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The Power of a “Go Forward” Plan

May 21, 2020
By Brian Black

Categories: Strategic Planning

The Power of a “Go Forward” Plan

Construction worker building a foundation

Author C.S. Lewis rightly observed that, “Hardship often prepares an ordinary person for an extraordinary destiny.”  This principle is no less true for our teams and organizations.  How can our organizations emerge from these days of challenge and hardship healthier and stronger, with greater cohesion, clarity and momentum?

In our May 14, 2020, video blog, my partners Roger North and Jerry Murray introduced the “Go Forward Plan,” a framework to deliver exceptional clarity and hope to your team, clients and community, and to accelerate your organization’s success as you launch into the next season.

The “Go Forward Plan” is short-term plan with long term implications, focusing on the first 90 days (or whatever initial period you define).  It begins with and is grounded in WHO you are as an organization, as expressed in your Values, Vision and Mission.  These serve as a prism or filter as you populate the rest of the Plan – and remind you and your team of “who you are going to be” as you move forward.

With that foundation in view, the Plan provides six categories, or lenses, through which you can establish clarity and intention.  Although your organization’s lenses may be different, the Go Forward Plan includes categories which are broad enough for many to adopt:

  • Physical Distancing/Social Engagement
  • Team Members
  • Clients/Customers
  • Community
  • Finance
  • Strategic Initiatives

Within these six Categories, the Plan establishes two essential components:

  • Posture – In light of WHO we are, WHAT do we desire to be true of us? What will be our “stance” in each category?
  • Plan – WHAT will we do to advance our stated “Posture” during the transition period? WHO will be primarily accountable to ensure that each component of the Plan is accomplished?

The Go Forward Plan provides a framework for hope-filled communication that delivers clarity and creates positive momentum for your team and organization.  Understanding WHY your organization exists, HOW you behave and WHAT you do is foundational and essential for successful strategic initiatives. Healthy organizations with highly cohesive teams can and will emerge stronger from this unprecedented season. We encourage you to Go Forward to provide direction and clarity for your team, clients, and community.

If you are interested in receiving our “Go Forward” plan template, we would be more than happy to share! Please send your request to

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