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60 Minute Strategic Planning Template

If you’d prefer to use a paper version of our planning template instead of our strategic planning software, you can download and print out a template here. You can use this template with either the e-book you purchased on our web site or the paperback book you purchased from us or on Amazon.com.

We offer the template in three sizes:

8.5″ X 11″ Planning Template
8.5″ X 14″ Planning Template
11″ X 17″ Planning Template

Following is a quick explanation of the 12 steps in the 60 Minute Strategic plan process.


Stage 1: Strategic

1: Issue
An opportunity for, or obstacle to, growth

  • Improves competitiveness.
  • Needs extra effort.
  • Ability to implement.
  • Choose the issue of highest priority or where you will see the most impact.

2: Assumptions
Reasons why the issue is important

  • Every strategic plan is built on a set of assumptions (those things you believe to be true).
  • Assumptions spell out the worst-and best-case scenarios if the issue is unsolved and solved.
  • Assumptions declare your reasons to finish what you start regardless of the obstacles.
  • You also need to make an assumption about how the issue will impact your organization in additional revenue over time to rationalize your ROI for plan implementation ($Difference).

3: Values
Beliefs/behaviors that drive organization success

  • Specific to your issue.
  • Can be relied upon to successfully implement your strategy.
  • Important because you must make sure you do not attempt to do something strategically that is counter culture.

4: Vision
The best imaginable outcomes for the issue

  • Establishes the frame of reference for the entire plan.
  • Create AB FAB BHAGS (absolutely fabulous big hair audacious goals) with no thought as to how you will accomplish them.
  • Attach metrics; quantification clarifies the interpretation of your visionary intentions

5: Customer Benefits Customer
payoff from the vision

  • The customer is a vital part of your vision. you do not make money, you provide products and services; the customer supplies the money. So, in effect, the customer is the banker or venture capitalist for your vision.
  • Your vision must address your customers’ needs.
  • If customers don’t buy in to your vision based on self interests, then the project is bankrupt.
  • Quantify how they will benefit. 6: Other Beneficiaries

6: Other Beneficiaries
Others who will benefit from your vision

  • You will need help from others to implement your vision.
  • Could include employees, vendors, alliance partners, family, etc.
  • Quantify how they will benefit.


Stage 2: Tactical

7: Vital Signs
Measurements to audit, track, and adjust your plan

  • By definition, vision is currently impossible; otherwise, you’d be doing it.
  • When you created your vision, you created a performance gap. The gap is the distance from current reality to the vision and is full of obstacles.
  • You must identify and examine all of your obstacles so you know what is facing you and what is needed in terms of effort to overcome the obstacles.
  • Phrase obstacles in “How to” (or H2) statements to make them challenges instead of problems.

8: Obstacles
Obstructions to the vision

  • This step is about identifying what you will measure.
  • Vital signs are key indicators.
  • The measurements that matter most are those that reinforce the accomplishment of the visionary outcomes for the issue.
  • Measure two each from Values, Vision, Customer Benefits, and Other Beneficiaries (steps 3, 4, 5, and 6).

9: Strengths, Weaknesses, and Opportunities
What you have going for and against the issue

  • Strengths you can build on.
  • Weaknesses you need to correct or finesse.
  • Opportunities you can leverage.

10: Strategic Initiatives
Performance gaps that need to be closed

  • Here is where you decide which performance gaps to attack with strategy.
  • Select up to three gaps to close from Obstacles and Weaknesses.
  • For each gap, describe strategic transition from current state to desired state (that is, from “as-is” to “want to be.”)
  • Replace a gap with another when you close it until all of your gaps are closed.

11: Actions
Activities necessary to close the performance gaps

  • Describe all of the actions needed to accomplish your vision to go from current status (From) to desired status (To).
  • Prioritize actions.

12: Title
Vision in 3 to 5 words

  • Gives the project identity.
  • Makes it easier to communicate about the plan.
  • Is a rallying cry.


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