As we near the end of 2016, many of us will be looking backward and forwards, thinking, what have we accomplished so far? Where do we want to take our business in the next year 2017? For those with a big budget for planning, they will be taking a week or so to plan for the coming year. Hopefully they will be relying on their five or ten year Strategic Document which took weeks or months to create. They had captured so many details in it and bound it beautifully and kept it among other document or books in the shelf. These many details will only exist in writing on the document and will never see the light of the day.
Chuck Blakeman of Crankset Group, the Author of the book, ‘Making Money is Killing your Business’ asserts that planning never creates movement, but movement can create a good plan. “Implement now Perfect as you go”

This will all be in page one of the strategic plan while Page two will captures the Key objectives that should be measurable and achievable within twelve months, three months (quarterly) and one month’s objectives (12:3:1). As you can see there is no room for small details which can be captured in a check list. The reason for brevity is that too many details will bog one down and prevent them from seeing the big picture. The objectives must be” SMART” capturing when and who takes the responsibility for each objective
Recently I experienced the power of a two page strategic plan when we as the management committee of an investment group, presented clear picture to the members during an AGM that made them all buy into our strategies. Since then, they have all honored their pledges and are allowing us to move on with all the investment plans that we proposed . We presented to them a clear picture of where we wanted to be in three years time and a date when we would all celebrate the completion of the first phase of the development (BMD). We then shared the vision which was captured in three words “Empowered for Good Works” and our mission statement that was captured in two sentences. We shared seven strategies we were going to employ which included how we were going to grow the funds, the training for the committee and an activity which would include all the members. On the second page we shared all that we were going to do in the next twelve months, three months and finally what we would accomplish in one month time following the AGM. It took less than 10 minutes to share all these and once we were through, the members applauded and voted to keep us all in this management committee for the next one year. One of them commented “How did we put together such an effective committee?”
It was clear to me that the reason they felt this way was that the two page strategic plan brought such clarity and removed the clutter that is so common in traditional business plans.
In the month of October 2016, we at Africa Business Blossoms will dedicate the month to helping the business owners in our network to come up with a two page strategic plan that will guide their operations in the year 2017. The year 2017 will not be viewed in isolation even though it will contain, only the 12 months objectives. The Vision, mission and the BMD which will cover three to five years will be displayed clearly on page one of the document. What will be amazing about it, is that it will be a working document, which cannot put it in the shelf, as it could get lost among the books. The two page strategic document is a dynamic plan that is not cast in stone but reviewed regularly as it is being implemented.

Whatever we train during our workshops is put into practice since we agree with what Chuck says, ”We do not think our way to a new way of Acting. We Act our way to a new way of thinking”

Written by:

Esther Muthoni

Managing Director,

Africa Business Blossoms