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Black and white photo of a latte and espresso beans

Strategic planning as a latte — it’s all about the espresso

This week I was in Miami and started the day at my favorite Italian bistro with a beautiful latte and planned my day working with strategic planning teams executing their strategies. As my latte was served, I first looked at the simple beauty of the drink and then realized strategic planning work is not unlike a well created latte. Consider the top layer. It’s pretty and adds to the aesthetics of the drink but by itself may lack substance. Many companies approach strategic planning from the standpoint of developing a Vision, Mission, and Values. Those elements are critically important, but by themselves without a way to implement against them, they may just be pretty words. The middle layer of the latte has more substance and provides the foundation for the top layer. This layer can be compared to the strategic goals and objectives of the organization. That’s the framework for translating the Vision, Mission, and Values into specific focus areas. Many companies stop their strategic planning efforts here. The Vision, Mission, Values, Goals and Objectives end up in a beautiful binder and on company walls, but without the final, foundational process of execution (the expresso) the plans frequently don’t reach the aspirational intentions of the Vision statement. A latte without the espresso is incomplete and ineffective. Strategic plans without well managed execution strategies fall short of the goal of strategic planning-to execute performance against the Vision and Mission for the benefit of the organization and the customers and stakeholders they serve. 

Are you serving up your best strategic planning process? If not, we’d love to talk to you to create a better future for your organization.

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