Consulting for Small to Medium size Industrial Products companies
Why Strategic Planning Should Not Just Be An Annual Exercise
by Warren Martin, Founder on July 22nd, 2013

Strategic Plan - the foundation and roadmap of your business in the future

Would you go on a trip to see the world without planning your flights, where you were going to stay, and what sites you were going to visit?  For most, the answer to this question is obvious. In business strategic plans are comparable to a trip itinerary.  Yet many companies from small to large do not use strategic plans as a foundation for their business, roadmap for their future, or even bother doing them at all!  Many companies just complete a plan, tick the box, and put it away in the drawer until the next required session comes around.  I propose that the companies that do this may very well be headed for trouble. Could Intel and Microsoft have avoided the consequences of the rise in smart phones and the decline of PC’s in the fast changing landscapes of the tech sector? This is hard to say, but what I am confident about is that the more robust dialogue and research put into a strategic plan, the better chance companies have of surviving and thriving.
The first step a company must take is to get executive buy-in that the process and subsequent document is a critically important piece of the business’ future success. They must be willing to commit their time as well as their peoples’ time to working the process. Secondly, there must be a reasonable feeling amongst leadership that the data collected is reliable and trustworthy. Thirdly, data regarding market(s) size and share, competitors, geopolitical landscape, and socioeconomic landscape must be gathered as accurately and fact based as possible with few assumptions. Finally, a very good self-assessment must be done without bias.
Given this information, the leadership can create a Future Vision for the business. Leadership will then need to create an environment for robust dialogue resulting in meaningful strategies that provide the roadmap for all that needs to be done in the future. An accountable platform with milestones, measureables, and people assigned to the tasks needs to be created in order to assure good execution.  Finally, recognizing that we are in a constantly changing world, follow-up mechanisms need to be put in place so that reaction to changing events can be swift.
Make your company’s Strategic Plan more than just an annual exercise. See it for what it really is: the most important exercise that you do every year, every month, and every week!
Type your new text here.

Posted in Strategic Planning    Tagged with strategic planning