The 5 Critical Elements to Your Company's One Page Strategic Plan

Where do you turn when you’re stuck? What do you do when your leadership team is not aligned and wastes valuable time either displaying artificial harmony or being passive aggressive rather than debating real issues that have the potential to move the company forward. 

Aligning the team around a One Page Strategic Plan can be the answer. This simple tool has the power to transform an entire organization. I’ve watched leaders and their teams come together fractured with competing priorities, pointing fingers rather than being accountable, and believing a toxic environment is just the way business works.

These same teams leave a few days later with an energy, a sense of hope, and a renewed passion for the task at hand. All of this is possible by spending intentional time gaining clarity on where the company is heading, aligning around how specifically the team will get there, and documenting who is accountable for what by when. Such is the power of the One Page Strategic Plan. 

I just returned from a trip to Florida where I spent a productive day with a client on its way to $1 billion in top line revenue. This company is a combination of a half a dozen significant players in the energy business. Each individual company had strong track records of success, and were led by well recognized industry leaders. Their mission is to dominate. You can only imagine the challenge in getting these very successful, and confident leaders in their own right, to align behind a common vision, strategy, and plan.  

Yet, that is what they have today. The bulk of the work came from a 3-day strategic off-site that consisted of 4 hours each day of planning and 4 hours of building camaraderie.  During these 3 days, they documented their vision, aligned around strategic priorities, and documented who would be accountable for what to execute the plan. The results: clarity, an evolved vision, and team buy-in. This client is now well on its way to being a billion dollar enterprise, all kickstarted by some intentional time spent aligning their vision, strategy, and tactics into a One Page Strategic Plan. 


Building a visionary company requires one percent vision and 99 percent alignment. 

~James C. Collins

The 5 Critical Elements

1) Have a BHAG™

That big, hairy, audacious goal that you’ve been nervous or unsure if you should put on paper? Write it down. This is where strategy starts: by having a vision of where you are taking this company. Vision drives strategy, strategy drives tactics. Once you have your BHAG on paper, you can begin to chart a course that gets you from where you are to your goals.

2) Strategic Priorities

Envision these as three to five Key Thrust/Capabilities that are necessary to double the business and win over the competition. I’ve found that these priorities can often be anchored in two simple questions. First, “What market facing capabilities do you need to offer that will allow you to double the business?” Second, “What internal competencies must you perfect to double the business?” Workshopping these two questions will uncover a number of ideas that your team can then prioritize into those 3-5 Key Thrust/Capabilities. 

3) Annual Initiatives

These are important goals or strategic objectives that are expected to be achieved in the upcoming year. Consider the important goals that will move your business forward, allow you to achieve your Key Thrusts/Capabilities, address constraints, and make major progress towards your BHAG.

4) Quarterly Rocks

The term “rock” pays homage to the great Stephen Covey and his work in the 7-Habits of Highly Effective People. A rock is an important goal that is expected to be achieved over the quarter that will move the company forward. Creating the discipline of completing a company’s rocks every quarter sets the stage for accelerating results.

There aren’t many similarities between NBA great John Stockton and Heisman winner Tim Tebow, but one thing that they are both famous for is their focus under pressure. Both Stockton and Tebow were famous for focusing their attitude, energy, and total effort into the tasks in front of them. They couldn’t control how their teammates played, the crowd noise, or the defenses they faced on every play. What they could control was their effort, their mindset, and their attitudes.

The short term and specific nature of rocks leads to your executive team developing the habit of controlling their focus, mindset, and effort.  If successful, they will accomplish these goals quarter after quarter.

5) Core Purpose - Why your company matters

Finally, the best businesses tie their work to something bigger than just making money. Walmart scaled up with a core purpose of “saving people money so they can live better”. Recent studies show that 89% of millennials want to work for a company that stands for something beyond making money. In addition, it is rarely resources that keep you from your goals, it is almost always a lack of resourcefulness. The stronger your core purpose, the stronger the resourcefulness.

Aligning Your Team

It can be challenging for organizations to set aside time in their busy quarters to get aligned around a One Page Strategic Plan, and yet the results more than speak for themselves. If your team needs alignment, accountability, and the ability to master decisions critical to the profitability and growth of your company, I invite you to check out our upcoming 16-Hour Growth Plan. Our latest one in May was a huge success and left each team feeling empowered to own their strategy and achieve their goals. 

Key Takeaways

  1. Get out of the day to day and invest time with your team working on the business.
  2. Use the Scaling Up platform to align around a common language.
  3. Use the Scaling Up One-Page Strategic Plan to create the clarity necessary to foster accountability.

For more on this and other ideas like execution, team accountability, profits, and cash, visit our website or connect with us to see how Rise Performance Group can best add value to your business.

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