foosballLast weekend, I got together with some friends to say goodbye to one friend who is moving out-of-town.  As we were finishing up the night, one of my friends challenged me to a game of Foosball.  I couldn’t remember the last time I played Foosball.  My friend, an avid Foosball player, easily beat me.

As we laughed off my embarrassing defeat, he asked me what type of bar game I prefer to play.  I told him darts and when he asked why.  I told him why I enjoyed darts (particularly Cricket); it had to do with individual focus.

Unlike Foosball and Pool table games, winning in a game of darts rest solely on the focus on the player.  Removing all distractions from your mind and focusing on the bullseye is easier said than done…especially when in a crowded, loud bar.  If you can’t remove yourself from all the distractions and focus, you can’t win the game.

The same can be said in business.  Around this time of year, many businesses are creating a strategic plan for the coming year.  It’s a great time to gather people for different departments in a company and focus on what needs to be accomplished in the coming year.  It’s important that an organization stay focused.

  • Remove the noise.  Everyone has an idea that can improve your company.  Some ideas are good, some come from left field.  The sooner you eliminate the ideas that don’t match your company culture, the sooner you can connect the good ideas.
  • Review the past.  Compare notes from previous annual strategic planning meetings.  Is there a common theme or is it all across the board?
  • Remain open minded.  It is great to have everyone on the same page, but there is a difference between everyone in agreement and being surrounded by “Yes” men.  Let everyone know it is okay to have separate opinions and to be honest with their communication.

Once your company creates your strategic plan, keep it top of mind.  Unfortunately there are companies that create a strategic plan and they do nothing with it.

Tie in an Action Plan

To make sure your strategic plan doesn’t gather dust, make sure each point has an action plan.  The plan should contain details such as individuals who are responsible for executing that section of the plan, steps needed to complete the plan, and a time table for each part of the action plan.

Share the Strategic Plan

Don’t keep your strategic plan in a filing cabinet; share it throughout your organization.  Make sure everyone, from the Board of Directors, to your part-time staff, knows your what your company wants to accomplish.  This will strengthen your organization and hold your company accountable for completing the strategic plan.

Staying focused isn’t easy, and requires a lot of energy, but in the end it is work it.  So, stay focused, don’t pay attention to the drunk at the bar, and hit the bullseye!


About Jeremy M. Price
For twelve years, I had the pleasure of working in community banking. Starting in customer service, I worked my way up to a senior level marketing and human resources director. It was great leading teams that improved strategic initiatives including, but not limited to brand awareness, digital communication, employee development and product development. This experience has now led to an exciting role with CRS Data. As the Product Marketing Analyst, I am currently reviewing the company's banker suite product. This product is able to help community banks reach their fullest potential in real estate lending. I am extremely fortunate to share time with my son while enjoying life in East Tennessee. The two of us enjoy the views of the Smokey Mountains, eating good food and having fun. During my free time, I enjoy running races, traveling and listening to great live music.

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