Whadayamean an Annual Plan . . . Really? Nine Guidelines

Situation: The CEO has developed an annual plan and wants ideas on the best way to communicate the plan to staff, secure buy-in and create accountability for execution.

Advice from the CEOs:

  • Communicate your vision for the company and the future as a broad outline so that employees know how they can contribute. Create a picture so that they can see and support your vision.
    • Ask for input on how to implement the plan. Since they will be doing the work, the best way to generate buy-in and accountability is for them to own the implementation plan.
    • You don’t have to share all details of the plan with everyone. If you communicate the plan in parts to those who will implement them, tailor the message to the person, and create individual objectives that will support the overall plan. Connect achievement of objectives to job evaluations.
    • Limit the number of objectives for each person – three key objectives plus one personal development objective. Have each employee develop activities to support achievement of their objectives.
  • Once objectives are in place, conduct regular meetings to review progress against plan and objectives, identify performance obstacles and solutions, and to reinforce the overall vision.
    • The vision must be simple and direct. Consistently repeat and reinforce the message. Publicly recognize individual contributions that support the vision.
    • Establish metrics to track progress toward the vision.
    • Stay on message with each person – focus on their goals and contributions.
    • Be consistent in your words and actions and use them to reinforce the vision.

Key Words: Business Plan, Annual Plan, Vision, Message, Buy-in, Accountability, Performance Objectives, Metrics 

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