Some of the most brilliant plans and strategies never get implemented. The problem is often communicating the strategy in a simple and easy to understand manner to a lot of people with different opinions, knowledge levels and responsibilities. As plan creators we need to think about our internal audience in the same way as we think about customers. They have to get and like our message and see benefit in implementing it.
The one page plan
My approach to this challenge is to boil down the plan document to a single page that can be shared and understood by the whole organisation. Often it’s in the form of a MindMap. As one of my more memorable bosses frequently said, “If my granny can’t understand your plan you ain’t got a plan”. I then put a lot of effort into marketing it internally.
Why use a MindMap?
The advantage of using a MindMap is that it can be easily used to track progress on every item on the plan with simple colour coding. Several of my customers use it as an informal agenda for their monthly board meeting and focus on any Red items. They can also look across the whole plan and easily spot other areas that might be affected by any red ratings. This give a much better overall picture of what’s going on and enables them to make better joined up decisions.
I also recommend sharing the updated plan with the whole company. Employees want to see how the company is making progress, what the priorities are and most importantly how they can help. This simple one page plan approach is a great way of ensuring that business plans succeed and get easily implemented.