So when does a strategic planning effort become a good thing?  When it  becomes action.  What is it before it becomes action?  Just plain old good intentions. 

In other words, you can painstakingly go through the process of understanding how to get where you want to go.  But if you don’t develop a strategy to get there and THEN put the plan into effect…you’re just spinning your wheels.

So…how do you ensure that you’re actually implementing what you dream up?  Turns out that there are two keys.  First, you’ve got to be willing to assign key people to specific tasks and you’ve got to do that right away.  If they have to finish what they’re working on before they start what is next…you’re probably not really committed to what you’ve planned.

The second key is to determine accountability, a deadline, and how you’re going to measure results.  As Peter Drucker has said, "What we measure and how we measure determine what will be considered relevant, and determine, thereby, not just what we see, but we–and others–do (p. 81, The Daily Drucker)."

My all time favorite line on this subject?  Drucker again.  "The best plan is only good intentions unless it degenerates into work."

So…I guess the question for all of us is, "Have your strategic plans degenerated into work?"

Good Intentions ≠ Good Plan