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Why don’t some organizations do strategic planning?

By M. Dana Baldwin, Senior Consultant

Strategic Planning Expert

Strategic Planning Expert

Why don’t some organizations do strategic planning?  Great question, because a surprising number of companies do not actually put together a written plan of where they want to go.  Why don’t they plan?  There are a variety of reasons, and we will explore some of them.

Some feel planning is superfluous.  Their perception is that the world changes too fast for planning to be effective, so they simply fly by the seat of their pants and try to do the best they can with what they have.  The plain truth is that if they would do a decent job of developing strategies for their future course and direction, they would have a base from which to work when the world changes course.  By having a sound starting point and knowing where they intended to take the company, any changes could be more easily discerned and they would have a sound basis for analysis to determine what, if anything, they would need to modify in their strategic plan to accommodate the new reality.

Others feel strategic planning is for big business only.  This misconception arises from one of two sources: first, the feeling that they are too small to be able to influence their future, and, second, they often think they know enough about their business and their market place that planning isn’t needed.  I would submit both of these thoughts are misguided.  No business is too small to do some formal planning of where the business should be headed, because without a plan, it is too easily pushed around by both competitors and customers.  Focus on what should be done can be lost by the constant barrage of input from outsiders (customers and competitors) with the result that, unless one is extremely careful and resolute, the course and direction of the company can be taken off the sweet spot into areas where the company is less strong and more vulnerable.

Some think strategic planning is too time-consuming.  Anything worth doing is worth doing well, and planning the future of your organization is worth the investment of time and money to do it well.  How many days last year did you devote to planning your family vacation?  Some, of course, will say very few, as they went to a cottage or a familiar resort that really didn’t involve much need for planning.  But for those who took a trip, either driving or flying, stayed at a series of hotels or resorts, went to a national park or a theme park, there often can be quite a few days spent planning the whole trip.  Isn’t planning where your business should go be at least as important as planning a vacation?  Yet many feel it takes too much time. A well-structured, methodical approach like our Simplified Strategic Planning gives great, actionable results and only requires about 5.6% of your time the first year and only about 3% per year after that.  The quality of the plan and the execution of the objectives should pay you back many times the modest cost of doing the actual planning.  If you are not doing a good job of strategic planning or if you don’t currently actually do strategic planning, go to our website: www.cssp.com to see what you can gain by implementing an effective planning process.  If you want to explore strategic planning further, please consider attending our acclaimed seminar: Simplified Strategic Planning where you will learn the benefits and the processes of implementing a good strategic plan for your business.  For more information, click here.

Interested in more ways to improve your strategic planning process?  Download a complimentary copy of our Strategic Planning Tune-up book by clicking on Tune-up.

M. Dana Baldwin is a Senior Consultant with Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc. He can be reached by email at: baldwin@cssp.com

© Copyright 2014 by Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI — Reprint permission granted with full attribution.