SCORE: Draw us a picture

As a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration, SCORE - which offers free business mentoring and education -- notes the organization has helped more than 11 million entrepreneurs through mentoring, workshops and educational resources since 1964. The nonprofit SCORE was previously known as the Service Corps of Retired Executives.


As 2019 comes to a close, many of us in management will participate in development Strategic Plan for the coming year.

This is a useful exercise but how often do we hear the planning was done and then put it on the shelf and forgotten. That doesn’t have to happen.

Aristotle taught “The soul never thinks without a picture.” That’s true. We all visualize our thoughts and dreams so why not make a picture of your Strategic Plan? Try this process with your team

1. The top executive writes and articulates a clear, crisp statement of how the organization will

look in 3 to 5 years.


2. Define your Value Proposition. What do you do that makes your company preferred long-term vendor to your served market. What makes you attractive to new customers. Believe me, it is not just price.

3. Spell out your culture. What are your values and how will you consistently treat each other,

your customers, your vendors, and the public in general.

4. Have a reliable and up-to-date database. This is more than your financial statements. Data

points from which you can clearly measure progress.

5. Do an analysis of your process, both internal and external. How do you get the things done and what are your bottlenecks. This should develop up to 10-12 Key Result Areas (KRA) that can be prioritized to reach your goals. These are the bricks in your road map.

6. Assign the KRA’s to team members that are willing and capable of making the KRA happen. No employees should undertake more than two of these KRAs. What a wonderful training opportunity and a great team building program. The steps listed above are no different from what is done in strategic planning. The next step is what’s different. Outline your plan on an 8.5 x 8 sheet of paper. Start on the lower left section of the page and draw two lines diagonally to the upper right. At the upper right have a picture that reflects success in 3 to 5 years. Then

between those lines lay the bricks the (KRAs) that pave the road. Identify who is responsible for


each KRA. Finally, add the steps 1 to 3 above to the sheet. You now have your picture — a

picture that can be duplicated, shared and posted in offices and the break room.

7. The final and probably the most important activity. The boss should use the picture in casual in formal meetings with all the employees. It is a wonderful conversation process. They need to know you are a believer.

To summarize. The process outlined above does work. We’ve seen it work in very positive ways. The picture can be outlined in less than one working day. It’s worth having a clever artist create the picture. Share it and make it a living document. If you would like to see some examples please give me a call.

Best wishes for a new year of growth and success. SCORE is here to help — 218-251-4413.

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