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Seven tips for a winning business and personal plan


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What is your plan for 2012? Some of you may have a plan - great, pursue it and continue monthly assessments. For others who have put planning off, it is not too late. It is always the right time to assess progress, reaffirm your passions, align your passions with a meaningful purpose and then put together a plan for your continued pursuit of passionate purpose.

Here a few practical pointers:

1. Assess. There are many ways to evaluate where you are now. Perhaps you use the Sigh Test - are you sighing more than smiling? This is a simple binary means to determine if things must change. Or, do a SWOT Analysis - look at your Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Consider creating a Stop/Start/Continue list - what should you stop doing, what should you start doing, what should you continue doing?

2. Where Do You Want to Go? Get clarity on what your vision is? Establish a BHAG - a big hairy audacious goal.

3. Bridge the Gap. How can you most effectively get from where you are now to where you want to go? What strategic initiatives are needed to bridge the gap?

4. Measure Metrics. What is the critical number you are working to achieve that represents the overall most important way you are bridging the gap? Have you established specific goals and ways to measure progress toward them?

5. Proper People. Get inputs from both outside and inside your organization. You may be amazed at what you learn. Don't do your internal plan by yourself either. Who should be part of your strategic planning process?

6. Both Sides Now. Put together both your personal plan and a business plan.

7. Have Fun Using It. Having a plan is good. Using the plan to guide your directions in 2012 is even better. How can you post it, review it and determine if you are in track while having fun along the way?

Radish Case Study

Radish used this last week of the year to do just that - assess and plan. The output was be a revised one-page strategic plan with clarity on our top priority ROCKS for 2012 and especially for Q112. We have clear KPIs - key performance indicators - or each department and a scorecard to keep track of progress of our important work. What gets measured gets done. We reference the scorecard regularly during our weekly and monthly meetings. And we have scheduled our quarterly strategic planning sessions to repeat this process.

Get moving -the right time is now. Assess, plan, pursue, see progress, repeat.
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Theresa M. Szczurek

Theresa M. Szczurek, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of Radish Systems, is a serial technology entrepreneur. The story of her last start-up, which sold for more than $40 million in less than six years, is included, along with her strategies for success, in the Amazon-bestseller Pursuit of Passionate Purpose: Success Strategies for a Rewarding Personal and Business Life. www.RadishSystems.com, www.radishsprouts.typepad.com and @TheresaSzczurek on twitter.

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