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A strategy without an action plan is just a story

How are we doing against what we decided was important for the year?

Whether we strategise solo, or insularly within our own team / business or expansively with outside support, the strategic thinking that we commit to a document is simply a story.

It can be an engaging Ripping Yarn or a thriller or a gritty tale of triumph over adversity. On the page, in the Board Papers, or in the minutes of the Management Meetings, no matter how well written and communicated it is simply a story.

Until……

We transform it into deliberate, specific commitments within our overall workload and priority management system.

At the very least, every milestone on the various strands of the agreed strategy should appear on the calendar of every team member contributing to the strategy.

It is simple to do this with all popular calendaring tools. In Microsoft Outlook, for example, the agreed Milestones can be entered into calendars through the ‘All Day Event’ area at the top of each day. Team members can be invited to these events in the same way as they are invited to regular meetings.

Better still, all key Tasks should be scheduled into our workflow and workload management system alongside the day job but differentiated from it through whatever filters are available within our email / calendar/ tasking tool. In Microsoft Outlook and Lotus Notes this is ‘Categories’.

Of course, the decision has still to be made, the resolve strengthened, the time and energy mustered and protected, to turn the Calendar or Task item into delivered work without having to get it done just in time before the next ‘Strategy update meeting’, or worse still – make excuses about being busy.

Planning and delivery of critical results is the mark of character of a true Priority Manager, a trait I find in most of the people I have trained long after the workshop is done.

Real priority managers   weld their strategic purpose to their daily priority decisions, get more of the right stuff done and are more efficient in their workload management behaviours.

To find out how, give me a call or get in touch

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