Remember those strategic plans? Those annual goals? Although it’s only the beginning of June, the bad news is the year is already half over. As I know from personal experience, annual goals have a way of sneaking up on you. This is my mid-year reminder to get them out, dust them off, and decide what to do about them.
There are really only three viable options:
- Ignore them altogether and just deal with business as it happens – per usual.
- Review and see what needs course correction and/or change.
- Celebrate and add since you’ve done such a great job achieving them!
For those who are tracking a strategic plan with annual goals for the first time, you will likely realize you were either one of two things – overly optimistic about what you could accomplish or way too conservative and will be accused of sandbagging. For the veterans of the strategic planning process, you will likely be on track but will need to adjust for those unforeseen internal and external events that may affect your ability to succeed.
If you’re a newbie to the process, figure out which end of the spectrum you are on and get back to the middle. Don’t beat yourself up about it, just be much more realistic about your capabilities going forward. It’s important to accurately assess what did or did not happen and WHY. If you don’t ask this question, you will lose the opportunity to do it better next time. For the veterans, challenge yourself to do more, don’t get complacent or take things for granted. What more could you accomplish? What opportunities could you go after? The goals you put out there are much more likely to happen because you identified them so make sure they’re what you want and then some!
If you chose option #1, then you are ignoring the fact that you spent time and money creating a strategic plan to begin with, so expect to get what you always do, slow or no growth and a continuing game of whack-a-mole. You may need to get a bigger hammer but otherwise, it will be the same.
Option # 2 and #3 are naturally the best options to run a business. You want to model how one goes about creating and tracking goals, making adjustments, and celebrating successes. Running a business without a map is like driving without one – how will you know when you get to your destination? You won’t because you won’t know where you’re going. If we had Google maps or Waze for business, running one would be so much easier. Until someone develops that app we need to follow the principles of strategic planning 101!