What is strategic planning really. You know strategic planning means different things to different people. And we have found that if we’re not really clear about what we mean by strategic planning for an organization up front, before we get started we tend to have some problems getting people engaged in the middle of the process, or there’s just roadblocks, or people’s resistance gets in the way so.
Here are the different types of things we mean when we talk about business strategic planning. There are different outcomes most of the time that leaders are seeking out when they’re engaging in a strategic planning process. So let’s talk about them sequentially and then you can think as removing through what you’re really looking for in your strategic planning process. So at the very base level, a strategic planning process is an articulated planned people want an articulated plan for their organizations. so what do I mean by that. That means we have a mission, vision, goals. objectives, etc.
Sometimes we wanna add on to that. That the plan is actually strategic and you may say what’s a strategic plan but that’s not necessarily true, unless you bring in external data. If you don’t bring in external market data, such as what your customers think, what your competitors are doing, what happening in your environment in your industry, you’re not gonna have a strategic plan. You will got just plan.
Now sometimes we don’t need a business strategic plan, sometimes we just need an articulated set up (mission, vision, goals, objectives). We really need to figure out what our strategic differentiation is in the marketplace. In which case to do so, you need added to your process that market data collection. Use it to make strategic decisions about what you’re doing and not doing, such your plan actually articulates about “How you’re different”.
A business plan that strategic that also drives organizational engagement. How we drive organizational engagement? The answer is “We cascade goals”. And cascaded goals mean that everybody in the organization knows what their piece of the strategy in the plan are. That drives organizational engagement. And you may say; “Well of course I want everybody engaged”. Sometimes we want that organizations, but we don’t have the wherewithal to actually make that happen. And sometimes that’s not necessary right now, so it’s important to know if your strategic planning process is intended to drive organizational engagement or not. And if it is, you need to make sure that your plan goes all the way down to the individual levels, means everybody knows their piece of the future.
So sometimes we add onto that, the want to actually drive organizational transformation using a strategic planning process. And how do we do that? We have an articulated plan that strategic, that’s cascaded through the whole organization that we talk about on a regular basis and we make changes to, as we move along the way and we help shift behaviors, and we helped drive choice. And we do that, by visibly talking about it in specific meetings (I’m calling a quarterly business reviews or you may call them something else). But the point is we’re using this information to drive decision making and drive behavior. And we’re talking about it and we’re being visible about it. So if you’re thinking about your strategic planning process, think about what’s important your organization right now and get everybody on the same page about what the real outcome of your process intended to be.