We’re celebrating an unexpectedly early strategic success here at Atlas World Headquarters, winning our first project from a client that we had targeted in our 2014 strategic plan. It wasn’t much of a project, and by no means are we assured of continued success. But one thing is clear from our track record: once somebody with interesting problems starts working with Atlas, that nascent relationship almost always grows stronger, more durable, and more valuable to both parties.
Unexpected success causes interesting problems to an organization like Atlas, so dedicated to methodical plan-and-execute efforts. Strategic goals need to be adaptable to developing conditions, especially changes required by success. In this case, we simply modified our plan from “Win our first project with…” to “Win three new projects with…” We assigned more budget to this initiative as well, necessarily downrating other parts of the plan, but parts that had not yet borne fruit.
Atlas has another strategic initiative from 2013, an opportunity that fell out of the sky in the second half of the year (through a longstanding, durable relationship, of course). Succeeding at that initiative could very likely require us to grow the company. And yes, our strategic plan includes a contingency plan for such rapid growth that we can implement on short notice, so that we maintain focus on the project and the client.
I hope that you all achieve some strategic milestone early in 2014. It’s a good feeling, knowing that your plan is effective enough to force modifications in the plan. And if you don’t already have an explicit strategic plan for your practice, I encourage you to set aside a half-day to begin one. Make your first goal nothing more than to adopt a strategic plan in Q1 2014. Drop me a note when you achieve it, and I’ll send you a congratulatory message. Go. Start. Have a great week, everyone.