By Kirsten Lecky, Director of Sales and Marketing2016-10-19_1700

Time flies. We live it year after year. Yet here we are again, surprised it’s October. You’ve probably started reflecting (and panicking). You’re asking yourself questions like, “How did we do this year?” and “Is there still time to get it all done?”

But take a deep breath and let’s look at the flip side — it’s rewarding to look back and feel proud of the work you and your team accomplished. And, it’s energizing to think boldly when planning what’s next.

Over the years, I’ve learned reflection and planning are actually the easier parts. The execution — that messy middle — is always more challenging.

At a recent healthcare conference, I presented on the topic of content strategy. During the session, I asked the group to look beyond the boardroom (and meetings) to answer the following questions:

  • What are a few of your strategic objectives?
  • What are you doing today that aligns with those objectives (and conversely, what are you doing that doesn’t align)? We’ll talk about that in a future blog.
  • What are a few ways you reinforce your strategy in everyday processes?

While everyone had at least a few of their teams’ strategic objectives top-of –mind, here’s what may surprise you — many admitted they talked about them only a few times a year. From this healthy discussion, many easy-to-execute ideas were born. Here are just a few you may find helpful:

  1. Project Forms – Whether you call it a work order or creative brief, there’s no denying its importance. You already use the form to outline critical project details. Why not add a footer that includes your strategic objectives? You may also require the alignment of the project to a specific objective to be noted on the project form.
  1. Editorial Calendar – Add a column for each strategic objective and, using the same process as above, note which objective the content satisfies.
  1. Online communities – Where can you sneak in some strategy stimuli for your team? Screen savers, intranets, project management home pages are just a few ideas. You could also use a scrolling message so they see it multiple times a day.

Strategy alignment helps you prioritize and say no to the projects that don’t help your end game. And, you don’t have to reflect only at the end of the year. By taking just a few of these easy steps, you can ensure what you’re doing is moving you one step closer to accomplishing those big goals.

How are you going to reinforce strategy in your processes today? No meetings allowed.