Monday, July 4, 2011

Strategic Planning

Better Strategic Planning

Here are a few key tips to improve your Strategic planning:

1.     Develop a core team. This should include at least 6 leaders/managers from various areas of the company.

2.     Set aside sufficient time for broad strategic thinking. This is not a process to be done ad hoc between other business functions. Find a location where interruptions are minimized.

3.     Ensure the planning group is committed to the organization goals. If the planning group does not buy-in and become part of the process the Strategic plan will be still-born.

4.     Allow free and open discussion in the planning sessions regardless of rank. No one person has a monopoly on all of the good ideas. The CEO should not lead the discussions; hire an outsider if possible to facilitate who can more easily moderate and ensure full participation from all members.

5.     The plan must be implemented when complete. A great plan that sits on a shelf is useless.

6.     Create an action plan for implementation with measurable goals, accountability, and deadlines. Everyone must understand their role in implementation before leaving the session.

7.     Don’t write the plan on a stone tablet. Good strategic plans are flexible enough to respond to market changes but remember it is broad in scope and doesn’t change daily.

8.     Make strategic planning a continuous process not just a single event. Performance reviews should be done no less than quarterly with a focus on results and accountability. There should be clear and meaningful consequences for missed deadlines or failure to achieve goals.

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