Many companies could do better strategic planning.
Often, the process consists of a group of staff people going off to a resort or someone’s cabin in the woods for a weekend to hash out what they conceive is a strategic plan. All too often, though, this exercise is more of an excuse to get away and to have a good time. This is OK for team building and camaraderie, and can have some positive results for the team. But it might not deliver the quality of strategic plan needed to be competitive in our fast- changing world. Does this sound familiar to some of you?
Even if your team does manage to come up with some good strategies, questions remain about the results long term. These questions center on how the team determined the strategies and how well they actually addressed the true situations that exist within your company.
Some companies use a seat-of-the-pants approach to strategic planning.
If it feels right, we should do it. For a while, that might work. This is because the team is fortunate to be comprised of the people with the knowledge and experience needed. But, over time, this process can be overused and under-effective. Without a good analysis of the competitive environment in which they are operating, they will miss changes and developments that are happening. As a result, it is likely the company will fall further and further behind the competition. This is because they are not doing the basics of strategic planning well enough. Consequently, they don’t keep up with their competition. Furthermore, they only listen to a small portion of the market. Finally, they only listen to people who may have a vested interest in just maintaining the status quo.
The lesson here is that any company can do better strategic planning and find its true course and direction if the planning process they use is sufficiently rigorous and organized.
A robust planning process should be one of the fundamental parts of the overall process. The need for finding out the latest market information should be a driver of the process. The CEO should be actively involved in the whole planning process. Good results will require sufficient time and money.
Better strategic planning is based on a formalized process which has sufficient flexibility to change as needed.
It is imperative that your organization changes with the evolving environment in which they operate. A real key part of having a successful set of strategies depends on the commitment of the organization to buy into and to carry out the plan. This includes the commitment of each individual to making the strategic plan a success.
If you find your strategic planning is not delivering the results you need, we can help. Please contact me at 616-575-3193 or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org. I can guide you toward better strategic planning with better results based on actionable, effective strategic plans. Consider holding an inexpensive one-day workshop on Simplified Strategic Planning.
M. Dana Baldwin is Senior Strategist with Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc. He can be reached by email at: email@example.com