10X your strategy success with the Law of 3s

John Ferris Strategy

For many of us, this is strategy season: time to set the stage for 2017 and beyond. I’ve participated in countless strategy sessions and experienced many different systems, and I have found that by far, the simplest and most effective model is the Law of 3s plan design. It is a structure that forces an element of simplicity into the strategic planning process: if you break the Law of 3s, you’ll have too much on your plate and things just won’t get done.

Law of ThreesHow it works:

Three overarching Big Goals set the course for the organization over the next three years; under each goal, three Step Goals chart the course for the year. Team members create Actions to achieve each objective, which are aligned with the plan’s goals. The graphic on the right outlines the Law of 3s format; each coloured box represents a goal. By design, there is room for only three Big Goals, and three Step Goals beneath each Big Goal.

The foundation of the model is the acknowledgement that at the end of the day organization, teams, and employees can’t do it all. We work best when we have an intense focus on a few things versus a watered down focus on many things.

It’s about clarity:

The Law of 3s structure focuses and organizes the path to clarify what needs to get done and how it will get done. At a glance, the organization’s top priorities are clear. And when we create our Big Goals, Step Goals, and Actions, we always use the SMART principle, keeping in mind that every goal and action should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based.

Done is better than perfect:

The Law of 3s format is simple yet effective, and we’ve applied it to corporate plans, team or departmental plans, and even personal planning with great success.

It won’t be perfect the first time you use the Law of 3s, but the more you use it, the better you get at creating a plan that focuses and challenges your team. Combine the Law of 3s with a regular rhythm of accountability to stay on track and bring your plan to life.