Update and Upgrade for Better Strategic Planning
The odds of designing and executing strategies that lead to high performance are not in your favor. In fact, research shows that most companies struggle to just break even. But those that do thrive, the top 20%, account for most profits.
Our organizational alignment research found that better strategic planning, along with an approach that aligns culture and talent with strategy, leads to better strategic results in terms of revenue growth, profitability, customer loyalty, leadership effectiveness, and employee engagement.
For those organizations not at the top of the pack, it is time to rethink the strategic planning process and revamp strategy cascading and execution in a way that moves both the people and the business forward.
Five Tips on How to Do Strategic Planning Right
Having worked with clients on strategy retreat facilitation and implementation over three decades as they struggle to craft clear, believable, and implementable strategic plans to galvanize their teams, we have identified five tips for better strategic planning:
We recommend that leaders gather at least once a month to scan the marketplace, review progress to date, challenge strategic assumptions, hold further strategy conversations, and update strategic priorities.
Ensure that your leadership team openly discusses and vigorously debates multiple alternatives for growth and the associated risks. Have the discussions focus on making strategic choices, not on making tactical plans or budgets. Are you targeting the right clients? Should your business model shift? What truly differentiates you from the pack? What strategic scenarios should you be prepared for?
We recommend that you invest the time to create an environment of trust and constructive debate.
Of course you need to run the business, and running the business requires the commensurate tactics and resources. But if you have more than three strategic moves, you have not defined true strategic priorities. Resource allocation should enable strategy execution.
We recommend that leaders review and reallocate resources on a monthly basis.
We recommend ensuring that your culture is set up to help, not hinder, your strategic ambitions.
We recommend you actively involve key stakeholders to co-define the steps required in the next 90-days to start off on the right foot.
The Bottom Line
To create strategic clarity and higher performance, strategic planning must be considered an ongoing journey that is invested in, challenged, and monitored, not an annual event that drives incremental budget changes. If your strategy is not putting you at the head of the pack, it is time to change the game.
To see how your strategy stands up to high performers, download 7 Proven Ways to Stress Test Your Strategy Now
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