4 Steps to Building a Successful Strategy

You’ve probably been there.  Faced with developing a strategic plan—for your company, your department, or a non-profit board that you sit on.  You need to involve others, but how?  You need a meaningful, practical approach, but what does it look like?  You need to end up with a strategy that is clear and actionable, and provides enough detail to show that you’ve done your work, but not too much that it becomes cumbersome to understand.  

You could take the traditional approach of starting with your organization’s Mission, Vision and Values.  Or, look at the financial goals that have been promised to your shareholders and back into the actions that are needed to support them.  But, really, there is a simpler approach to strategic planning that will get you what you need, and what your internal stakeholders crave:  simple, practical actions that address what is standing in the way of where you need to go as an organization. 

The 4-step process that Refinery uses to facilitate the strategic planning process can be found here.

This process will create the platform for the deep, sometimes conflict-ridden conversations that you need to have with your leadership team.  It’s hard work. As it should be. 

Good strategy is not about fluffy goals and aspirational statements.  It is not about thinking of all the things you could do. Good strategy is about facing the reality of where you are at, being articulate about where you want to be in the next 3 years and facing the challenges that stand in your way.   

Good strategy also is about knowing when say “No” in order to stay focused on what you can realistically accomplish in the short and mid-term. Good strategy is about being honest about where you are at now compared to where you want to be and figuring out what you can leverage to get there.  

Refinery’s approach to strategy is realistic, emotional, practical and freeing. We help you to eliminate the “noise”  that clouds your thinking and get focused on what is really important—the things that will bring you to where you want to be, directly and with the support and accountability of your team. 

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