Strategic planning helps set, meet goals


August 16, 2023

Bobby Jenkins

Bobby Jenkins

Strategic planning is not simply about setting specific revenue and growth goals. From my perspective, it’s instead about asking and answering questions such as:

  • What should we be working on in our business?
  • What would make our business the best it can be?
  • What are the key areas that need to be worked on that will improve our company in the future?

At ABC, we have embarked on our first really thoughtful strategic planning process. We are looking at what we need to do to make our company healthy and strong over the next five years. Our company is at a crossroads, as several senior managers have been and will be retiring in the next two to three years. We are working to set a path for the next generation of leaders to grow and build the company.

Getting buy-in and feedback

To get our process started, we decided to get some outside help and guidance. We knew this wasn’t going to be just a quick meeting with senior leadership and in a couple of hours we would create a five-year plan. We wanted to make sure we did the best we could, so we hired consultant Brian Audia to lead us on this journey.

We wanted to make sure everyone had input and was involved in the process. We had a big kickoff meeting letting everyone know what we were doing and got their initial feedback about why this was so important for the future of the company. We then conducted a company-wide survey to get everyone’s thoughts and input. We got our Net Promotor Score (NPS), which is based on the question, “On a scale of one to 10, how likely are you to recommend ABC as a place to work to a friend or relative?” We also asked about key areas in which they think the company can improve.

After we tabulated the data and consolidated the feedback, we shared the information with the entire team. We found several themes from the comments, and from there, we started to find areas on which we need to focus.

We then put together a rather large working group to dive into the themes and develop thoughts as to what we need to do. We brought together about 100 people, and had an all-day meeting establishing our three main goals and key objectives, and how to advance them. We broke into three main working groups, with each having a specific goal leader. We brainstormed ideas and worked on establishing six objectives per goal.

After the meeting, we reported our progress back to the entire company. One of the questions we asked everyone after the presentation was, “What did you hear and what does it mean?” We again got great feedback to help shape the direction of each goal.

Establishing goals

While all of this seems very slow and deliberate, I was told by our consultant to “trust the process” — and I now see why. By being so methodical, we have been able to involve and engage virtually everyone in the company.

At press time, we are about 80 percent finished with our strategic plan. Our three goals center on training, engagement and communication:

  1. Establish an all-encompassing training and leadership advancement initiative.
  2. Implement strategies that substantially enhance employee engagement and job satisfaction.
  3. Develop an all-inclusive framework to bolster efficient and effective communication throughout the organization.

I’m excited about the direction of our strategic plan. We have had tremendous participation and incredible input. I am confident that when the plan is complete, we will have a roadmap to help us become the company we all aspire to be.

About the Author

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JENKINS, who rotates this column with his brothers Raleigh and Dennis, is president of ABC Home & Commercial Services, Austin, Texas. He can be reached at

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