“Unless a variety of opinions are laid before us, we have no opportunity of selection, but are bound of necessity to adopt the particular view which may have been brought forward.” - Herodotus
The planning group in a properly led free-wheeling brainstorming session will generate many possible strategies that the organization can pursue to move from the current reality to the vision. The generation of a variety of possible strategies is to be embraced, for among the strategies are likely to be those that will be powerful and important in moving the organization to the vision.
The challenge is to prioritize the possible strategies and select the best handful for the organization to pursue over the following year. It’s important to limit the number strategies to be pursued so the organization can be focused and to assure that the strategies are fully and well implemented.
To prioritize and select strategies, evaluate possible strategies based on:
Big Bang: What will do the most to move us to the vision.
Barrier-Buster: What will remove a big barrier to moving to the vision.
Catalyst: What will enable other important strategies to work in the future.
Get ‘r Done: What is achievable within the planning period.
The New Way: What demonstrates commitment and change to the organizational stakeholders.
Vox Populi: What people in the organization want to pursue.
Turn On: What will motivate the people involved in the organization.
United We Stand: What enlists the organization broadly in bringing change.
Using What We Have: What requires the least in additional resources.
Building on Our Strengths: What taps our strengths.
Shoring Up Our Weaknesses: What avoids or remedies our weaknesses.
Capitalizing on Our Opportunities: What takes the path that’s open to us.
Negating Our Threats: What counters or avoids what threatens us.
Using Our Assets: What uses what we have at hand.
Avoiding Our Liabilities: What does not need what we do not have.
We Have a Champion! What has a great advocate.
The Sacrifice: What we will need to forgo to pursue the strategy.
By evaluating strategies based on the above parameters, a prioritized list should emerge. Only the top-ranked strategies should be adopted for the planning period. While no hard and fast limit for the number of strategies to adopt exists, typically the number is three to five, especially for smaller organizations with limited resources.