Following are some additional hallmarks of a dynamic strategic plan:
Break it down. Remember that big lists rarely get done. Therefore, its important to highlight and break down the plan into its elemental strategic imperatives. And if you have more than five, you have too many. The magic number is three.
When its top of mind every day, people will know what the strategic imperatives are and will be more likely to attain them. Having the plan broken down into its basic elements is like having a guide that leads your organization to the future.
Tell stories. Bring the words of your companys strategic plan to life by turning it into story form so that it becomes visual for people. Have the plan paint a picture in every employees minds eye so they can see what this plan will do and where the company is going.
Visuals are powerful. If youve never seen what E=MC2 means (the visual of it) then you still dont understand Einsteins theory of relativity. However, those who see it in a visual story format understand it, i.e., an atom bomb going off.
For many organizations, a strategic plan can be complex and often just as hard to understand as the theory of relativity. Therefore, take the complexity in your plan and simplify it; boil it down to what it means to the employees and the company, and help everyone see it in their minds eye. Some companies have gone as far as hiring a graphic artist to paint a mural that depicts the plan. They put the mural in the lunchroom or in the entryway to the building. It becomes a visual that depicts the plan, including the outcome. Talk about getting a story ingrained in peoples minds!
Go multimedia. While your dynamic strategic plan could be a document, it could also be a video that people watch; and it could be an audio they listen to; and it could be a picture they look at; ... and it could be any combination of these things.
Remember that people learn in different ways. Some people prefer to read a book, while others prefer to listen to a book in audio form. The people who prefer to read the book wonder why anyone would listen to a book. And those who prefer to listen to a book wonder why anyone would purchase a printed book.
Since we all learn in different ways, it only makes sense to put the strategic plan out in various formats. If you put the strategic plan out in one format, then youre only engaging one learning style within an organization that has multiple styles. In fact, in a world where multimedia is easy and the tools are relatively free, theres no excuse for not getting the strategic plan in multiple formats.
Get social. Social media is an ideal way to make a strategic plan dynamic. There are internal secure versions of various social media platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook. Simply do a Google search to find them. The key word to remember is social. Its about creating engagement and involvement. For example, as employees execute the plan, you can be tweeting success stories, accomplishments, and roadblocks -- all in an effort to gain feedback and ideas. Additionally, you can be using online collaborative tools to work with the different groups that are executing the plan so everyone can see where the other parties are in need of help. Unfortunately, most organizations still have silos and fiefdoms. A dynamic strategic plan tends to break them down and get everyone headed in the same direction.
How do you enact all these points? With technology. Dynamic strategic planning such as this is enabled by technology. Thats where the CIO should be helping to drive the ideas and push them in the organization to the highest level.
The bottom line is that truly successful and innovative companies will have a strategic plan that is in motion. Theyll have a dynamic document that can be added to, massaged, and refined with graphics, video, and audio, as needed. Theyll have an internal, multimedia website versus a static and informing one. In short, theyll have something thats dynamic and moving. Thats simply impossible to do without technology.