The Most Common Misconceptions about Strategic Planning
1. I’ll go down the wrong path because I won’t have the facts to support my decisions.
- The Strategic planning process is all based on research that you and your team easily accomplish with the tools provided. You’ll make decisions through analyses based on solid knowledge.
2. We can’t afford the time away from the business.
- Advance work is limited to a two-hour CEO interview and a simple survey/questionnaire to be completed by each team member and reviewed before the session.
- The team then spends ½ day in developing the current state-of-the-organization assessment.
- Workshops are generally held over the next month depending on the needs of your organization.
- Approximately 30 days later, a follow-up session is held to review the plan.
Over the course of the process, each team member will be required to complete reading assignments and other “homework.”
3. Strategic Planning is too complicated; I don’t know where to begin; and an outside consultant doesn’t know my business enough to write my plan.
- We don’t write your plan and we don’t need to know your business because your team knows it intimately. In fact, because we are narrowly focused in any one industry, we are able to lead you through creative thoughts that have worked within other industries and could potentially work for you. Our goal is to be strategic process experts so you can focus on key business decisions.
- We assist your team through a disciplined process, where there is a beginning and an end within 45 days. It’s based on analysis, where you arrive at some logical conclusions and some out-of-the-box possibilities. The process spurs creative thinking, helps you focus on profitable markets, and educates your managers on planning and how leaders are winning in business. It is simple, and yes, even fun. We’re happy to share feedback to eliminate these misconceptions, provided by participants after completing their strategic plan.
- There are seven common steps in strategic plan development. We take recent best practices and customize them for growing small to mid-size organizations. We guide your team through all of them:
- Determining the planning team
- Research and analysis
- Competitive and Industry analysis
- SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threat)
- Business segment analysis — Which products to which markets yield most of your profit? Which segments are most attractive?
- Identification of uniqueness — if you are not unique you are a commodity
- Development of core strategies and critical success factors with performance measures Strategic Plan and Scorecard
- Detailed action plans and Strategic Budget
- Implementation and Communication
- Assessment and Review
4. It will become a “binder” on the shelf and we won’t implement.
- Our implementation and review process, which is part of our programs, spurs you to execute and makes your team accountable to the process and objectives.
- We work with many of our clients for on-going sessions to keep implementation at the forefront. Some clients prefer strategic coaching on a monthly basis while others want quarterly reviews. If you’d like an “outsourced strategy guide.” Contact us to learn more.
5. I already went through strategic planning; I don’t need to go through it again.
- Actually you do! It is not an activity but a process. We recommend quarterly reviews, annual updates and every 3 years a more formal process again. The world around you is changing and your strategy needs to keep you out in front.