3 Signs Your Strategic Planning Process Is Incomplete
By Blanca Robinson
Click aqui para español- >3 señales que su estrategia de planeación está incompleta
Strategic planning is the development and implementation of various operational plans by companies or organizations, with the intention of achieving objectives and goals. These plans can be short, medium or long term. A sound strategic planning process includes three elements. If your organization does a poor or incomplete job on any of these areas, your process is incomplete and won’t get the results you expect.
Answer the BIG strategic planning questions. These include: Who are our customers; how can we better serve them? Who are our competitors; how can we beat them? What do we do best; how can we build on that edge? What are potential scenarios to consider for the future; how will we prepare for them? How can we defend against threats and seize opportunities? Some organizations come up with brilliant answers to these questions but can’t take them to the point of clear initiatives that get done. The BIG questions are worthless if they don’t result in a few clear, compelling strategic initiatives.
Set a few clear priorities and an overall strategic theme. The best outcome is to identify the most important priorities for the organization. Starting with a long list of potential priorities, the organization discusses the relative value of each, and hones in only a few key priorities. This discussion also leads to greater clarity about the big strategic planning questions, especially about what the organization should do best. During this phase, many organizations settle for a long list of priorities. This has the benefit that nobody feels excluded or insulted; however, it makes it highly unlikely that the organization will get anything done completely.
Implement. The biggest complaint we hear about strategy is that it never seems to get executed. A few reasons why:
- Neglecting to commit essential resources to the strategy, including capital, training, technology, and people.
- Failing to take things off the plate of busy employees, and instead just stacking more work on them. - Having lack of will to stop old initiatives that compete with the new.
- Not setting clear roles, responsibilities, accountability, and rewards systems.
- Giving up after a few setbacks or initial resistance. A sound strategy spends as much time on implementation planning as it does on the more glamorous work of answering the key strategic questions and setting priorities. Some organizations are strong at asking the big picture questions but fail to follow up. Some set too many priorities, and can’t say “no” to good ideas, despite limited resources. Which of the above areas is weakest in your organization?
-Blanca Robinson, owner of VIVA Consulting Group, is an Executive Coach and Business Strategist. For more information, visit www.vivaconsultinggroup.net.