How To Write Successful Business Priorities
For any plan, initiative, or strategy to be successful, every manager and leadership team must have a set of clear priorities in place to make it happen. We will always think we are good at doing this but the reality of the situation is that, in many cases, this does not happen sufficiently well to generate the results that we want.
If we have a plan of action it MUST be clear of any competing priorities and all of our actions and energy should be working towards a common goal and a clear path towards reaching it.
The following six areas should be uppermost in your mind when setting priorities for action, growth and success.
- Having a clear picture of the goal that brings people together
There will always be varying opinions of what strategy is the right one to follow, how to execute it, and who should be doing what and when. Debate is healthy but it cannot detract from the need to have a united effort on the goals that have been set. Begin this strategic process by getting everyone on the same page with a crystal clear and understood focus and then work towards writing a vision that supports what you need to achieve.
- Identify what will move you forward
People become invested in the priorities they or their departments will ultimately be held accountable to deliver: that is a natural process which we all will fall into. The bigger picture however is all about removing lower-order targets and priorities in favour of a unifying “whole” direction and purpose. This will involve persuading staff that other priorities that they think are important are things that need to be put aside in favour of the unifying, all-important central thrust of the direction of the business.
- Set out progress markers and milestones
Be very clear on the pace and order in which goals have to be achieved and strike a clear balance between short-term quick wins and longer-term priorities that will take time to achieve. Think systematically about how the following can be delivered effectively and efficiently:
- How can the business be run more effectively starting from today?
- How do we go about building capability for tomorrow’s business challenges?
- Where will growth come from in the future and what does this look like?
- Make sure that your priorities are communicated well and that they are picked up across the organisation
Make sure that the language that you use to communicate the goals and vision you have decided upon works well in all areas of the business. If the staff cannot recognise what they do within your message, why would they then work towards achieving what you have set out? Failure to get this right will mean that they automatically disconnect and then are so much harder to re-engage with after that point.
Always translate business-speak into plain, simple English that everyone can understand and put your priorities firmly into points that are understandable in the context of daily work activities.
- Set easily understandable milestones
Paint a clear and simple picture of what success looks like so that staff do not become disengaged when there are relatively few quick-wins to be had. The milestones will let you and the staff see if the organisation is “on track” or “off-track” and gives you the freedom to make fair and clear corrective action.
Always talk about what success looks like to you and the part all staff are playing in this process.
- Use the early wins to speed up progress towards the bigger goals
It is essential to create momentum by harnessing the power and energy from early successes: scale this up and apply it to other, bigger areas of development and achievement. It is good here to get staff to challenge norms and accepted processes/behaviours and accelerate this up into meeting the bigger challenges.
Successful businesses do not just happen by accident – success is the result of careful and well-executed managerial activity coupled with staff who are enthused and excited about what happens in their workplace.
For more details about our services visit the website www.davidsummertonconsulting.co.uk