Strategy is often thought about as the direction that an organization intends to proceed, according to the senior leaders. While this is true, it does not mean that individuals cannot be strategic within their own position of the organization. A simple definition of strategy is: A plan, method, or series of maneuvers for obtaining a specific goal or result. The definition holds true regardless of scale, scope, or situation. It is easy to have a goal that applies to your everyday job function, but how do you formulate a strategy to achieve the results you desire?
Steps to Creating a Personal Strategic Plan
Typically, the biggest challenges you face in becoming strategic are being able to concentrate on the future and to find unique ideas that will help add additional value to your position and the organization. You must find the time, energy, and discipline to break loose from your daily routine. Who hasn’t spent the entire day accomplishing only the necessary tactical items without having a single minute to think about anything else?
1. Set aside time to think about your plan
The first step to formulating a personal strategic plan is finding the time to think about it. Typically, the biggest challenges you face in becoming strategic are being able to concentrate on the future and to find unique ideas that will help add additional value to your position and the organization. You must find the time, energy, and discipline to break loose from your daily routine. Who hasn’t spent the entire day accomplishing only the necessary tactical items without having a single minute to think about anything else? Put yourself in an environment that will foster and support strategic thought. The easiest way to find time to start thinking strategically is to block out a few minutes in your day to do it. Put everything else on hold for ten to fifteen minutes and ask yourself, “How can I improve my distinct value to the organization?”
2. Define a specific target
Once you have moved away from your regular work situation and have begun to think about future improvements you can make, the next step is to define a specific target. The target must be something worth fighting for; something that is critical to your future success. If you do not have any passion for your target, you will never gain enough traction to make it happen. When locating your objective, focus your attention on areas that will help you succeed in the future. There are multiple categories to search while looking for possible enhancements. These include clients’ needs and wants, products and services offered, co-worker relations, process efficiencies, available resources, and your own knowledge and expertise. Depending on your position in the company, an improvement in any of these areas will add value to the organization’s bottom line.
3. Create an action plan
After you have found an area within the organization that you can have a direct impact upon, set up an action plan that will guide you towards your target. Make sure to do your homework and gather all of the pertinent information surrounding your end goal. Be prepared to be flexible as other opportunities present themselves. Be ready to adapt as obstacles and challenges block you from your target.
4. Improve your strategic plan as you go
Continue taking time every day to strategically think about your plan. The time to start forming your own strategy is now. Unique ideas for improvement exist. Finding these ideas and formulating a strategy to act upon them is difficult. Having a personal strategic plan gives you a competitive advantage within your own role of the organization. It will provide a road map towards your future success.
Mark Peacock is the Sales & Marketing Director for CMOE. His many years experience collaborating with top Organizational Development clients allows him a unique perspective into the topics and issues that real world companies are dealing with and the solutions they use to impact their challenges.
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