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You’ve done the hard work of creating a strategic plan for your business. Now what? If your company is like many others, the plan will sit on a shelf, mostly ignored, gathering dust.

It’s like having a roadmap to your destination but never getting in your car to drive.

Your company’s strategic process might look like this: you get everybody together and book a room at an off-site location. You may even go away for an overnight retreat.

At these events, you spend a lot of time working together, putting ideas on paper and coming up with a list of big initiatives in the coming year that’ll really move things forward. You may even create a three-ring binder you call your strategic plan.

And then everybody heads back to the office and life starts happening again.

You lose a piece of business. You get that big contract you weren’t sure was going to come through. An important employee quits. You’re running out of office space and you’ve got to negotiate a new lease. Or the servers are at capacity and have to be replaced.

Life happens and the strategic planning binder goes on a shelf – and that’s where it stays gathering dust.

Strategic thinking is a monthly conversation, not an annual retreat with a resulting binder that sits on a shelf.

If you don’t actively manage your strategy … you will fail … epically!!

To make your strategic planning work, bring all that great thinking from the offsite back into your leadership team. Once a month, make the agenda your strategic plan.

You have to keep communicating along the way so you can be both informed and responsive to the inevitable changes, twists and turns in the road.

When was the last time you sat down with your leadership team and reviewed where you are with the strategic plan? Did a huge shift in your market or your environment catch you completely off-guard? If you’ve noticed those kinds of things happening, it’s time to dust off the strategic plan and make it a living breathing, nimble road map again!

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dusty books on a shelf