Oh no! I didn’t plan for that! What do I do?

Why should you use Epiphany to facilitate your strategic plan?

I drove into Chicago recently to pick up my son from a week-long camp. On the turnpike, there were several stretches of construction, where the signage was very clear. Slow down! Right lane closed ahead. Get over! 45 MPH! $375 minimum fine in construction zones. Both sides of the turnpike were down to one lane, and there were hundreds of busy workers coming and going. As you can imagine on a Friday afternoon just outside of Chicago, I was not alone with my thoughts on the road. There were thousands of people traveling the same stretch of the road.

Although the signs were very clear, not only was it important that you abide by the speed and line restrictions, but that you would be heavily fined if you didn’t. Although I didn’t plan for these delays, I decided to use my time wisely and listen to a podcast. It was obvious, to me that we just needed to be patient and follow the rules and everyone would get to where they were going safely and the busy workers whose job it was to fix the roads would also get home to their families. Win – Win! Right?

Not everyone had the same approach to the alternate travel instructions or the speed modifications. Some were swerving from lane to lane, looking for a place where they could pass the traffic in front of them. Others decided to speed up to get in front of everyone else in line before reaching the one lane traffic. They needed to be there first. They risked their own safety and, in most cases, ended up behind a truck or other vehicles who were following the rules. They showed complete disregard for the safety of themselves and others. And what did they gain? A few hundred feet at most.

Choose your approach!

My commute to Chicago is parallel to how different individuals deal with a hiccup in their marketing or business plan. Some are in a big rush to get around the obstacle and get back on track. Some, like the aunts in the movie clip, completely freak out and freeze. Others are more patient and go with the flow through the rough patch and plan for what how they will get back on track once on the other side.

If you have a well thought out strategic plan, you will be able to smoothly transition through just about any hiccup or construction delay that may arise. It is our job as leaders, much like the bugs in the clip, to help coach others through this so that no one or thing is hurt in the process.

Epiphany Strategic Planning Services are based on the following philosophy:

  1. The most important outcome of a strategic planning effort is a set of goals that are implementable, measurable and lead the organization in the desired direction. There are far too many plans that cost a tremendous amount of time and money and, in the end, gather dust on the shelf.
  2. Strategic Planning is a PROCESS – and the process of developing the plan is the most valuable part of the effort. Careful consideration should be given as to who is involved in the process and how the plan is communicated to the entire staff. People support what they help create – widespread involvement in and/or knowledge of the strategic plan brings the greatest success.
  3. The plan should address all major components of an organization and develop goals for each.

Why should you use Epiphany to facilitate your strategic plan?
Many companies and organizations decide to develop strategic plans using only internal staff. While some of these firms are successful, many find that they don’t have staff with the time, education or experience to facilitate a strategic planning process. And internal staff cannot be completely objective, nor should they be. Key management personnel should be involved in the discussions and brainstorming that are a part of the strategic planning process, not tied up in the function of facilitating the sessions and compiling the plan.

At Epiphany, we recognize marketing is not one size fits all and each of us has gifts to bring and a role to play in the bigger plan. Our gifts and talents lie in the area of strategic creativity. If you need help navigating a hiccup, dusting off that strategic plan and putting legs behind it or even facilitating a plan so that you have the strategy to navigate your journey give us a call, we would love to help!



Photo Cred: John Silliman