Three Steps to Effective Strategic Planning That Creates Business Growth
Have you recently refined the vision for your business but aren’t sure of how to turn that vision into a reality? Or, have you maybe got a clear vision but feel your organization is not fully aligned with, activated around, or accountable to it?
You’re not alone. Lots of organizations—despite annual strategic planning—operate in the dark, not knowing or fully understanding what the vision of their organization is or, if they do know it, what goals and strategies are going to make that vision possible and sustainable. Why?
Because leaders in the planning ranks tend to overlook the importance of regularly accessing the state of business. By that, we mean giving the organization an annual comprehensive review, examining its past, present and future, all of which provide vital insight for year-round strategic planning. Let’s take a closer look:
Examining the past: This is about asking the question, “Where have you been?” And you’ll get the answer to it by doing the homework to surface growth patterns, trends, major events, milestones, successes, and, of course, failures of your business. In your research, you’ll also want to scrutinize key competitors—those organizations or even entire industries that have historically and more recently been playing in your arena. Another factor: economics. Think about how the local, national and international economies have helped or hurt your organization both over time as well as this past year.
Examining the present: In doing this, you’re exploring “Where are we now?” This is where team-focused exercises and activities come into play, such as a SWOT Analysis (identifying Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats); digging into the external factors and issues impacting your business now; and reviewing the current vision, mission and values. Because new factors always come into play, repeating these exercises annually is vital, as is reviewing customer satisfaction levels and data around critical success factors. You’ll need all this for your next task which is….
Examining the future: Here, you’re determining “Where are we going?” by confirming or revising your organization’s current vision, mission, and values, then diving into forecasts and projections that, while not foolproof, will provide more realistic planning parameters. You’ll want to build consensus and transparency around key objectives and initiatives, then establish vital performance goals before really diving into the meat of your strategic plan.
At MAP Consulting, we get it—accessing the state of your business takes some work and requires setting aside the time to do it right. But it’s time well spent because the alternative—moving forward with a plan that’s based on outdated information or that lacks accurate, relevant insights altogether—can be disastrous.
Join the 170+K leaders who have turned to MAP Consulting to create the right solutions for their organizations. We are experts in providing professional business assessments that will inform your strategic planning, so you can create the right blueprint for your vision of success. Contact MAP today!