Inspiring Confidence to Inspire Action
Way back in July 2015, (seems like forever ago) I wrote about reviving your marketing strategy with content. I mentioned that having something to aspire to is invigorating, because having a clear vision is the first step to developing a plan for achieving our goals. Ensuring that everyone tasked with implementing the plan feels a part of it so they have the desire and confidence to take action is the second step. If you've been through this process before, you know challenges can occur at either or both steps.
Today I’m happy to share with you a strategic planning framework called SOAR that is designed to help you overcome these challenges while operating in a dynamic world. SOAR – Strengths Opportunities Aspirations Results™ – is the profound work of Dr. Jacqueline Stavros and Dr. Gina Hinrichs. It’s a proven business approach that “allows an organization to plan its most preferred future” and is utilized by organizations of all sizes.
SOAR is an alternative to the more static SWOT analysis. Among the differences between the two models, SWOT is more focused on attention to gaps (or what’s broken) and incremental improvement. It tends to be a top-down mandate that requires buy-in from others who may agree with the plan outwardly but inwardly harbor feelings of resistance or apathy that may preclude them from proactively and/or effectively contributing to its implementation.
What makes SOAR different:
- It’s action-oriented and focuses on implementation.
- It engages stakeholders at all levels in planning – those with client-facing roles and those who work behind the scenes.
- Weaknesses and threats are positively reframed as part of a conversation around Opportunities and Results.
- It considers the organization as a whole system of people, functions, and locations to allow for change.
- It’s scalable for massive strategic planning as well as micro planning, such as a marketing plan (hint, hint) and individual planning, such as deciding whether or not to take a new job.
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!