Prolific Thoughts

CEO “personas” who undertake a strategic plan.

Strategic planning. All CEOs or business leaders have gone through this process in some form or fashion. As a firm focused on this important process and the impact it can have for our partners, Prolific has teamed up with a variety of CEOs and leaders from multiple sectors and backgrounds who are committed to exponential growth.

Our partners often ask us how they should engage us throughout the strategic planning process. Ultimately, strategic plans should serve as a roadmap for accomplishing the growth goals an organization is committed to reaching in the short and long term. Strategic plans should possess insightful research, bold strategies, and tactics to execute and implement the strategic plan. The journey to an effective strategic plan is almost always accomplished through the guidance of an effective leader. Below are three personas of CEOs who go through the strategic planning process to achieve success.

The Visionary CEO

The Visionary CEO understands his or her vision and mission intimately. They value the impact they provide their target audiences and know their own people inside and out. They also understand that new, bold strategies to empower their vision and mission are critical for on-going success. They’re not insecure in going through the strategic planning process, and don’t feel pressure to have every strategy figured out in pursuit of their goals. Visionary CEOs don’t say things like, “yeah, we’ve tried that already.” Instead, they are steadfast in their focus and commitment to their organization’s purpose while pursuing new ideas from multiple people to maximize the metrics they care about most. This CEO is open-minded and wants to hear new, data-driven, fresh ideas on the strategies her or his team will commit to over the course of 1–3 years. They value outside advisors and expect them to provide high-impact strategies that will move the needle for the organization.

The Hands-On CEO

The Hands-OnCEO is intimately involved in the strategy development process. Often, they possess a specific focus on what strategies they want included in their strategic plan. Hands-On CEOs even have an idea of how they want their strategies executed tactically. Less willing to budge on his or her own strategies, the Hands-On CEO is mildly interested in new ideas that could drive greater gains, but more interested in seeing their own ideas further built out so they can come to life and be executed efficiently. They understand that locking in a precise strategy and direction for their team is crucial for continued prosperity and having an outside partner to develop this roadmap is necessary and important. They will dig in to the details of strategy development, giving direct and specific thoughts for the strategies that need to be crafted in order to influence the way strategies are developed. Because they are only focused on one or two key metrics for success, the Hands-OnCEO will be very clear on expectations and outcomes the strategic plan must accomplish and is 100% invested in the whole process.

The Collaborator CEO

This CEO strikes a great balance between providing strong vision and direction, while also remaining curious to innovative initiatives that can advance their business. They’re committed to remaining strategic, not tactical. They value vision and strategy, but also understand that downstream tactics and executions turn ideas into reality. The CollaboratorCEO will participate in strategy development but provide space for strategists and researchers to think and dream. They will lead and direct while offering wide guardrails for big ideas to emerge. The CollaboratorCEO will be highly involved in the first 20% and the last 20% of the strategic plan process, providing great expectations and confirming that the end deliverable meets their needs.

The great thing about these strategic planning personas is that they all produce a successful end result. Whether you engage more intimately, provide vision and delegate, or act as a player-coach, strategic plans are foundational deliverables all organizations who want to maximize their goals should possess.