Lea Woodward

Values-Based Strategic Planning

When did you last consciously, ‘selfishly’ and with specific intent, think about what you really want your life and your business to be like? And when did you consciously create a plan or set an intention that puts those needs and wants first?

Why this matters…

Many of us get trapped in a never-ending cycle of putting others first and playing second fiddle to the needs of those around us – we listen to what our clients, customers, partners, family and colleagues want and we build our life and business around these, quietening our own voice and ignoring the sense that they’re not quite what we want.

We tell ourselves: “I’m here to serve. I need to listen to what they want and give it to them, or I won’t have a business in the first place”.

But sometimes a nagging doubt creeps in: “What if it doesn’t have to be this way? What if I do what I want to do for a change? What if I put that first for once? Would people still choose me?” though we quickly shut this down, chastising ourselves for our selfishness and perceived foolishness.

But what if it didn’t have to be this way?

What if creating a plan that puts what you want front and centre of your own life and business helped you meet your own and everyone else’s needs even more than you do now? Would you be willing to try it?

“Planning is bringing the future into the present, so you can do something about it now.” – Alan Lakein

Why most people avoid strategic planning…

#1 They don’t know how to create a plan…

The only experience many of us have with plans is a meal plan (maybe!) or a 30+ page business plan – neither of which are very exciting to the average bear and often require copious amounts of brain ache and much gnashing of teeth. Perhaps you’ve done a vision board to guide your life and business choices – which looks pretty but on a practical level of “so now what the hell do I do?” it’s as useful as a chocolate teapot.

#2 They don’t think they need a plan…

It’s easy to think that strategic planning is only required if you’re starting a business, seeking investment, or doing something ‘big’. But if you want to stop reacting to things that happen to you, finally stand up, play to your strengths, and create a consciously-designed business then a plan is the foundation for achieving this.

#3 They’re scared they’ll fail…

Putting things in black and white feels scary. Committing can feel scary. But what if you fail? What if the plan becomes yet another thing you never actually complete successfully?

What most people don’t realise is that a plan itself isn’t actually the point; it’s the act of planning which is the truly valuable part. Planning is a PROCESS; it doesn’t start and finish, it starts and carries on and on and on because things change. We change. People around us change. What we want changes. Often. And so should your plan.

“Plans are nothing. Planning is everything.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower

So what can strategic planning do for you?

The kind of strategic planning I’m talking about is most valuable to you if you feel one or more of the following:

  • Disorganised and chaotic in your approach to everything; things might have been ok so far but it feels more down to luck and happenstance than anything else.
  • Directionless and struggling to anchor yourself and your life to things that really matter (to you and to others), which means you frequently jump on to the next new thing and lack any real consistency.
  • Disconnected and unsure how to fully grow into your life; things feel disjointed, overwhelming and you constantly struggle to find flow.
  • That you’re limiting your own potential because you don’t have what you need, and you don’t know how or where to find it.

This is for you if you’re beginning to believe that putting yourself first in your life and your business is a selfless NOT selfish act. (You don’t have to be all in with this belief just yet…just have a sneaking suspicion!)

This is for you if you’re ready to set your intentions and move you and your business in a direction of YOUR conscious choosing, instead of being constantly thrown by what life sends your way.

“A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at.” – Bruce Lee

The purpose of a more strategic plan is to create a valuable tool that guides your direction, your decisions, and your moves. You know when you have a ‘good’ plan because:

  • You feel and connect with it (deeply) every time you look at it, rather than being bored by the very thought of it.
  • It guides your decisions, choices, behaviour and actions – both short, medium and long term.
  • It helps you stay focused on the big picture, yet also helps you make decisions on the smaller details no matter what is going on around you.
  • It adapts and evolves as you and your life do.

With an effective strategic plan, you experience a feeling of greater clarity, control and calm. With an effective strategic plan, you have more confidence that you know where you’re headed, have a plan to get there and know which step to take next.

What is values-based planning?

Your core values function like a moral compass – they are typically the yardstick you use (unconsciously) when you make key decisions in life:

  • Is this a good career move?
  • Should I take this course or do a different one?
  • Do I want to work with this person (or not)?
  • Should I start my own business or get a different job?

Your core values drive your responses, behaviour, opinions, assumptions and more. They provide an anchor, a way to figure out what matters most to you, and a measure of how in alignment (or not) you are with your life and your life is with you.

The kind of planning process I use is called Values-Based Planning. It’s a process I’ve developed over the past 10+ years that puts your core values at the heart of your strategy which means that your entire plan is built upon the things which matter most to you.

This approach to planning has numerous benefits over others:

  • It’s ONE page – no long-winded, wordy and waffly prose to construct; the more succinct the better.
  • It’s comprehensive and holistic – it’s not just designed for one specific aspect of your life or business (though it can be used for this), it also gives you a complete overview of your entire life/business strategy.
  • It’s meant to be changed, adapted and tweaked – because it’s only one page, it’s easy to tweak, adapt and modify as needed (in fact we recommend reviewing and tweaking it at least every quarter).
  • It’s based upon a set of guiding principles/beliefs/values that are unlikely to change.

If you’re going to craft a better plan that captures where you’d like your life to be heading, doesn’t it make sense to base this around your set of values, to ensure you stay focused on what matters to you, and what doesn’t?

What you receive…

This is a 4-week guided experience to walk you through the process of creating a 1-page Values-Based Plan. You’ll learn this powerful, repeatable process of strategic planning which will help you focus on what matters most, and start bringing it to life.

This 4-week experience gives you access to:

  • A complimentary copy of my ebook, Values Matter.
  • A 4-week guided online experience, during which you’ll have access to:
    • Weekly email prompts to walk you through the process of creating your plan.
    • Step-by-step instructions – by online video and text – to help you craft each section of your plan.
    • An online video of me talking you through the creation of my own values-based plan.
  • Access to a “Crafting Your Values-Based Plan” Working Example – a downloadable PDF with a working example of sample Values-Based Business Plan.
  • Access to an online Values-Based Plan template – to help you format and complete your own plan.
  • A range of additional ‘surprise’ extras to provide a more complete sensory experience 😉
  • Brief, complimentary private feedback from me on one of your draft Values-Based Plans (either your life or business plan – whichever you choose to do).

When you’ve completed the Values-Based Strategic Planning experience, you’ll have:

  • A one-page overview of your entire life and/or business strategy, to guide your short, medium and long term activities.
  • Your primary mission, clearly and compellingly defined.
  • Clarity on the strategies and tactics you’ve chosen to move forward with and implement your plan.
  • Well-defined measures of success to help guide your progress.
  • Comfortable acknowledgement that elements of your plan can (and will) change.
  • A reusable approach to strategically planning anything – in business and in life.

“As for the future, your task is not to foresee it, but to enable it.” – Antoine de Saint Exupery

How this works…

Step 1: When you purchase the Values-Based Strategic Planning Experience, you’ll receive access to a digital copy of the Values-Based Strategic Planning eKit to download.

Step 2: Each week – for 4 weeks – via video and email prompts, I will walk you through a section of the plan so you know how to craft and create your own version.

Step 3: At the end of your 4 weeks, send me your draft plan for some brief feedback and useful suggestions.

“Hope is not a strategy.”

Get started…

Start leading your life instead of it leading you. Join the next guided Strategic Planning Session in SEPTEMBER 2017 for £97.