Find the Urgent Missing Link in Strategic Planning

“I don’t get where you’re going with this concept. How will we come to align our goals by the end of the day?” Robert, (not his real name) is looking slightly bemused during the tea break.

Robert’s comments are not surprising. I’ve been told many times that my style of facilitating a strategic planning day is unique. I smile and encourage him to wait for the second part of our session.  As I walk down the corridor to use the restroom, I think, “Oh my, I might get fired from my facilitator role by noon. I am not certain that the owners are liking this strategy.”

However, I stay the course. I am so convinced that we have overlooked the urgent missing link in our strategic planning. 

Watching Robert’s reaction makes me think back to the years of hiring brilliant, highly paid consultants who swooped into the room and created tactical and logical-only solutions. We were not touching base with the critical components of our planning. We were doing things that seemed like it should work, but we were not really going through the visioning process of aligning logical goals with our heart and soul, intuitive senses.  

In the company I have led for two decades, I learned the hard way. And now I am incorporating these valuable insights in my client work with high-level leaders, executives, and business owners.

Your Feelings About the Goals and Vision for the Business Matter

I recently facilitated a strategic planning day with the owners and key staff of a company. One of their main concerns was retaining their top employees.  After all, we are living in the day of The Great Resignation…or is it The Great Awakening?

During the morning session, Robert sat quietly, with a pensive look on his face. He did not contribute much.  His brief comment during the break, is similar to what I am hearing from many other leaders. 

In two decades of owning and leading a multimillion-dollar company, as well as in the work I have done with high-level leaders, I discovered the urgent missing link in most of our strategic planning processes. 

We fail to make the connection between setting logical, headspace-goals and what matters in our heart and intuitive knowing. 

We never get to the part where we ask if our plans intuitively match how we feel about the goals and the vision for our company.

Connecting our Hearts with our Heads

Most strategic planners and consultants would agree that we need a vision. We need the big WHY and we need team-alignment. However, I recall sitting through so many days of strategic planning sessions in my own company, just feeling that something seems off. 

We talked about the challenges, which is important and necessary as a first step. We talked about what was working and what our wins were. This is also essential, because we are honoring the hard work we have done. We were setting great goals, based on logic and tactical solutions, and identifying which ones were most important.

Despite thinking that these goals sounded great and my team was agreeing, my gut instinct was telling me something different. My intuition said YES…AND something seems to be missing.

It took me years to figure out what that “something” was – the urgent missing link between what I now call the INFINITY LOOP. That loop creates the connection between our headspace – how we think logically to set our goals – and our heartbeat – that heart and soul and rhythm and the intuitive alignment of how this goal fits and feels for us, first as a person within our company and then as a team.

At this point, you may agree with what some others have told me…this sounds a little on the woo side! That is fine, I honor every person’s opinion. For those who care to continue a journey of discovering fresh strategies, a pleasant surprise awaits. 

Incorporating the Urgent Missing Link

In my work, I have seen the quantum and quick results when we incorporate the urgent missing link into our visioning process. It is essential and nearly magical to see the team come together, their eyes light up and they start to understand. This does not only happen in the logical part of their strategizing. They start to feel and see the process as the vision that matches where they should go and who they are. 

So how do I accomplish this? 

I take the strategic planning team through 3 very simple steps…

The first step is very basic. We talk about what is working and what the challenges are. We talk about old patterns, old behaviors and anything outdated that needs consideration. 

The second step is where the magic happens. This is where I take the team, the leaders, and the owners through a closed-eye quick-vision experience. We envision the ideal Utopian future. Each person creates that vision for themselves, and what that Utopian future looks like from their perspective and for their position. From that point, I invite them to consider key questions. Here their thoughts and their intuitive heart-and-soul-based thinking will link, matching their logical goals.

At the end of the 10-minute individual visioning experience, each member of the team talks about what they saw and felt in their vision. The results are astounding, and in many cases, give me goosebumps. You see new ideas coming into alignment in a much more heartfelt theme-based way. 

It was at this point during our strategic session, that Robert’s eyes lit up. This gentleman, who was pensive and perhaps not trusting the process in the beginning, came to life. Now he was able to see and feel the heart-based approach to how his business could be transformed instantly. He experienced it, he saw his team go from overwhelm, exhaustion and feeling lost, to feeling unified. He sensed the ignition of the fire in their souls and spirits. His team was ready to make the most the most amazing goals come to life in quick order.

At the end of our Strategic Planning Day, Robert commented that this had been the most impactful, yet unique, planning session he has ever experienced.

Seeing the hesitancy and disbelief turn into an “all-in” excitement, fuels my conviction that this strategy works. It is an honor to offer this solution to teams. Revealing the missing link is the foundation for every single strategy session, private client work, and corporate or leadership retreat I do. It is golden. I believe in it, not because I invented it, but because I have seen it work.

Your Invitation to Experience the Magic of the Missing Link

Are you concerned about retaining your essential staff? Do you wonder how to get realigned in these new paradigms? Does your business and team need transformation? Are your goals relevant to the changing world? 

To get from this internal nudge that something is “off” to a point where you are achieving results, you need a unique path. You need to trust that your process has to be different now because the way we do business has changed. You operate under new and elevated paradigms to ensure that your team members stay with your company.

If you are interested in learning more, please let me know. I am excited to offer a retreat experience for leaders who are looking to realign their business strategies. I offer private client work as well as team strategy sessions.  

I believe the urgent missing link of the infinity loop is what you need. By looping your logical action goals with how you feel and what your vision is, you will see employees get re-engaged, your team come back to life and have fun again and, most importantly, your business will flourish on all levels. 

In my experience, the results come together quickly. Why hire costly consultants and wait for six to twelve months, hoping for progress? The answers you are looking for are so much easier and quick to incorporate. A quantum leap method is imperative in these fast-changing times. 

I wish you all success in 2022 and beyond. It is my joy to serve leaders and brilliant people everywhere.

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