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    Small Business Strategic Planning Using the Grove Model: Step 5 – Developing Your Action Plan With Bold Steps

    Posted by Lagerquist Accounting & Advisory

    Small Business Strategic Planning Using the Grove Model: Step 5 – Developing Your Action Plan With Bold Steps

    Strategic planning helps companies envision and outline their goals, and make steady progress toward achieving them. With the right set of tools, models, and consultants, a company can plan a path for growth and success. The Grove Strategic Visioning Process is a method of strategic planning ideally suited to growth-oriented small business owners.

    The Grove Strategic Visioning Process includes five key stages. We’ve already covered the first four: examining your history, mapping the context, creating your SWOT, and developing your story. These four steps helped you create a vision for your business, and now it’s time to turn that vision into reality with actionable steps. In this article, we’ll take a deeper look at stage five: selecting the bold steps of your action plan.


    From Vision to Reality

    In the last stage of the Grove Strategic Visioning Process, you developed a cover story to bring out the essence of what you want your business to become. Imagining that you have achieved success for your organization helps plant the seeds for a future you may not have considered before — or one you thought was out of your reach.

    Working together on this exercise helped you tease out common themes among team members and make sure everyone agrees on the same guiding principles and aspirations. Your team has shared goals that they have co-created, which, together, can serve as a “north star” providing guidance and a common sense of direction. This helps keep you focused on progress. And your cover story vision is the foundation for selecting the bold steps of your action plan.


    Determining the Core MVV

    Before determining the bold steps of your plan, it’s imperative that you clearly identify where it is you want your company to go. Start with the core MVV (Mission, Vision, Values) of your business. This is a critical task. The perspective you define will influence every decision you make going forward.

    Your Mission details how your company will reach its goals. Your Vision is what it will look like when you achieve those goals. And your Values are the ideals, standards and rules you will follow to get there.

    Your MVV should be crystal clear. This description of the end goal is vital to the effectiveness of your strategic plan. This is where you can clearly articulate the expected outcomes for the strategic plan and present a strong understanding of the future of your company. Your MVV represents the big picture — the purpose of your strategic plan and your company’s core executable values.

    An effective MVV provides a static point of reference during strategic growth and development.


    Establishing Clear Goals

    Your strategic goals should include highly specific and actionable descriptions of your objectives. Having a strong focus eases plan execution and increases its potential effectiveness. Don’t jump into the bold steps until you have nailed down your vision statement and the core themes that surround it.

    Your goals should also be quantifiable, as metric-based goals are easy to track and will keep you on task. They should also have clearly defined start and end dates to ensure you use time and resources efficiently.

    Now the hardest part of your strategic development is over! You have done all the background analysis; defined your mission, vision and values; and imagined all that your company can be. Now it’s time to capture your team’s initiatives in writing.


    Creating Your Bold Steps

    With distinctly defined goals and objectives, you can align your team with your initiatives and next steps. The whole point of the Grove Strategic Visioning Process is to challenge yourself, and the bold steps should be exactly that: Bold. Make your steps ambitious and consider how to take huge strides toward your vision, not just baby steps.

    The best strategic plans include bold steps that are measurable and time-sensitive. They should be flexible and responsive to changing conditions. And it’s best if you keep them short and simple.

    Define your bold steps by brainstorming with your team. Create a sequence of the actionable strategies you will use to meet your goals. Use sticky notes to record ideas, using strong verbs as sentence starters. Cluster ideas by theme and shoot to have five or six themes to inform your bold steps. Then, as a group, narrow the discussion down to the steps that are the most realistic and actionable.

    Your steps should be visionary and significant as well as achievable.


    Supports & Challenges

    Once you have your bold steps outlined, consider what the challenges and supports will be to completing these steps.
    Supports are trends or factors in the environment that support your Bold Steps. The key to capturing supports for your steps is to ask your team “Why us? Why now?” Any competitive advantages that your organization has will serve as supports.

    Challenges are trends or factors that inhibit or impede progress toward your vision. You can refer to your SWOT analysis (Step 3) and look at what you listed as weaknesses and obstacles. Make sure that your challenges don’t make your bold steps feel impossible. Think big but also be sure you can realistically achieve your objectives.


    Lagerquist Accounting & Advisory understands the importance of strategic planning and offers support to small businesses. Need a hand? Get in touch today to learn more about how we are helping businesses reach their goals.


    Image Credits: Photo by Christina @ on Unsplash

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