Okay, great. So you’ve had a strategic planning session. Everyone sat around a big table, talked a lot, shared ideas, got down in the weeds about controversial topics and maybe even worked with an outside moderator.
You’ve got your plan, printed in full color on glossy paper, bound in folders and in the hands of each participant.
Terrific. Now what? A key part of your strategic planning session actually happens after everyone leaves the table that day. This key element is answered by a simple question — who the heck owns this thing?
That’s right — who owns your strategic plan? Is it your bank or credit union president? Members of the board? Maybe your marketing/branding expert or even someone in business development?
The answer is — everybody owns your strategic plan. Your strategic planning team absolutely must walk away from the table with the understanding that everybody involved, from the CEO/president down the organizational chart, has full ownership of this puppy.
Why is this important? Without everyone embracing their ownership of the strategic plan, it’s much more likely to fail. Certainly, key elements of your strategic plan (such as specific initiatives with time-frames and parties responsible) fall more squarely on individual folders. However, the overall plan (and its success or failure) is the responsibility of everyone on the strategic planning team. No one can be the “fall guy” or sacrificial lamb if parts of the plan should falter. Conversely, no one person should get all the glory and accolades if parts (or all) of the plan succeed.
Strategic plan ownership requires initiative, honesty and buy-in. Make sure everyone around your strategic planning table understands his or her stake in this process. And make doubly sure they understand that (once all the cussing and discussing is done) they are 100% part-owners in the entire plan.