I recently went on my annual silent retreat, the type I started attending in high school. Modeled after the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, this is a weekend experience that I attend every year come hell or high-water. What is it, and why do I participate?
I think of this weekend as my “performance evaluation with God.” I go over the past year, where I am today, and where I want to go the next year. I put a plan together that enables me to think of myself as: (1) son of God (2) husband of María (3) father of Rosi, Sofi, Alejo, Maggie, and Teci (4) owner of CSR (5) everything else. Understanding who and what I am and how it relates to God is a way to get grounded and see what I need to do.
What does this have to do with strategic planning?
CSR has always advocated a well thought-out, thought-FULL approach to conducting business. Executed within the environment of the normal monthly retainer business, strategic planning has always been something I consider the “spinal column” of any engagement. Over the past few years, CSR has been steadily growing and adding clients and staff – both of these (the clients and staff) repeatedly asked about offering the strategic planning aspect on a stand-alone basis. Since Q42014, we have done a whole bunch of them to rave reviews. So what’s the connection with spiritual exercises?
In both cases, we are seeking to get to the root of things:
Who am I? For what purpose am I here, and what are the gifts that I bring to the equation? How can I know, love and serve God the best way possible and how God made me to best do it?
Who is the company? What service or product does it provide and what market segment does it target and serve? What is the best way for that company to deliver on its unique edge?
I get a real kick out of helping create clarity for our clients and consider it one of our company’s special talents. Evaluating and planning ahead are crucial, both for our spiritual and professional lives.
We’ll be talking more about strategic planning in coming blogs as they are so essential to any organization’s success.