energizing breakthrough performance

An Organization That Doesn’t Plan Its Future Isn’t Likely to Have One

Who is Involved in the Planning Process?

Old-fashioned strategic planning was the function of an in-house individual or department, or maybe all strategic work was done by an external consultant. While external consultants are quite useful in research and in facilitating plan development sessions, effective planning must involve the owner(s) and key managers in the business. No strategic plan can work well without the involvement, enthusiasm, and initiative of the firm’s workforce. Everyone needs to understand strategic objectives clearly. Responsibility to communicate the strategic focus rests squarely with the chief executive and his/her team. To broaden the base of support for the strategic focus, the chief executive should be a participant in implementing the plan, but should not be the dominant force. The worst thing the CEO can do is to become impatient with the pace of planning and implementation and move with a heavy hand. (This is not to deny that there are times when the CEO must carefully guide the planning and implementation process back on track).

High-level involvement is even more important today because the development of a strategic plan may entail more than a simple course correction. Potentially radical decisions about markets and their viability are sometimes necessitated by today’s turbulent environments. Decisions about acquisitions and mergers are often indicated in maturing industries.

Now more than ever, companies will rely on sound strategic planning to thrive in the next century. As strategic planning and change management blur into one another, applying-and- revising the strategic plan will fold in with day-to-day operations, becoming less of a stand-alone "event." The result? Managers will make better decisions faster consistent with the long view of where the organization wants to go. Now more than ever, the intuitive luck that helped many a business succeed in spite of itself is running out. The best solution is thoughtful strategic thinking and a plan that makes sense to customers, employees, and others who have a stake in the future success of the enterprise.

For a self-appraisal of your organization’s strategic planning, please download the appropriate self-assessment questionnaire below.

Business Questionnaire»

Government Questionnaire»

Associations Questionnaire»

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