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About This Episode

It’s business planning season, which hopefully means you and your team will soon be reviewing recent performance, outlining future initiatives, creating budgets, and listing new hires. While leaders want to build a plan that provides clarity and specificity, the plan should also be so energizing and compelling that our teams want to implement it. It must also contain clear accountabilities, so there’s no confusion about who does what.

Today, we’re going to learn a blindspot or two in the annual business planning process and receive tips on how to overcome them. In this episode, we’ll discuss why most strategic and annual plans fail — and what to do about it. Our guest is Michael Hyatt, bestselling author and CEO of Michael Hyatt & Company, which specializes in leadership development.

 

Your One Next Step

In each episode, we highlight one next step for you and provide an activation or delegation guide to help you immediately take action, start applying what you learn, and get your team to help you.

Your Next Step: Start developing your organization’s vision script using Michael Hyatt’s, Vision Building Starter Kit. It’s a bundle featuring some of Michael’s best, free resources related to developing your vision, such as:

  • The Vision Grader Assessment — a free assessment to determine whether your existing vision can help you grow your organization
  • The Vision Church Leader — a free guide by Thom and Art Rainer on creating and communicating a vision for your church
  • The first chapter of The Vision Driven Leader, Michael’s recent book on crafting and activating your organization’s vision

With a purchase of Michael’s book, The Vision Driven Leader, you’ll also receive:

  • The Clear Vision Cheat Sheet — an exclusive resource for One Next Step listeners and friends of BELAY that will help you get started fast with seven steps to create your vision
  • The Vision Scripter — a unique tool that will help you draft your Vision Script in just minutes with coaching videos from Michael Hyatt
  • The Vision Sharing Guide — a guide on how to get your team onboard with your vision
  • 20/20 Vision Kit — a guide with quotes, tips, and ideas to help you have an unobstructed vision of what’s possible

 

Access the Vision Building Starter Kit

1. Failure to plan is a plan to fail.

The most common reason strategic and annual plans fail is organizations are too stuck in the day-to-day work to pause, look ahead, and plan for the future. Leaders also hesitate to plan because they’re waiting until they feel confident about how to do it and what they want in the plan. However, as Michael reminded us in the episode, courage precedes confidence, so leaders must act in spite of fear. Lastly, strategic and annual plans fail because they’re quickly turned into relics as they’re placed on shelves or hidden on hard drives, never to be looked at again.

2. Directions without a destination are worthless.

It’s hard to build a plan for an unknown goal just like it’s hard to specify directions to an unclear destination. This is why Michael tells us that vision is the first and most important part of your strategic plan. Together, your vision and strategy collectively represent what most call a strategic or annual business plan. The vision defines where we’re going, and the strategy articulates how we’ll get there.

Remember, Michael encourages us to go beyond a vision statement to develop a Vision Script so we have the details needed to build a plan. A Vision Script is a three- to five-page written document outlining a clear, inspiring, practical, and attractive picture of your organization’s future, including the four major components of your organization — team, product, marketing, and impact.

3. What gets scheduled gets done.

You won’t develop your vision or strategic plan until you’ve scheduled time on your calendar to do it. Michael personally spends one day per year working on the vision for his company and a week per year working with his team on the strategic plan. Book the appointment, communicate it to your team, ask for any information you’ll need on hand, and maximize your time by reading Michael’s book, The Vision Driven Leader before your vision development session.

4. Turn your long-term vision into daily actions.

If our plans don’t show up in our planners, strategic planning will feel like a waste of time. To develop and activate your vision and strategic plan, Michael recommends taking the following steps:

    • Write your Vision Script. 
    • Conduct a SWOT analysis in light of your vision. 
    • Define your strategic priorities. 
    • Turn your strategic priorities into goals for the organization.
    • Make one team member responsible for each goal.
    • Identify a few next actions associated with each goal.

While these steps will conclude the development of your strategic plan, you’ll now need to align your team to empower them to execute. You can do this by completing a few additional steps, namely communicating the vision to the entire team and transforming annual goals into quarterly goals, weekly priorities, and daily actions.

Step 1 (Vision Script): Where are we going?
Step 2 (SWOT Analysis): What are our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats as it relates to our ability to achieve our vision?
Step 3 (Strategic Priorities): Out of the SWOT analysis, what are the 7-10 results we must address next year if we’re going to move toward that vision?
Step 4 (Annual Goals): What are our specific, measurable, actionable, and time-bound objectives related to each strategic priority?
Step 5 (Goal Owners): Who can and should own the achievement of each goal?
Step 6 (Next Actions): What are 3-5 actions we know we’ll need to take to get started on the completion of this goal?

If you don't design the future, you will drift to a destination you didn't choose.

Michael Hyatt

Vision is where you’re going. Strategy is how you get there.

Michael Hyatt

What gets scheduled gets done.

Michael Hyatt

The resources will not appear until the vision is clear.

Michael Hyatt

(03:25) Today’s listener question: “How do I write and execute a strategic, annual plan?”

(05:17) Tricia’s experience working with Michael Hyatt as his first virtual assistant

(08:40) What most organizations get wrong when creating strategic or annual plans

(12:39) The most important part of your strategic plan

(16:00) The difference between vision and strategy

(17:40) How and when to develop your vision, present your vision to the team, and incorporate it within your strategic plan

(22:45) Michael’s advice for leaders getting started with strategic or annual planning

(23:46) The biggest pitfall for leaders when developing their vision or strategic plan

(25:28) How to develop and activate your strategic plan after you’ve created your vision 

(29:00) How Michael Hyatt’s team turns their strategic plan into daily actions

(31:30) Tricia and Lisa share their takeaways

(36:54) Today’s One Next Step: Access Michael Hyatt’s Vision Building Starter Kit, which includes some of Michael’s best free resources related to developing your vision.

In each episode, we highlight one next step for you and provide an activation or delegation guide to help you immediately take action, start applying what you learn, and get your team to help you.

 

Your Next Step: Start developing your organization’s vision script using Michael Hyatt’s, Vision Building Starter Kit. It’s a bundle featuring some of Michael’s best, free resources related to developing your vision, such as:

  • The Vision Grader Assessment — a free assessment to determine whether your existing vision can help you grow your organization
  • The Vision Church Leader — a free guide by Thom and Art Rainer on creating and communicating a vision for your church
  • The first chapter of The Vision Driven Leader, Michael’s recent book on crafting and activating your organization’s vision

 

With a purchase of Michael’s book, The Vision Driven Leader, you’ll also receive:

  • The Clear Vision Cheat Sheet — an exclusive resource for One Next Step listeners and friends of BELAY that will help you get started fast with seven steps to create your vision
  • The Vision Scripter — a unique tool that will help you draft your Vision Script in just minutes with coaching videos from Michael Hyatt
  • The Vision Sharing Guide — a guide on how to get your team onboard with your vision
  • 20/20 Vision Kit — a guide with quotes, tips, and ideas to help you have an unobstructed vision of what’s possible

 

Access the Vision Building Starter Kit

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Join Us Next Week

Thank you for listening to One Next Step.

We hope you’ll join us next week for one of our first masterclass episodes as Tricia and Lisa share business basics that often go overlooked, unspoken, or misunderstood. In next week’s episode, they’ll be answering the question, “What financial metrics matter most?”