Bill Walsh, who coached the San Francisco 49ers to three Super Bowl championships, had a simple strategy for winning. He felt that his football team needed to follow a cycle of “commit, explode, recover.”
To win in football or in business, a team must commit to a plan of attack, execute it, and then react to the results. A team crippled by indecisiveness will just cause individual efforts to flounder.
Winning starts with a process of listening, understanding, and considering input from diverse points of view. The next step – deciding and committing to a plan of attack — comes after everyone on the team understands every point of view and the issues, their relative importance, and potential responses.
Once the team commits to that plan of attack, they develop specific action plans, the plays in football. Commitment includes clear, personal accountability for specific actions and results.
The team then explodes — everyone executes with passion, without hesitation, with full personal commitment. Individuals and teammates hold each other personally accountable for execution.
The next step in the cycle is to recover, i.e. to respond and react. As German military strategist Helmuth von Moltke is often quoted, “No battle plan survives contact with the enemy.” For a football team, every play is a learning experience because it provides an opportunity to refine the plan.
The same holds true in business. Strategic planning is the process that enables companies to sustain a winning cycle of commit, explode, and react. Establishing an aggressive implementation process is an essential part of your strategic planning. Your senior team should be prioritizing today’s actions based on a clear, shared visualization of what products and markets they want to be part of the company’s future within five years.
If you’re interested in having a facilitated strategic planning meeting that moves you from concept to tangible implementation, check out our service offerings online, contact us by email, or better yet, give us a call at (800) 207-8192 to arrange for a complementary consultation to determine if you are ready for strategic planning and if our program is right for you.