Build a One Page Strategic Plan
End of last year, we shared our resolutions for 2018 and important milestones we achieved in 2017. One of the milestones we shared was the development of a one page strategic plan. Today, we want to share some more experience on how we built ours.
A One Page Strategic Plan should be prepared by any company
The one page strategic plan is another tool from the Rockefeller Habits mentioned in one of our top reads Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make It…and Why the Rest Don’t (Rockefeller Habits 2.0) in our list of top startup books. The ides behind this document is that you bring everything that matters on one page and everyone working in your company knows why you do what you do. Thus, the one page strategic plan helps you and your team to focus on the things that really matter for your business.
In addition, the one page strategic plan helps you to hire as well the right people since you will define the core values of your company. A template of the plan can be found on the official Gazelles Webpage. For our purpose we are using a simplified version which we are explaining down here:
Soft facts are elements of your one page strategic plan which basically should never change (purpose, core values).
- Core Value – Core Values are a key component of your one page strategic plan. They should never change and are there forever. You should ask yourself what are core values your company stands for. What are things, you expect every one start working in your startup should live? For TroopTravel, for example, Trust is a core value for each of us involved in our startup. Defining the core values will help you as well to identify the right people for your startup. It is not about knowledge per se; it is about whether the people who join you on your mission believe and live the values of your startup.
- Purpose – The purpose looks at about 10 to 20 years ahead of time. It is the why of your startup. What do you want to achieve with your venture? Your answer should not be here becoming rich. That is a consequence of what your are doing. It is not a purpose. The purpose is, for example, to change how we something. You can read more about the why concept in Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action; another of our top startup books.
- BHAG – The big hairy audacious goal (BHAG) should describe a situation, a target to reach for your startup in 15 to 20 years. Thinking ahead by 15 years, where should you be that you would measure that today as a big success? The BHAG should be bold but realistic.
- Actions – Actions are activities which should be directly linked to your core values. The underlying question is here, what can you ask you board, investors or team every month on how to demonstrate that they did a specific action which shows that they live each of your core values. So if, for example, one of your core values is Impact, what did you do last month to show that you believe in this core value.
- Strengths – Here you should mention reasons/strengths why your company/startup is better than the competition.
Hard facts of your one page strategic plan are measurable and accountable elements which help you to stay focused while working on achieving the BHAG. The BHAG is the overarching element of all the following hard facts. Everything here should gear towards achieving the BHAG.
- Targets – Targets have a time horizon of 3 years. The question here is if our BHAG in 20 years is this, what do have to have achieved in 3 years from now? It is clustered in Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), Market and Capabilities
- Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) – What are accountable indivactors which would allow you to measure whether you are on the right track in 3 years or not?
- Market – How big is the sandbox (market) you are playing in?
- Capabilities – What are key capabilities your startup needs to acquire in order to reach the 3 year target?
- Goals – Goals look at one year from now. If you have your targets clear for 3 years from now, how need you goals look like if you want to hit your targets?
- KPIs – Which KPIs needs to be hit in one year from now to measure whether you are on track?
- Initiatives – Which initiatives should you start working on which will help you to reach your goals and targets?
- Brand Promise – Last but not least, the brand promise which translates the purpose into how customers should see your company. When they think about your startup,
In addition to these hard facts, we break the one year targets further down into quarterly goals since focus is a key element of a startup. This keeps us on track…we hope!