The Strategic Planning Process…Are you ready for the future?
Each year Tim facilitates a number of Strategic Planning Events for his clients. If you have an interest in bringing greater integrity and better results to this process, contact him today.
An effective, realistic and accountable strategic, business and sales plan can mean the difference between success and failure and an organization operating profitably or at a loss. It is unfortunate today that many organizations are not committed to the development and successful implementation of the strategic planning process. These organizations are in jeopardy - in a rapidly changing world - of becoming obsolete and a statistic. A well thought-out, designed and implemented strategic plan can ensure: a productive, effective, profitable organization. It can also go a long way to guarantee that its products, services, policies remain relevant and its customers and markets satisfied. There is no substitute for effective planning. Companies that insist on running by ‘the seat of their pants’ will soon discover that they are increasingly vulnerable to competitive initiatives, shifts in markets and the economy and customer needs, wants and perceptions. Don’t become a casualty. Take the time, commit the resources and people and set a precise yet flexible course for the future.
In order to guarantee that the strategic planning process is effective it is essential that it is completed prior to the fiscal or calendar year that the plan will represent. It is also important that ALL management staff contribute to the final process with the accurate bottom-up feedback of information that represents REALITY within the organization or market place that can be discussed by senior management at a retreat or planning meeting. The amount of time spent in the actual strategic planning discussions by management can vary from a single day to several days depending on the current needs, circumstances and objectives. The purpose of the process is to guarantee closure on the various topics, agendas and objectives and a commitment to action. Leaving issues to be resolved ‘in the future’ or ‘tabled’ is a recipe for continued stress, wasted corporate resources of time, people and money and possible failure. Whatever time required to resolve issues, challenges and action plans should not be short-changed.
The strategic planning process can include but is not limited to the following-
-The development of an internal and external mission statement.
-The development of an internal vision statement.
-The resolution and/or development of core corporate values.
-The development and/or refinement of a corporate philosophy.
-The development of a precise sales and/or marketing plan with programmed action steps.
-The development of an overall business plan which includes a formula for follow-through.
-The development of internal and/or external policies, procedures, approaches and tactics.
-The discussion of growth plans including: external and internal threats and opportunities.
Why use an outside facilitator:
Corporate America is riddled with politics, ego control, incompetence, poor judgment and uncertainty. Some of the biggest challenges facing leaders, executives, managers and supervisors today are: determining corporate direction, finding and keeping good employees and how to maintain a competitive as well as profitable posture in the market place. Without the use of an outside facilitator at a strategic planning event or at the critical stages in the process - you are assured that sooner or later - someone’s: position authority, ego, insecurity, poor communication skills, lack of understanding of the real world either inside or outside the organization or any number of other personal or corporate agendas, will sabotage the process and its successful outcome. As a result, any plan that is developed will usually - lack accountability, any chance of long-term success once communicated to employees, customers, vendors or the market.