Getting ready for strategy

Five tips to make your new strategy successful
Wednesday, November 1, 2023

It’s nearing the end of the year, which means it’s strategy planning time—the season to take stock, review what worked and what didn’t, and evaluate how well you did in meeting your goals and objectives. Look back. How did you and your team do this year?

If you are like most companies, you had a planning retreat reaffirming your vision and mission, laying out your strategic initiatives, and affirming your values. We believe in this work! Download our VMSV (Vision, Mission, Strategies, and Values) pyramid framework to help wrap your head around how these elements commonly fit together. But this pyramid is just a start. Seldom do we have a new year plan that is visible, actionable, trackable, and attainable.


Download the VMSV Pyramid

From our experience working with dozens of companies, there are a few pitfalls that companies commonly fall into when working on their plans. You can avoid trouble by simply applying the following five simple practices.

Co-create the VMSV with your team. All too often, leaders tell their teams what they have decided for everyone’s best interests. The reality is, in order to get buy-in and commitment and to make everyone an advocate, you should include as much of your team as possible in the process. Get their input and feedback in order to gain trust and build engagement.

Visualize the plan. Don’t produce a bad PowerPoint deck, filled with words and ugly charts, then file it away, never to be seen again. Visualize your plan to make it a unifying symbol for the company. It can be your banner, your creed … a flag around which everyone can rally.

Establish teams, timelines, resources, and measurements for your strategic initiatives. Platitudes won’t cut it. Identify your key initiatives and assign teams to work on them; have them assemble to create their plan for success, identifying resources needed, the budget required, timelines, and barriers to overcome. Set performance metrics.

Share the outcome broadly. Everyone should know of where you are going, why you’re headed to that vision, what is needed, and how you plan to get there. Your VMSV should also be part of each employee onboarding, shared at every all-hands meeting, used as a tool during employee reviews, and made visible in public areas to remind everyone of your vision, mission, and strategy.

Use a third party for facilitation. Use a professional facilitator to ensure you can effectively and efficiently align on your VMSV. This can be done in a one-day off-site with the team. Using a third-party facilitator will often ensure that one team member’s voice does not dominate the conversation; a designed meeting process enables those who are less likely to speak up to have a chance for their opinion to be seen and heard. And, if you use a team member to run the session, they can’t participate in the work.

It’s strategy planning time. You still have the chance to prepare for a great year! If you want to kick around your needs and ideas, just reach out.

Parker Lee

Parker Lee is the managing partner of Territory, a design consultancy, who has developed and led teams in transformation, design thinking, and business development for decades. Co-author of The Art of Opportunity, he has created and facilitated dozens of design and visual thinking engagements.

Share this post:

Explore more

Stay in the loop.