BY KENNETH C. BATOR
We’re past the unofficial end of summer – Labor Day Weekend. This time also marks the beginning of two more important seasons: football season and strategic planning season. This is without a doubt my favorite time of the year. Not only do I get to watch my sport of choice but also have the opportunity to engage in one of my favorite consulting practices which is helping my clients develop their strategic plans for the coming year.
Not everyone shares my enthusiasm for strategic planning, or even football for that matter. Just ask my ex-wife, about football that is. Regardless of how you feel about developing a strategy, there is a dual opportunity to set the proper direction for your team and engage your employees at a higher level at the same time. Here are a few tips to accomplish both:
Engage the whole team – While ultimately decisions come from the top, there is much value in gaining buy-in from staff on your strategy. Ask them what opportunities are available for your business. They probably know more about your members than management.
When I suggest engaging the entire team in the process I do mean every single person in the org-chart. Many times executives are very good about engaging the frontlines but not always the back office. Remember that professionals in IT, HR, Accounting, and the like are serving members too…internal members. They are hearing the problems their fellow staff members are having with systems and processes every day. These are issues that need to be understood going into the strategic planning process. As said many times before, happy employees = happy members.