What is Your Strategic Planning Process?

strategic planning process

A Smart Strategic Planning Process Provides the Foundation
No matter how simple the business, every effective operation is based upon some kind of revenue-generating plan. Strategic planning is, quite simply, the foundation of any successful business. In fact, our organizational alignment research found that strategic clarity and a solid strategic planning process accounts for 31% of the difference between high and low performing organizations.

Can you articulate the strategic planning process you use to prioritize your investments and resources? Are you convinced it is getting the results you need?

There is No “Right Way”
There are various ways to go about strategic planning. Some work better than others, but the process you use to agree upon your strategic priorities and action plans can have far-reaching and unanticipated consequences.

There is no “right” way. The “best” way for your organization will depend on the business you are in, the size of your company, your corporate culture, the level of employee engagement, and even the need of your business to adapt to rapid changes in the marketplace. It will be up to you.

Four Different Strategic Planning Process Approaches to Consider
Which would serve the needs of your organization more effectively…or should you try a hybrid solution?

1.  Top-down Strategy
In this approach, the business leader makes the strategic decisions and announces them to the organization. There is little-to-no input or active involvement from others. People know that if they disagree or do not fall in line, their careers could be in jeopardy.

With top-down strategies, the leader considers strategic planning and decision making to be their responsibility alone.

  • The Advantage – Speed.  Decisions can be made swiftly – especially in times of crisis.
  • The Disadvantage –
    Not a shared vision.  The people required to implement the decisions and plans may not understand them, believe in them or be able to execute them effectively.

2.  As Needed Strategy
With this approach, the planning is reactive and goes into effect when there is a stated need. The leader pulls together a planning team and the strategic planning process begins. The team may not be the same each time and the actual process may differ as well.

  • The Advantage – Flexibility. The team and the process are defined by the immediate decisions that need to be made. And there is a strong bias toward action.
  • The Disadvantage – It is difficult to truly be strategic.  Having a “fast-follow” or reactionary strategic planning process can make it difficult to plan long-term, anticipate needs and manage resources effectively.

3.  Traditional Strategy
Traditional strategic planning answers the questions: “Where are we now?”  “Where do we want to go?”  and “How will we get there?”  The process helps to clarify the current status, the desired goals and the best path to make it happen.  A traditional strategy can take the form of any of the other three approaches depending upon the situation at hand.

  • The Advantage – Done right, traditional strategic planning helps executive teams to get on the same page, prioritize goals, and create an action plan for success.
  • The Disadvantage – Done wrong, the traditional strategic planning process can create a thick binder of data, research, plans, metrics and actions that no one is really going to use, cascade or follow to move the business forward.

4.  Broad Net
A fourth approach involves casting a wide net to solicit input from employees and other stakeholders such as customers and suppliers. The focus is on engaging all parties to be sure no relevant information is overlooked and that all key stakeholders feel part of creating a collective strategy that works for everyone.

  • The Advantage – Buy-in. Because all ideas and opinions are welcomed and considered, there is greater alignment between the corporate strategy, the workplace culture and people’s personal goals and desires. This makes it easier to cascade and hold people accountable.
  • The Disadvantage – Speed.  When you cast a broad net, you must go slowly to eventually go fast.  It takes time and energy to think through all the perspectives and make sure all participants are actively involved.

The Bottom Line
Can you identify with any of these strategic planning approaches? If so, does your current strategic planning process need changing to more accurately reflect the needs of your business?

To learn more about creating strategic clarity for your teams, download Is Your Business Strategy Clear Enough?

Comments are closed.

We recently partnered with LSA Global to offer our Supervisors and Managers a customized two-day management training program. Everyone who attended said it was by far the best management training program they had ever attended. The content was rich and highly interactive. The case studies were relevant. Each participant walked away from the training much better equipped to lead their teams.

Jeff Coon
Director of Human Resources

On behalf of Roche and my staff I would like to sincerely thank you for your help with this. The English as a Second Language (ESL) assessment and coaching that you provided for our team was a great success.

Cam Greig
Associate Director

Roche

We engaged LSA to design and deliver a 6-month custom executive coaching program for a group of our key leaders. The focus of the program was to help a core group of senior leaders to leverage previous investments in management training, to ensure the engagement and retention of key employees, and to push critical strategic initiatives forward. Even with the high expectations of our senior people, LSA has completely exceeded our expectations. I would recommend them to anyone looking to create and implement a custom coaching methodology using proven tools to drive true change.

Ivan Fukumoto
Senior HR Manager - Staffing, Training, & Development

We have worked with LSA Global for our learning and development needs and have always had great success. They helped us recently with customized Management Workshops that we held for the second time. It was fantastic, and I would highly recommend LSA to anyone that is attempting to get immediate and impactful improvements.

Mary Johnston
HR Manager, BU Radiology Informatics

We partnered with LSA Global to help us invest in our people in the areas of performance coaching, diversity, and inclusion. They focused on helping us succeed and were very flexible in meeting our specific needs. LSA Global exceeded my expectations from a speed, quality, and value standpoint. I would recommend LSA Global to anyone looking for a true business partner.

Anita Luckinbill
Director, Human Resources

LSA helped change our entire culture around meetings, making them more effective and efficient, thus enabling us to concentrate on driving more business.

Terry Wassman
VP of Human Resources

We value our relationship with LSA Global. We came to LSA because we wanted to improve overall behavioral based interviewing capabilities of our managers to increase the probability of both hiring top talent and future leaders. LSA designed a highly customized solution for our business and culture. We are currently rolling out this solution to our leaders. I would highly recommend LSA Global as a top quality resource.

Rae Phillips
HR Project Manager - Training & Development, PHR

What a personal and professional pleasure it has been to Partner with LSA. They are truly a strategic partner with Wyse. For more than 5 years, LSA has been engaged in delivering various training and development solutions for Wyse, from custom on-site programs targeting specific core competencies, to working individually with clients to build job skills, and offering invaluable services to me and my team as we continue to build our learning programs. LSA’s representatives do more than sell a product, they offer a full service solution: they understand our business, our strategic initiatives, and the needs of our customers.

Jeff Rangel
Director of HR

PalmSource has found our relationship with LSA extremely beneficial. We worked closely with LSA to customize the right Management Training Program solution to meet our unique business needs. LSA is a quality organization, one that I’d recommend to any company looking for a first class training and consulting partner.

Ken Boehm
Vice President of Human Resources

I’ve been associated with LSA for the last 8 years and have found them to be an extremely professional, well managed full service training organization. Since working with LSA, I’ve participated in a number of solutions ranging from Performance Management to Assertiveness Training – I’ve found that the quality of the resources is superior. They are well prepared and have definitely done a considerable amount of pre-work in order to customize our culture and business into the total learning experience – making it most beneficial for our employees.

Duane Schroeder
Human Resource Manager

LSA helped to meet the needs of my teams within a very narrow timeframe. My team walked away with highly useful management tools and practices. LSA saved us time in delivering the right solution for our specific needs.

Sandeep Kumar
Director, Software Engineering, EPG

Thank you to LSA Global for their partnership and support in helping us to design and roll-out our valuable management development training program. I personally have partnered with LSA Global at four of my previous companies. It continues to be a delight working with LSA. We look forward to partnering with them at Blackhawk Networks for future training and consulting needs.

Suzanne Kinner
VP Human Resources

Blackhawk Network

LSA’s consultant designed and delivered a half-day team building solution for our recent conference. It included careful customization to integrate the design with our new mission and values. Everyone had fun and identified key issues with our teamwork. Altogether a great program!

Bob Ward
Director of HR

I am very impressed with the quality of work and talent. LSA did a great job of listening to my needs and providing the exact management training program expertise I needed to get the job done.

Don Pryor
Director, Business Planning & Analysis

Working with LSA Global has proven to be extremely valuable and worthwhile. LSA understands our business, has deep expertise in content areas, and tailors the programs to deliver great results. The facilitator was extremely knowledgeable about Working Globally with India and her energy and passion made the session interesting, fun, and enjoyable for all that attended. The participants walked away extremely pleased along with highly useful practices and tools. I would highly recommend LSA Global to any company that has partners or offices in India.

Glenn McGillivray
Human Resources Business Partner

Intuit

Evaluate your Performance

Toolkits

Toolkits

Download key published insights and tools from industry experts highlighting best practices in the areas of talent, strategy and culture.

More

Health Checks

Health Checks

Want to know how you stack up against leading organizations?  Receive a complimentary benchmarking analysis courtesy of an LSA Expert.

More

Whitepapers

Whitepapers

Get up to speed on timely solutions critical to your business. Published by LSA Experts based upon client feedback and key industry trends.

More

Methodology

Methodologies

First we identify the key metrics you want to improve. Then we assemble a dedicated team of elite experts who have successfully solved similar problems with similar clients.

More

Blogs

Stay up to do date with the latest information on how we help high growth companies align their culture and talent with strategy.

More

Case Studies

Client Case Studies

Real world consulting and training approaches from LSA projects, providing insights on how your company can outperform the competition.

More