1. Own It
It must be owned – it has to be driven by senior management and in turn be enthusiastically implemented by the whole organisation.
2. The Beating Heart
It must exist at the beating heart of a business – every copy of the strategy must be dog-eared and well-worn. A strategic plan in mint condition is a useless one.
It must have a degree of flexibility – if it is too rigid and can’t allow for unexpected change, the organisation will ultimately fail.
It must be well communicated to the business – there’s no point having it if nobody understands what it means.
5. Do It For The Right Reasons
It must be created for the right reasons – a strategic plan isn’t just something that is nice to have.
6. Visionary versus Realistic
It must find the balance between being visionary and being realistic – shoot for the stars, but make sure they are in this galaxy.
7. Time Is Of The Essence
It must cover a sufficient time period – too short and you will never achieve it, too long and the world will change before you get there.
8. Measure Twice, Cut Once
It must be measurable – you won’t know where you are in the future if you can’t measure your past.
9. Smash It
It must be able to be smashed – when Coca-Cola developed their unique bottle the design brief was it must be recognisable even when it breaks. You can’t buy strategic plans off the shelf.
10. Honesty Is The Best Policy
It must be honest and based on fact – there is no place for opinions in strategic plans. A fresh and independent pair of eyes is always a good idea.