Strategic Planning: Friend or Folly?

It’s Fall, time to start preparing for your 2010 annual planning sessions.  That means aggregating data on 2009’s performance, making recommendations for 2010 and preparing lots of PowerPoint presentations. But for many companies, annual planning ends up being an exercise in futility. Here are some reasons why:

What Strategy? Strategy is discussed once a year, then it’s forgotten until next year. To be successful strategic planning and review needs to become part of the company’s management routine.

No Ownership. Most strategic plans fail for lack of ownership. It will be business as usual if everyone doesn’t have a stake and responsibility in the plan.

Day-to-Day Focus. Management and employees are too mired in everyday operating issues and not on the long-term.

No Communication. Everyone’s role in the plan’s success is not communicated down the line and many don’t understand how they contribute and why they’re important.

When do I sleep? The goals and actions that come out of the plan are too numerous for the organization to handle because people creating the plan failed to make tough calls and eliminate non-critical actions.

Yeah.  Right. The mission, vision and value statements are not viewed as legitimate and supported by actions, so they and the rest of the plan never get buy-in. Don’t underestimate the importance of these plan elements.

My company. My plan. Company ownership/management runs the meeting(s) and others in the room are reluctant to contribute honestly. Prevent this from happening by hiring an outside facilitator who can gather honest input. It will be money well spent.

It’s not my job. Someone needs to be accountable and visible for each part of the plan otherwise deadlines and deliverables will fall by the wayside.

Ed Adkins has an excellent blog on best practices for strategic planning that can help you get going with your own strategic plan.

Send me a comment and share your thoughts what’s worked for your own strategic planning.

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4 Comments

  • Reply jon gatrell October 12, 2009 at 8:17 am

    SR Post: Strategic Planning: Friend or Folly?: It’s Fall, time to start preparing for your 2010 a.. http://bit.ly/ylBlE

  • Reply Don Crowther October 12, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    #Strategic Planning: Friend or Folly? http://ow.ly/tXOF Having spent many years doing them – most are plans horrible

  • Reply andyhuckaba October 12, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    RT @Don_Crowther: #Strategic Planning: Friend or Folly? http://ow.ly/tXOF Having spent many years doing them – most are plans horrible

  • Reply Stewart Rogers November 1, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    My general advice, your strategy (aka Roadmap) should be reviewed weekly for progress and changes.

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