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Strategic Discipline Blog

Annual Planning – Does Yours Include This?

Posted by Douglas Wick on Mon, Nov 8, 2021

Pads with color diagrams and color shining on backgroundIt’s time to prepare for next year, and if you haven’t already got that process started, here are few suggestions to help you.

First a few reliable elements you should review and complete at least once a year:

Start, Stop, Keep Exercise (Shared: Start, Stop, Keep – Required Annual Planning) – Get everyone in the front lines to complete these simple questions.  Team leaders and leaders need to review these to understand where change needs to occur.  Frequently when the results we expect aren’t happening they can be discovered and corrected here. Best Tactic, Go to the front lines yourself. Ask them directly.

Visionary Elements (Review or Identify)

  • BHAG-resized-600BHAG: Big Hairy Audacious GoalWhat’s yours? What’s the number you’ve shared with everyone in the Business? Is it driving growth in your business? If not Hire a coach to discover yours!
  • Core Purpose: Why Does Your Company ExistMore than ever, this element drives the younger generation of workers. If you don’t have a why you need to discover it. Recognize when you lose employees, part of the reason is the lack of giving them a reason to work for you. (See How to Tackle the Current Employee Acquisition Problem)
  • Core Values What behaviors do you expect from the people who work for you? Are these behaviors responsible for producing the outcome you expect? If not change them!
  • 3HAG: 3 Year Highly Achievable Goal – What is yours? Are you confident in achieving it? Do you know what your business will look like in 3 years? Are you confident in the direction you’re going will you hit your target? Have you identified the Key Attributes and Capabilities your business must have to reach this target and laid out a plan to get there?

swt_(ip)-resized-600Strategy Path to Predictable Profits: 3HAG (3 Year Highly Achievable Goal)

  • SWT (Strengths, Weaknesses, and Trends)It’s good to have completed your SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) before this meeting, however, Trends are more dynamic and especially impactful to your business and the market. In today’s disruptive environment, it’s best to have a vision of what’s trending to prepare and perhaps impact your future.
  • Industry External Analysis – Who has The Power in Your Market Place? Identify who your customer segments are, the channels they purchase through, the associations you belong to, your suppliers, partners, and who your competitors are. Go deep as you can to analyze where there’s duplication with your competitors, who are the biggest threats to you, and where are their markets you’re not tapping into. Additional tools here are understanding Porter's Five Forces Framework, your company’s Key Attribution Framework, and Activity Fit Map. Read my blog or watch Shannon’s video explanation: WAY INTERNAL-EXTERNAL TO STRATEGY-1
  • Company Internal Analysis – You want to complete several elements including FACe (Organizational Functional Chart), PACe (Process Accountability Chart), and KFFM (Key Function Flow Map) – The Key Function Flow Map is intended to visibly show the flow of money through your organization. Look at this exercise as to how a customer flows through the functions of your business, or how many steps it requires to get cash into your business. Both are critical. To understand the KFFM better visit 10 Reasons Why You Need To Activate A Key Function Flow Map Today, or Why the Key Process Flow Map is critical to your strategic execution, to discover the power this tool can provide your business.
  • 3 Year Strategy– Financial Measures – Most businesses create a one-year strategy for financial goals. Imagine the value of 3 years of financial targets, and then meeting or exceeding these goals each year? Wouldn’t that drive confidence in your team? And if you were ever considering selling, what would it do to the buyer’s confidence in your business? Charts and upward directed arrows against blue  background
  • 3 Year Strategy– Statement and Capabilities – To achieve your goals you’ll need to understand who your core customer is, your key differentiators from your competition, along with any capabilities you are going to need to achieve your targets. What will this look like, and what statement would you make about your business when you are there?
  • Widget and Cash-Based Forecast Aligned with Strategy – What numbers drive your business? This is where understanding your Profit per X is critical to building both a widget and cash-based forecast. If you know your Profit Per X, you will be aligned on your strategy and communicate this focus to your team. Discovering your Profit per X provides an insurmountable advantage to developing your strategy and clarity to your business growth. Watch this 14-minute video of Coach Peter Boolkah’s interview with Shannon Susko to understand why Profit Per X is crucial to discover early in your business. 

No matter if you’ve done this process 100x before, or are just getting started, consider hiring a coach to help you through this process. Your team may be stagnating for fresh ideas. Perhaps you’re looking for an injection of innovation to your process, or just to change things up.

A business coach will stimulate your team with new ideas to help your business grow. Special thanks to 3HAG coaches Beth Fisher, Donald Hache for sharing their ideas with me on Annual planning

To create an environment where everyone is inspired to give their best, contact Positioning Systems today to schedule a free exploratory meeting.

Growth demands Strategic Discipline.

Disciplined People Thought Action Chapter06-01-1Building an enduring great organization requires disciplined people, disciplined thought, disciplined action, superior results, producing a distinctive impact in the world.

Discipline sustains momentum, over a long period of time, laying the foundations for lasting endurance.

4Dx Cadence of AccountabilityA winning habit starts with 3 Strategic DisciplinesPriorityMetrics, and Meeting Rhythms.   Forecasting, accountability, individual, and team performance improve dramatically.

Meeting Rhythms achieve a disciplined focus on performance metrics to drive growth.

Let Positioning Systems help your business achieve these outcomes on the Four most Important Decisions your business faces:












Positioning Systems helps mid-sized ($5M - $250M) business Scale-UP. We align your business to focus on Your One Thing! Contact to Scale Up your business! Take our Four Decisions Needs Assessment to discover how your business measures against other Scaled Up companies. We’ll contact you.

3HAG WAY TMNEXT BLOG – 3HAG – 3 Year, Highly Achievable Goal

Creating a 3 Year Plan on the surface seems reasonable. How do you build it to differentiate yourself from your competition? We’ll explore 3HAG Way’s tools for achieving this next blog.

Topics: Annual Plan, Business Vision, Annual Planning, 3HAG WAY, Vision & Purpose

Challenges of Scaling Up a Business 







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Doug Wick, President

Positioning Systems


The Strategic Discipline Blog focuses on midsize business owners with a ravenous appetite to improve his or her leadership skills and business results.

Our 3 disciplines include:

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