Over the last few weeks we’ve looked at your vision for your organisation and what success looks and feels like for you, so now it’s time to think about your plan for next year.
In this weeks blog we’re going to go through one framework for getting your strategy from out of your head and down on to paper. This is the framework I’ve been using for years and it works well. However, this is not the only framework or set of tools and you’ll know what works for you and what won’t.
Whatever you end up using, the most important point here is that you end with a plan written down in black and white. How detailed that plan is is entirely up to you but it’s vital to have one.
Effectively, any plan needs to answer two fundamental questions: where do I want to go? and how am I going to get there? These are not easy questions to answer but the heart of your strategy has to be focussed on delivering the outcomes you want.
When planning it’s really easy to get focussed on the nitty-gritty and finer details but it’s important to get a sense of the bigger picture. Before I begin putting pen to paper, the one thing I find really helpful is to take a morning out to go on a walk. The fresh air clears my head and my heart, gives me a fresh perspective on where I have been, where I am and where I am going and recharges me for the task ahead. This has never failed to work for me so its important for you to find that thing that works for you and gives you the energy and focus you need.
A few months ago I wrote a blog about a planning tool I use called a NAOMIE. You can read a full description here but here’s the summary:
In order to plan anything you have to understand what NEED a certain activity is going to fulfil.
Once you’ve identified the need you have your AIM which, simply, is to meet the need.
Your core aim is then broken down into smaller, more manageable OBJECTIVES.
When you’ve worked those out you can then decide what your METHODS are – what are you going to practically to do meet your objectives?
It’s then always good to think through your INDICATORS – the signposts you’re looking out for that tell you you’re on the right track.
And then, finally, there needs to be some EVALUATION so you know how effective or successful your activity has been.
To help you understand how it works, here’s a PDF with my overarching NAOMIE for 2017. It’s not a complicated document and full of the sort of activities that most business do but it’s important to get it down as it gives you something to measure the year by and mark your progress. It needs to be said that I’ve not done everything in this document but I have achieved the overarching goal for this year because I had a plan a knew where I was going.
To make life as easy as possible for you, we’ve created a blank NAOMIE sheet for you and you can download it here. If working in this way is not helpful for you then that’s absolutely fine – we’re all different. But it’s critical that you find the planning method that works for you and get making that all important plan.
Next week we progress onto a mini series about branding and marketing, starting with social media. So go, take a walk, get some fresh air and a fresh perspective, then sit down and get started with making a plan for 2018 to be a real success.