inextricably interwoven and it is imperative that we stay attentive to multiple bottom-lines.
KNOW WHAT'S IN YOUR "POSSIBILITY FUNNEL":
"What specific things do you want to direct your attention and efforts toward?" Fulfilling our greatest intentions is a multi-faceted endeavor. It is essential that we not make decisions prematurely, nor let the "tyranny of the possible" stop us from moving forward. Decisions must be made within the context of all of the things that are most important to each individual or entity. Life and business need not be lead in a linear fashion-it's not in our best interest to move from point A to point B with blinders on.
All of our values, the possibilities that intrigue us, and the goals we are striving toward must be within the scope of our vision at all times. Many who have locked into a single goal to the exclusion of all others will tell you how quickly life can get out of balance. A singular focus can cost people their health, loss of significant relationships (both personal and professional), and access to other opportunities that might have served them better.
DECIDE ON THE ONE NEXT STEP:
"What is the ONE next step you can take to move yourself toward your goals?" Every intentional step a person takes offers them new opportunities and insights that will serve as guides for the next step they will want or need to take. It's not necessary to know exactly how things will happen or have everything you anticipate needing before you begin. We can't start an ascent at the top of a mountain, and if we continually focus on all that the trip will entail we can become so daunted that we never begin at all.
Once we have the "big picture" and have grasped the magnitude of our potential journey, we must focus our attention on taking each individual step. Though you can anticipate some of what you'll encounter and can stand ready to respond to changing circumstances, count on life and business to be full of surprises. Trust that you'll know what you need to know when you need to know it and that you can acquire the learning or resources as the need for them arises.
HOLD YOUR GOALS LIGHTLY:
"Do your goals continue to be what you most want to work toward?" Choosing what's most appropriate for us at any given time allows us to make new decisions the minute a given goal or action stops being right. It doesn't matter how much we've invested personally or financially, if a goal is no longer suitable we are better served to release it and move on. Imagine relaxing into the flow of your life, or being able to support your organization's ability to be both goal-oriented and responsive to changing circumstances. Nice thought, huh?
Knowing what you want and why you want it is essential, but staying open to other possibilities is both wise and prudent. Sometimes obstacles are put in our paths to direct us elsewhere, other times to test our resolve and commitment. At the very least obstacles invite us to reassess the "rightness of our direction," and to relinquish our hold on a goal when it serves us well to do so.
UTILIZE EACH NEW VANTAGE POINT:
"Where do you want to go from here?" As you achieve goals or decide they're no longer right for you, new decisions must be made and new directions determined. By continually scanning our changing horizon we create a fluid and self-correcting way to continually experience success. When you consistently reevaluate the "rightness of your direction," you can identify new opportunities and possibilities in the same moment that you are achieving or releasing another goal. Has someone new been drawn to you who can further your efforts? Is there a new use for your efforts? Has something changed, internally or externally, that leads you to feel differently about your goals? Do you want or need to alter course?
Change is the only constant in life and business, it is important to stay open to unintended outcomes and unforeseen possibilities. When we relinquish our need to exert our will over everyone and everything (power over) we can relax into new opportunities for our lives and businesses (power to).
CELEBRATE YOUR SUCCESSES AND CONTINUE ON:
"What have you accomplished and what new sense of purpose has arisen?" Powerful and productive decisions in life and business reflect people's highest visions-and highest visions grow with each step taken. Life and business aren't intended to be a series of starts and stops, at their best they are a constant evolution toward excellence. When someone says, "you're getting there," the smart mouth says "there where?" Each of our goals is merely a mile marker and as it is accomplished or discarded it is replaced by yet another. Life satisfaction increases and the culture of an organization is enhanced tremendously, however, when we take time to acknowledge every step taken as a genuine accomplishment.
Once the celebration is over, our sense of purpose calls for meaningful action to continue.
Success is both a destination and a journey, travel lightly and savor each moment!
Susan J. Schutz founded Highest Vision in 1999. Highest Vision services ? executive coaching, leadership development, and team building -- reflect her deep conviction that professionals can be attentive to their "bottom lines" while also creating lives worth living and businesses that contribute to the good of all. For a free subscription to VantagePoint, Highest Vision's free E-zine for trailblazers in life and business, go to http://www.highest-vision.com.
Nine Succession Planning Mistakes Small Businesses Should Avoid
1. Attempt Succession Planning Without Other Strategic Plans. Succession plans define a company's business heirs, but what will they inherit? They will inherit a company with no vision, no strategy to deal with the competition, and no plans for changing the way it does business, if the current owners spend too little time planning for the future. Every firm should have strategic plans to increase its market value.
The Importance of Value Mix
( * - the word 'product' can be substituted to mean 'service' too; and vice versa )
Business Strategy Planning Made Easy
Ask Yourself three simple questions that affect your strategy planning... What direction is my business going in? How do I create my business strategy so that I can position myself as a leader in my industry? Where do I go to find out information about business strategy planning?
Six Key Principles of Corporate Accountability
The foundation of any business transaction is the promise of fair deal. In complex organizational relationships, it is all too easy to lose sight of the existence and terms of this deal. On the surface, that employer/employee relationship, called a job, is a fair deal wherein the employer's money is traded for the employee's time and talent. The deeper reality, however, is that the employer is actually trading resources for a set of desirable results, which the employee is expected to deliver. The promise to faithfully deliver as agreed by both parties is the essence of accountability.
19 Questions to Supercharge Your Business Plan
Whether you are seeking capital for your company or are optimizing your business strategy, the most important element - particularly for outside investors - may be your written business plan. You can tune-up and supercharge your plan using this 19-step checklist. When your written plan firmly answers yes to each of these 19 questions, your market/product strategy is in terrific shape plus you increase the odds of attracting investment capital.
Innovate Today for Great Leaps Forward Tomorrow
How often does your company make a quantum leap forward? My guess is that, on a scale from "frequently (10) ? to ? never (1)" the answer is much closer to "never" because few companies have a process to innovate or think creatively. Very few attempt to formally think through their business model, their relationships with staff, clients, and vendors, and their product / service offerings.
Strategic Planning Consulting
Strategic planning and consulting is the strategy roadmap to manage business very effectively. To improve the performance in each business level, business strategic planning & consulting is essential. We should draw a clear strategic planning model to dilute the business complexity. If the strategic planning models are clearly set it is easy to find the business solution.
Becoming Wise - Wild & Free - Writing A Successful Business Plan - Part 2 - Do It In Steps
So you've decided to write your own business plan because you know the value that the experience will give you. With the books and software that are out there today you can probably sit down and complete the plan in a day or so, right? Plug in the numbers, add the notes, write the whole narrative (story), print it and get it out to the banks or investors.
Invalid Excuses for Poor Business Results - The Economy
Note to Rite Aid and CVS: It's not about the economy
Business Problem Solving
Is there really anything as a problem? Does chaos or challenge mean you have a problem? I am under the belief that such things as other call problems are indeed the life-blood of opportunity and the louder it knocks the greater the gain. Embrace chaos. In my many years in business I loved a good challenge; let me recommend a good audio book incase you find yourself embattled with what you believe to be insurmountable problems:
Site Selection and Demographic Tips for Establishing Outlets
Many cities have home pages on the Internet. Many of these cities use these sites to promote their town. They use it to attract large corporations who will provide jobs and large retailers who will provide sales tax revenue dollars for city budgets. The first thing you need to do when surveying a town for a likely candidate for a company outlet is to visit their website and that you can do from where you are sitting right now. Websites can be great sources for general and statistical data. Here is some of the information you will find at these Internet sites: Upcoming City Events; Job Opportunities; Library Hours; How To Pay Water Bills; Statistical Data; Basic City Information; Etc.
What is Your MSP?
For many consumers and producers, MSP is an acronym for Manufacturer's Suggested Price. Today, I would like you to consider a different definition for these commonly used letters ?Marketing, Sales and Profitability.
Restaurant Startup - Part 1: Market Research ? What are Potential Competitors Doing?
The first step in starting a restaurant is proper planning. One must lay out a plan complete with goals, priorities, and the tasks that he will need to complete in order to achieve these goals. The biggest mistake first time restaurant owners make is improper planning. Ambition, while absolutely required, is simply not enough to succeed in the highly competitive food service industry.
Your Business: Will It Have A Happy Ending?
"Begin with the end in mind," says Stephen Covey in his book Seven Habits of Successful Living. Those who have created a successful business know it does not happen without planning, hard work, and a little luck. Yet most have no plans for leaving their business, ever.
Planning For The Slow Season Of Your Business To Increase Sales
Every business experiences slower periods. For some, they sell more during the Christmas season while others move at a snail pace. Some sell more during the summer and others less. The key is being aware of your seasons and alternatives available to solve the challenge and change the results.
3 Undercover Ways to Make Big Profits from Your Competition
You have heard that there is extra money on the table marketing products related to yours. You have also heard that your direct competitors product is off the table. How unfortunate. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to profit from the hard work, expertise and quality of your competitions product?
Water Conservation and Water Issues for Mobile Car Washers and Auto Detailers
Obviously, there will never be an actual water shortage since two-thirds of our earth's surface is water. The problem is distribution. One problem is getting water to the desert before it evaporates. And why do people plant lawns in Las Vegas? Another problem is that people and plants and animals need fresh water not salt water. Fresh water comes from rain and salt water comes from our oceans. So how do we separate out the salt from the ocean water? The method called desalinization works best. But this isn't free. It costs an average of $3.33 per unit of water. Almost double what you pay from your tap at home. As Las Vegas, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Riverside, etc. expand, we will get into a supply and demand situation. When the price per unit of water reaches $3.00 plus, we will then be able to afford to build adequate infrastructure to handle our water needs through desalinization. The cost of the new infrastructure can be amortized and paid for by us on a unit of water level.
Secrets Of Effective Brainstorming
Have you been in a "brainstorming" session where each person just defended their own ideas? Worse is when people don't suggest ideas at all, for fear they'll be attacked. That's no way to brainstorm. Brainstorming is using the power of many minds, and ideas should flow freely and trigger other ideas. How do you make that happen?
ERP Role in Selling Your Mid-size Business ? Microsoft Great Plains and CRM Example
If you own the mid-size business and actively work in it as executive manager or lead, say marketing, ? you probably know exactly what needs to be done on the daily basis to keep it running. However, in many cases this business critical knowledge exists in your head only. This means that if you would like to sell your business ? it has little value without your participation. So, ahead of the selling time you should "formalize" the business ? to make it work within the systems and rules, independent of people. Let's consider the parts we will need.
How To Prepare A Business Plan That Guarantees Big Profits
It is always said "If you Fail to Plan, you Plan to Fail"
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