Strategic Planning and a Deck of Cards

Many organizations I’ve seen approach strategic planning like they want to play every card in a deck. They search for good ideas on how to improve results and they come up with a lot of them. Let’s say there are 52 ideas. Then as they plan out those 52 ideas they plan to do a different 4-5 of them each month with the objective to be implementing all 52 ideas by the end of the year.

Here’s how I suggest you approach strategic planning. You generate 52 ideas. Then you search through those 52 ideas for the four Aces, the four very best ideas on improving results. Then you spend the first quarter implementing the first Ace as well as you can. Then in the second quarter you implement the second Ace as well as you can, and so on. I think you will generate much better results by coming up with a lot of ideas, but then only selecting the four best ideas that will really drive better results and implementing them as well as you can.

Four Aces beats almost every combination of 52 cards thrown on the table.