Taking Strategic Action to Attain Goals

Setting goals is a tremendous first step in reaching success. But it’s the action that happens after that will ensure those goals are attainable.  “Action” is the strategy.

As per Dictionary.com, the word strategy is defined as a plan, method, or series of maneuvers or stratagems for obtaining a specific goal or result.  However, the act of being strategic takes purpose, planning and operation.

Building an effective “Action Plan” requires the creation of a process and the actual implementation. Below we provide a framework of steps to ensure your action plan is executable. To illustrate how the action plan works we will refer to the launch of a performance review process at a fictitious company.

  • Direction – set guidelines.
    • What are you measuring (eg – employee participation % in performance reviews).
    • Set a timeframe (eg – 80% participation within 2 weeks, 100% within 4 weeks).
  • Planning – break it down.
    • Set mini-milestones and the actual actions to achieve them.
      • Milestone 1 – 50% Sign-up
        • Action – 5 days prior to roll-out email employees to prepare and create their accounts
      • Milestone 2 – 100% Sign-up
        • Action – 2 days prior to roll-out remind employees and send a message to managers to reinforce
      • Milestone 3 – Launch Reviews with 2-week completion deadline
        • Action – company-wide email followed by managers direct request to their reports
      • Etc.
  • Alignment – appropriate teams are prepped for their role.
    • HR oversees
    • Managers – ensuring employee action, educating on feedback
    • Employee education – purpose of performance reviews (career development, benchmarking work progress)
  • Go! – implement defined actions to ensure milestones are met to achieve ultimate goal.
  • Motivate – reinforce the goal and its importance.
  • Learn – assess the process.
    • Identify – What worked? What didn’t work?
    • Constantly improve to make attaining the goal more efficient.

Even though the start of the calendar year is a great time to set goals and intentions, improving upon them is an ongoing process.  Remember to move forward and keep your eye on the prize (goals), however small or large they may be.

Leave a Reply