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.
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.
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.
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 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?
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