Strategic Planning During Times of UncertaintySeptember 7, 2017
Strategic planning is an essential ingredient to leadership.
After all, the word “strategy” comes from the Greek term strategia, meaning office or command of a general.
As the leader of a business enterprise, it’s especially critical to conduct strategic planning during times of uncertainty. But what is Strategic Planning?
A recent article published by the Society for Human Resource Management provides an excellent working definition: Strategic planning is the process of identifying an organization’s long-term goals and objectives and then determining the best ways to achieve them. The overall goal of strategic planning is to achieve competitive advantage (in the private sector) or efficiency and excellence (in the public and nonprofit sectors) through comprehensive, long-range planning.
Here are the steps SHRM suggests you take to get started:
- Assess your organization’s current situation;
- Envision and articulate your organization’s future;
- Formulate a strategy and identify the strategic objectives to achieve it;
- Implement the strategy;
- Monitor the strategy to make sure it is successfully implemented.
The benefits of strategic planning
Let’s face it, strategic planning is going to take time and effort. You and your colleagues may find it takes time away from other pressing corporate tasks.
But consider this: the benefits will significantly improve the way your company operates. These benefits are even more important during times of uncertainty because economic, technology and political changes can dramatically affect your business very quickly. Is your organization ready to respond and adapt?
These are some of the strategic planning benefits to your organization, according to the Society for Human Resource Management:
- Providing a sense of ownership at all levels of the organization;
- Providing a sense of direction that positively affects how work gets done;
- Improving communications and relations between labor and management;
- Eliminating disruptions;
- Keeping employees focused on the objectives at hand;
- Providing guidance for future training and development initiatives;
- Helping establish milestones to meet long-term organizational goals.
Implementing strategic planning
There are numerous ways to launch your strategic-planning process, but consulting firms such as QORVAL with extensive experience in this arena can help design the right strategic exercise for you. Fact is, each industry has its own special set of circumstances and QORVAL can help you with that often-challenging task.
That’s especially important because strategic planning can be scary and uncomfortable. It will force you to make hard choices and place bets on the future of your organization without the knowledge of certainty.
In a Harvard Business Review article titled “The Big Lie of Strategic Planning,” author Roger Martin argues that if you are entirely comfortable with your strategy, there’s a strong chance it isn’t very good.
Martin, the director of the Martin Prosperity Institute and the former dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, says fear of making the career-ending wrong decisions can paralyze management. But strategic planning is not about perfection, he argues.
You can read the full article here in which Martin describes the traps of strategic planning and how to make sure you take full advantage of the challenge upon which you are embarking.
QORVAL can add value to your strategic-planning process by encouraging you and your team. QORVAL’s experts have decades of experience assisting firms in a broad range of industries. To speak with us, please call 239-430-0303 or contact us today.