There are a multitude of strategic planning tools and consultants, and the terms ‘strategy’ and ‘strategic’ have become overused much like the word ‘quality’ in the 1980’s. It’s important to understand that there have been numerous definitions of Vision, Mission and Strategic Plans, and that if you asked twenty people their thoughts about those terms, you’d get twenty different opinions. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth putting the time and effort into the process.

If I could simplify this post, it would be entitled ‘How, How, How’ instead of the current title. To be really simplistic, Objectives outline the ‘Whats’ and Strategies give you the ‘Hows’ to achieve those Objectives. It’s actually pretty simple.

Answer the questions:

How will you build this business? this department? this project?

A common question is “How can I tell the difference between an Objective and a Strategy? Here are some guidelines:


Align to Objectives

One way to approach setting Strategies is to align them to each Objective.  Take a look at your first Objective and ask yourself these questions:

  • How can we accomplish that?
  • What tools and resources will we utilize?
  • What partnerships will we develop?
  • How will we use technology to accomplish that?
  • What sources will contribute to the success of that objective?

Let’s look at a real example from the previous post on Objectives.

Reduce employee turnover from 40% to 10% by December 31, 2018.

Example strategy statements for that Objective might be:

Implement a long-term incentive award program and a mentoring program.

Utilize HR and outside consultant to make recommendations.

The One Page Business Plan® allows you to have 9 Objectives and 9 Strategies, so ensure that each Objective has a least one Strategy that aligns to it.  In other words you should be able to examine each of your Objectives and find at least one Strategy that contributes to the achievement of that Objective.


Of course there are templates!  As always, the heavy lifting is done by the templates.  Here’s a template and a few examples:

Example Strategies:

Become nationally known through providing conferences, publishing articles and PR firm.

Outsource marketing for launch of Product A.

The Objectives and Strategies probably take the most time in developing compared to the other sections of a One Page Business Plan®.  This is the ‘meat’ of your plan!  It’s well worth the time to set your targets, and determine how you are going to go after them.

Next, we’ll talk about ACTION!  We can all be really effective at pulling a plan together, but what about execution?

If you are ready to ‘dive all in’, of course buy the workbook here, or send me an email at to inquire about private sessions or sessions for your team.  Otherwise, look for our additional post in this series next week.



Check out our video workshop here.

Related posts:

How is a business like a wedding?

Assess Your Starting Point

Describe your end result.

Why do you exist?

You can’t track what you can’t measure.

Are my objectives really that intelligent?