Abbott: Well Costello, this year’s strategic plan has to be the best ever.
Costello: Yes, Abbott and we’ve got to get it just right. The first thing we need to do is make sure everybody understands the key planning terms. What is a goal?
Abbott: That’s exactly right: what you’re trying to achieve is the goal.
Costello: I don’t think you get me. I’m asking, what is a goal?
Abbott: I just told you, what represents the goal and how is the strategy.
Costello: How what is the strategy?
Abbott: Not how what, just how is the strategy.
Costello: Well, I don’t know how the strategy is because you haven’t told me what it is.
Abbott: That’s because what is the goal, how is the strategy.
Costello: How is the strategy what?
Abbott: Not what, how.
Costello: HOW DO I KNOW WHAT THE STRATEGY IS IF YOU WON’T TELL ME!?
Abbott: The goal is what, the strategy is how.
Costello: And I suppose who’s on first.
Abbott: No, who’s our target customer.
Costello: How am I supposed to develop a strategic plan if you won’t tell me who is the customer, what is the goal and how is the strategy?
The next time Abbott and Costello’s “How’s a Strategy” scene breaks out during one of your sessions, it may be time to refresh on the three keys to successful strategic planning:
1. Create a common language
2. Use a methodical process
3. Ensure practical application