Quick Tips to Design a Strategic Plan for 2019

Posted by Kristin Arnold on January 2, 2019

Wishing a Happy New Year to all from not-quite-so-warm Scottsdale, Arizona!

This is a great time to reflect on the past year in preparation for putting together your operational or strategic plan – whether you do this for yourself, your team, or for your organization.

  1. First, do an internal scan:
    • SWOT analysis:  What are your strengths and weaknesses?  What are the external opportunities and threats or limitations?
    • Review the past year:  What went well and what would you do differently?
    • Take a look at your leading and lagging metrics – did they improve, stay the same, or decline?
    • Take a good look at your products and services – are they in a growth mode, maintenance or declining?  How much do they contribute to your definition of success?
    • Think back to anything your customers might have been telling you during a survey, feedback, offline conversations.  What is the “voice of the customer” telling you?
  2. Then do an external scan of your environment:
    • Competitive analysis
    • Demand for your products and services
    • Innovations
    • Changes in technology

You put all of that into the pot of ideas, swirl it around.  Ask your friends and family, teammates, and others in your organization for more input.  You’ll be amazed at what you’ll hear!

Then magically (okay, 9 times out of 10), 3-5 critical issues surface to the top.  These things are of a strategic nature (will take longer than a year, encompasses more than one function, and significantly propels you toward your definition of success – otherwise known as a “vision.”)

These 3-5 issues become your strategic imperatives for the year(s) to come!


KRISTIN ARNOLD, MBA, CPF, CSP is a high-stakes meeting facilitator and professional panel moderator.  She’s been facilitating teams of executives and managers in making better decisions and achieving greater results for over 20 years.  She is the author of the award-winning book, Boring to Bravo: Proven Presentation Techniques to Engage, Involve and Inspire Audiences to Action.

Recent Articles:

4 Tell-tale Signs You are a Controlling Leader

Leaders: Do You Need Strategic Planning or Do You Have Clear Vision?

Stretch your Leadership Team’s Ability to Think Strategically


Skip to content