Checking off the Strategic Planning box


Having a current, comprehensive, defensible, futures-based strategic plan is a requirement for continued organizational relevance and therefore market positioning. Most organizational leaders get that. Attaining sufficient quality and reach in the strategic plan is a challenge for many. Almost all organizations, however, have trouble with what comes next.


A useful strategic plan will result in a small number of clear strategies that if implemented adequately will position the organization to profit as the future unfolds. Simply articulating the overall strategic plan and needed strategies is, however, insufficient.


All too often plans and strategies are viewed by organizational leaders as outcomes in themselves. This leads to the "we had a good time at the retreat and here is the binder of results" syndrome. The strategic plan sits on the shelf awaiting something more (time, cash, perceived support) or something less (fear, competition, distraction).
So the organization ticks off the strategic plan box as completed but nothing changes. Money, energy and time have been expended but there is no improved focus, dynamism or capability. What does increase within the organization and its environment is cynicism, dissatisfaction and pessimism. Who wants to work under those circumstances?

 

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