13 Ways to Waste a Strategic Plan - Corporate Insight Strategy
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13 Ways to Waste a Strategic Plan

WARNING: This article is intended to be a “What NOT to do” with a strategic plan as told through sarcasm. Please Do Not Attempt.

For many like myself, sarcasm is the easiest form of communication. If you do not like sarcasm, you will not like this article. If you are sarcasm-adverse, you will find yourself breaking into a rash and writing comments such as “What a cute article. Maybe next time include actual content” or “Yet another article written by a snarky (insert overly used word for someone younger than you i.e. millennial) who thinks they know everything.”

If you find yourself making said comments, please see above warning and seek immediate medical attention.

1. The Dusty Shelf

Put the Strategic Plan on shelf. Leave it there. Do not touch it. Simply look at it like the rest of the decorative books on your desk and think “I should really read that.”

2. The "Don't question it" Method

There is nothing better than creating a plan and sticking to it, which is why I recommend that you execute your strategic plan with unwavering force. Ignore the changes in the market and the needs of the customer. If you avoid letting the plan evolve, you increase the potential of focusing on a goal that has become entirely useless.

3. Forget to check in on execution

Lucky for you, people are lazy and forgetful. To best capitalize on the incompetence of your human employees, be sure to never ask for an update on any projects or tasks you assign. If you find yourself with an employee that completes their tasks without being reminded, fire them. Publicly.

4. Burn it

Light it on fire. Watch it burn to ash as your expensive strategic consultant begins to sweat, not from the warmth of the fire, but from the existential crisis of realizing that their life’s work is for naught and adds no value to a world that completely ignores their help.

5. Make Excuses with it

Explained through examples:

I thought about giving you a raise but I think we should focus on our strategic plan.
The strategic plan contradicts the proposed paint scheme for the break room.
Sorry I missed the meeting. I was trying to decide the best way to waste our strategic plan.
6. Don’t use it to guide employees

Only use the strategic plan to guide yourself. Completely neglect to show the employees the desired direction because they don’t need to know. You are the captain of the ship. As long as you know where you are going, it doesn’t matter what direction your employees row.

7. Put it off

Don’t worry about it today. Just do it tomorrow. Unlike the dusty shelf, make sure you pick it up and read parts every day, acknowledging the value in executing the to-do items but waiting until tomorrow to do them. This decreases productivity by  increasing the time wasted thinking about a plan you will never execute.

8. Enforce it only on Tuesdays

Literally, pick one day a week to aggressively ask why the strategic plan isn’t finished yet. Then the rest of the week completely flip a switch and never mention the strategic plan. Employees will learn to fear you and minimalize your urgency to be specific to the chosen day. Over time, your employees will disregard your authority and say things at the water cooler like

Boss said it was significantly important that I solve that issue today. Said I will be fired if I don’t. (Pause. With a grin.) Tuesdays am I right? (Much laughter ensues)

- Steve from accounting

9. Let it distract you

Any time a problem arises, spend an ample number of hours discussing how it effects the strategic plan. Do this when the printer is low on toner. Do this when your child says they want to pursue an art degree. Do this when deciding between an analog or smart watch. Do this at every meeting until it is the only thing you do.

10. Print out copies for everyone but forget to pass them out

Print out copies for everyone but to forget to pass them out.

11. Use it as a coaster

Set your drink on the plan so often that over time, like the dead tree it was made from, you can determine the strategic plan’s age based on the number of sweat rings left from your Redbull addiction.

12. Only mention it when in front of investors

Investors – “Tell us about the strategic plan.”

“Ok folks. Yeah we have a strategic plan! It’s the best strategic plan. Let me tell you, I know a lot of strategic planners – believe me when I say these are the best plans – strategic planners dream to have plans like mine. It’s gonna be huge!”

Days later. Employee – “Earlier this week you said we have a strategic plan. Can I use it to better motivate my team?”

“I never said that. You’re fired.”

13. Try to do it all yourself

As the CEO of the company, it is important to execute your strategic plan all on your own. Allowing your employees to assist you on your mission to grow the company would be catastrophic. It would signal to your employees that you value their judgement and trust them to see your vision, distracting them from the fact that you only hired them to stare at Facebook and pretend that they don’t question why you pay them. Trying to do it all on your own gives you exclusive rights to be extremely stressed, die at an early age, and leave a broken company to your kid who doesn’t want it.

End of Sarcasm

In all seriousness, the successful execution of a strategic plan is essential to the growth of a company. but all too often the plans fail. At Corporate Insight Strategy we give your company the resources to deliver actionable tasks to your team to effectively grow your company. The insightStrategy Assessment gives you the opportunity to focus on your company’s processes, letting company growth be founded in procedural optimization.

You know where you want to go, and CIS can tell you where you are and how to get there.