Have you ever worked on a project and wondered why you are doing it or what its true purpose is? How about working with leaders that constantly change priorities or have the “shiny ball,” syndrome?
A detailed strategic plan is helpful in these scenarios and sets a clear direction for the organization to help steer them away from distraction. If your organization had an unlimited budget, time to invest, and people to carry out many different projects, then you would simply chase all of them without any negative recourse. However, that’s never the case.
Strategic planning is an integral exercise for an organization to define its operating environment to pursue initiatives. It is important to define them across their different time zones, markets, products, and services by focusing its limited resources and balancing risks with opportunities to achieve its strategic goals.
Planning is typically facilitated by the corporate strategy team at large organizations but should also be considered by mid-market companies that are looking to define their course and focus its resources to achieve the next milestones.
The major roadblocks in strategic planning include:
- Mission/vision – Define what your organization stands for in a short, clear, and concise way. Be sure to illustrate a clear picture of where the organization wants to be in 3 -5 years.
- Guiding principles – Clear enough for everyone to understand and apply as well as how you want the organization to behave when no one is looking.
- Goal setting – Identify all short-and long-term goals to pursue that are quantifiable, measurable, aggressive, and pragmatic.
- Initiatives – Select two great core competencies that separate you from your competition and evaluate whether you will own, pursue, consider, or avoid initiatives based on your internal assessment.
Once you identify the potential initiatives, you will need to apply strategic filters that resonate across the organization and run each initiative to determine the appropriate prioritization and resource availability. This should considerably reduce the number of strategic initiatives and create a roadmap for the ones that will truly deliver the transformational change over the 3-5 year time horizon.