As with everything in life, if we don’t have an aim, or a target, we will just drift. 

As business owners we have our ideas and goals, but we can easily get sidetracked, and not hold ourselves accountable for delivery if we don’t write down our goals and plans. 
As we work with our teams, we will not unlock their full potential to drive the business forward unless we involve them in the planning of the objectives for the year. Involving the whole leadership team and the wider business teams as well is crucial to ensure everyone is rowing together in the same direction. This cascade of goal setting, monitoring and feedback throughout the year is known as policy deployment or Hoshin Kanri. 
It all started at the end of last year with you /& your Leadership team (depending on size) annual review agreeing, adjusting, and understanding your businesses: 
Core ideology 
Long term stretch (10-15 years) goal 
Making the business Value 
Competitive advantage 
Growth opportunities. 
With this clearly understood by you /& your leadership team, it’s time to plan for the coming year. 
We start with envisioning where we want to be in 3 years’ time, what we need to achieve on route to our long-term stretch goals. We call these our 3-year thrusts. 
Next, against each envisioned 3 year thrust, we define where we are today. This helps us understand the gap that needs to be closed over the next 3 years. 
Now as a team you need to define the end of year 1- and 2-years staging post. These are not what we are going to do, but what we need to achieve on the road to get to the 3-year thrusts.  
We can’t jump to the 3-year position in one go.  
If we could do that, then we don’t have a stretch, so time to go back to your end of year review and our long-term stretch goal. 
So now we will have our “this year” objectives or critical paths written down. With these critical paths defined, we will next work with our teams to define the key actions or ‘Rocks’, what we each need to do to move the Critical paths forward each 1/4 year. This is our 90-day rhythm. So, from this point on we have alignment throughout the business. 
Alignment being, you and each of your team know what to do in the next 90 days, your ‘rocks’, to drive the business forward to achieve the yearly goals, that will impact the 3-year thrusts, that are alighted to the long-term stretch goals, all the while dealing with the whirlwind of the day to day business necessities. 
So that’s the plan, but how do we do it? What will the 3-year thrusts be? How do we involve the team to do this? 
This is where at BizSmart we have developed the SmartWeb®️. This visual tool is great to work through with you /& your team as you debate and agree the business plans. In a single image you will see the whole plan for the business, and we find many of the business we work with keep it on the wall for all to see throughout the year. 
The SmartWeb®️ looks like a spider’s web made up of 4 rings. 
We start by filling in the outer circle being the 3-year thrusts. Next, we go to the inner circle and agree where we are today. Now we develop the 1 year and 2 years in the next rings outwards. The spokes are the anchor points for your plans.  
These are the 10 key themes you will need to work on together to create the 3-year thrusts outcome you require. You may need less than 10, but never more. It is key to keep focused.  
Anyone can create a plan, but a great plan is also about what you choose not to do as much as what you choose to do. Less is more. 
The 5 key anchors we recommend are: 
• Money - i.e. Profit, margin, cash etc 
• People - i.e. Numbers, new roles, development 
• Products & Services - i.e. Volumes, Sales growth, R&D 
• Customers - i.e. Quantity, Acquire, retention 
• Operations - i.e. Processes, development 
and the other 5 being what you need to drive the business to the envisioned future. 
So, with your large SmartWeb®️ blank in front of you /& your team you are ready to discuss, debate, and then plan the numbers and objectives for the coming year to drive your business forward to your long-term stretch goal. 
Have fun, and I look forward to seeing what you achieve for your 2022 business goals 
Granger Forson 
Tagged as: Business planning
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