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Strategic Plan – How to Avoid Getting it Lost in Translation (3of3)

October 30, 2009
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In this series we’ve looked briefly at two strategic plan presentation fundamentals to adopt when working with your strategic plan to avoid having it “lost in translation.”

In this third blog on the subject, I want to focus on the third
reason why strategic plans get lost in translation.  It’s sounds
simplistic when I write it, but essentially it’s this…

Most strategic plans aren’t lost in translation,
they just haven’t been translated.
 

That’s it.  Most strategic plans address high level initiatives,
over-arching goals, but don’t get articulated (translated) into
day-to-day projects and tasks that will be required to achieve the plan.

From my perspective, even if you break a strategic plan into
strategies or sub-initiatives, as long as it doesn’t translate
into a worker’s daily work scan, it really hasn’t been translated.

By the way, the “container” format or technology used to
capture the strategic plan, also becomes a self-limiting
obstacle in the strategic plan translation process.

Think about what kind of “container,” if I can use that word,
your strategic plan is in.  I bet it’s in a Powerpoint document,
maybe a Word doc or a spreadsheet.  It’s a container that
is best suited for presentation of findings at a meeting…
not for translating into daily activities when everyone goes
back to their desk.

You see if you don’t use a strategic planning technology
that links to the ongoing projects and todos that everyone
is addressing, then the plan inevitably gets filed in it’s
container, and in effect is never translated. 

That kind of strategic plan will be there for the next review
meeting.  It may even have some accumlation of metrics
and a summary statement.  But it isn’t driving daily decisions
and priorities.  In fact, most strategic plan review is
dominated by rear view mirror activity and thinking.

Strategic plans needs to be so practical that they interface
with people’s todo list for the day, integrating with email,
and othe collaboration technology.  They need to be
translated in a way that connects in a common sense
with staff’s daily work and the tools they use to get the
daily work done.  Does yours?

Bottom Line:
Most strategic plans don’t get lost in translation, they
suffer from never being translated out of their 30,000
foot language into the kind of project and task language
everyone understands and works with on a daily basis.

Links:
Does Strategic Planning Get Lost in Translation? (1 of 3)
Avoid Having Your Strategic Plan Lost in Translation (2 of 3)
Strategic Planning Definition


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