What Are Your Three Big Moves?

At a recent on-boarding training session for new strategy advisors joining our team, we shared and dug into how we create value for clients, and our perspectives and insights about strategic planning.

And we talked about how many strategic advisors believe that the only thing that really matters is the annual plan – and, if there’s time, a three-year plan.

A Different Approach

We take a different approach. We believe the three-year plan for any business is the most important and final output of any good strategic thinking and work.

Think of it like driving a boat on a lake. A one-year plan puts your focus just over the tip of the bow. It’s a short-term, tactical-thinking tunnel view that causes dramatic over-corrections, if you hit a problem you didn’t see coming.

Compare that to a three-year plan which enables you to look 1000 feet ahead and at the horizon or point on the shore you want to reach. With more information and context, and a strong reference point by which to calibrate, you’re less likely to get lost.

Three Big Moves

A three-year plan contains your strategic thinking about the big moves that will have the biggest impact on your business:

    • Financial targets to double the profitability of your business (to ensure it’s twice as strong or capable of supporting growth) and
    • Three big moves in investments, improvements or growth drivers that you’re going to work on relentlessly, over the next three years, in order to achieve your financial targets.

I say “three big moves” because it’s about keeping things simple and boiling down to the strategic moves that make the biggest impact.

Not a shopping list of things that you could do or would be nice to do.

Once you know those three big moves – each of which are probably going to contribute or drive towards 100% of the future profit – you’ve got a great plan.

Then, the one-year plan is about how you implement them.

The Challenge

    • How good is your three-year plan?
    • How clear are your three big moves, over the next three years?

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