Why every Company needs a Plan-on-a-Page

Organizations need a solid strategic plan that is condensed, accessible, and simple to understand in order to succeed and produce results. Many businesses make the common error of believing that a “good” plan must be intricate and lengthy.

In fact, the opposite is true.

There is no need for your top-level plan to be longer than one page and should consist only of a brief, concise description of where your organization needs to go.

The Problem with Strategy Execution and Communication

Only 10% of businesses are successful in converting their strategy into tangible results.

This means that, shockingly, 90% of businesses—even those with carefully thought-out plans—fail to successfully implement their strategy.

It is obvious that something must change—and soon. Because no one truly comprehends the strategy, the company’s goals, and its priorities, organizations frequently struggle to put them into action.

The majority of businesses create lengthy, overly complicated strategy documents that no one ever reads (or, if they do, they frequently select the sections that are most pertinent to them and skip others).

The majority of strategies are also excessively wordy, and inflexible, and frequently resemble a disorganized mash-up of goals, actions, and metrics.

It is challenging to implement, difficult to monitor, and difficult to manage a plan that is too woolly, long, or static for an organization. According to my experience, such tactics eventually pass away quietly or are given minor roles.

Your strategy must be something that every employee can pick up, understand what it says, and know what needs to be done in order to combat all of this.

Distilling your plan into a one-pager

The solution is to keep your plan brief and straightforward—a plan on a page. The newest strategy management tools make it simple for organizations to define and communicate their strategy and priorities while ensuring that everyone within the organization is aware of and contributing to the strategy.

You can use tools like strategy maps to create a cogent plan and visualize it in a straightforward, understandable one-page picture.

The most powerful way to achieve this is by creating a one-page plan that can be read by anyone.

This plan will immediately focus your employees’ minds and provide direction. It does this by showing, at a quick glance, what the intended outcomes are, as well as the core activities and underpinning enablers that will lead to their achievement.

Knowing Where to Start

Defining your purpose and ambition can help you get started on your plan on a page because they succinctly capture the organization’s overarching goal (or goals). Therefore, now is a great time to start developing your ambition (or vision) and purpose (or mission) statements.

Additionally, if you already have them, it is worthwhile to carefully consider whether they are still appropriate for their intended use. Has your market changed in a way that has an impact on your mission and future goals, for instance?

Unfortunately, most vision and mission statements are typically generic and uninspiring, such as “being the number one supplier to our customers”.

If you have a mission and vision, make sure that these are not only clear and specific; but also inspiring and motivational – for those inside and outside the organization.

With your vision and mission statements in mind, it becomes easier to craft the critical few financial and non-financial objectives that will deliver the company’s success. Your plan should drill down to the core objectives that are critical to delivering the vision and mission.

Looking ahead beyond the Plan

There are numerous tools available that can assist you in creating a straightforward plan on paper, such as strategy maps. As an alternative, you can use my six-step strategy for developing a one-page plan.

After your strategy is established, you can then use additional strategy management tools to assist you in matching the organization’s activities (projects, programs, and initiatives) with the strategy.

Simple plans and the implementation of those plans’ processes serve as important differentiators between top-performing organizations and those that aim to do so.

Because of this, I think my best piece of advice for anyone looking to grow their business is to write a one-page plan.

If you’re enjoying reading my blogs, you can consider visiting my other topics here. Or you can also visit my YouTube Channel for more free tips and learnings. Click Here!

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