3 Personal Development Goals for Strategic Managers

June 10, 2011

Strategic Management

Throughout the year, your performance may be reviewed by your manager and you may be required to create goals for your career. Here are three short-term development goals you, as a strategic manager, should have on your radar when developing your annual Personal Development Plan.

Goal #1 Set a Trend: One of the core strengths of a strategist is the ability to observe current market trends and come up with innovative ideas. Your goal is to identify a trend in your market and present it to senior management. After doing your research, create a five-slide PowerPoint presentation showing the current market conditions, the trend you’ve identified, and the early adopters of this trend. With a clear understanding of how this trend relates to your organization, prepare a few questions to trigger a conversation. When your presentation is ready, invite some relevant attendees for a discussion on the subject and present your ideas. Your goal is to keep management informed of the latest trends, but also to have a clear picture of how the trend will affect your business.

Goal #2 Calibrate a Strategy: Identify one strategy being adopted by your organization and determine if the strategy is effective. If that answer is yes, what is making it work? If its not working, what can be changed to make it work. For instance, one of the organizations I worked for had a strategy to enter a mobile data market by providing specific features to customers. After seeing the accelerated growth in the number of daily product activations, my team knew that the strategy was working well. With further investigations, we were able to determine that the strategy was working because of a feature that allowed customers to activate the device immediately after purchase, whereas competitors required 72 hours to activate a similar product. In short, your goal is to calibrate a strategy by identifying the strategy, finding out if it is working, and describing why it is or isn’t working.

Goal #3 Develop a Strategic Knowledge Base: Create a strategic knowledgebase for your organization. First, set up a wiki to contain the information you will be collecting in the organization. Start simple by creating a structure based on the products currently available. Then, add a list of questions you are asked over and over again and answer them. Spread the word and engage volunteers to help collect and organize information on the wiki. Don’t be afraid to break information silos. The bigger the strategic knowledgebase becomes, the more valuable it is for the company. The outcome of this goal is to provide your organization with a point of reference for information about the company’s products and strategies.

When working on your personal development plan, create strong goals that are realistic and feasible. Communicate them clearly to your manager and align them with your company’s goals. I am sure this goal setting strategy will make a difference in your career.

Do you have any interesting goals for strategic managers that you’d like to share with other strategists, please feel free to share them! Please comment on this article.

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