Strategic Plan For People
Creating a strategic plan for people may seem excessive, but it is the only way to move out of the revolving door practice that is so detrimental to organizations and so hard on managers. The time and resources spent on developing and implementing a strategic plan for people will pay off more than you can imagine.
The Deep Why
In a recent Gallop study, “State of the American Workplace”, a shocking statistic was revealed. Only 30% of American workers are truly engaged with the work they do! So many organizations have wonderful visions and missions, but somewhere in the whirlwind of everyday activity, the deep why can get lost. What is the it, you ask? It is the passion that drives your vision and mission. It is the why of what we do. So many organizations and managers mix that up with the how or the what. Do you understand the deep why of your organization? If not, then getting clarity on this will change the way you think about and act in your efforts. The deep why of what I do is helping people have those lightbulb moments when they connect with their giftedness, connect with those around them, and then use that knowledge and understanding to passionately engage in the work they are doing. What is your deep why?
This is a critical aspect in driving any change necessary to achieve your preferred future. In any position in your organization, you can drive engagement. Leadership is not about position and authority. It is about action and commitment. Within your team, you will need to get engagement from each individual to achieve maximum impact. Engagement is the process of getting all the hearts of your people in the game.
Aligning the people goals and objectives with the organizational goals and objectives is another important factor in building a best in class team. This is often overlooked in organizations, with different departments operating in a siloed manner. Therefore, keeping the core values, vision, and mission as the standard by which all other strategies, goals and objectives are measured is crucial.
When making changes in an organization (or a team) to enhance the opportunities and raise performance to a new level, the sequencing of the strategic initiatives is truly critical. For example, if you’re dealing with a dysfunctional team where performance is under par, the first thing you do is to evaluate your team and the situation to get a true understanding of the current reality. If you were to immediately try to put in an aggressive development plan without knowing the root cause of the issues, you would be wasting significant time and resources. You may achieve some marginal improvement, but it is putting a Band-Aid on a more serious problem. You have treated a symptom for a time but not cured the underlying cause. A carefully considered plan to introduce initiatives in the proper sequence can provide huge increases in performance and desired outcomes.
Managing a change process -whether it is a few relatively simple things or a comprehensive change initiative- demands a hands-on approach with attention to the detail. This is where true leadership shines by getting in and modeling the behaviors that are key for the change process to succeed.
Strategic vs tactical. This is an area where many leaders struggle. It is easy to quickly move to a tactical (how we do things) approach, and hope the strategic part works out. In our “roadmap to success” example, that would be like getting in the car, driving, and hoping you end up at your desired destination. Strategic goals and objectives are the directions to get you where you want to go. They are carefully and thoughtfully designed so that you pass all the mile markers (achieving the KPIs) along the way. Having a clear and understandable strategy drives the team to the preferred future.
Note: Having worked with tools of psychology for over 25 years, I have learned that different personality types deal with situations in very different ways, and that is a good thing. Knowing you and your team’s personality traits, work style preferences, preferred style of communication and unique strengths and challenges, provides an awareness that opens the door to new levels of teamwork, performance and success.