One of the most challenging things to teach our students is to think in the long run in a world that is focused on immediate and immediate satisfaction.
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How can we build teams of thought leaders that are thinking and planning for decades into the future?
The goal of strategic planning is to achieve
The aim of strategic planning will be to establish general goals for your business or company and then create strategies to meet these goals. The most challenging part of planning for strategic success is to look beyond what we believe is possible currently and to imagine what’s possible in the future.
Strategic planning requires that the leaders take a break from their day-to-day activities and ask tough questions about where the company is going.
Strategic plans are not actual business plans. It focuses on long-term goals and provides the essential steps needed to reach these goals.
Strategic planning can be a risky business
Making the right decisions for growing the business requires accepting and taking on the risks associated with growth. As the business grows, the strategy formulation process becomes more sophisticated.
The author Peter Stark, author of The Competent Leader, says, “Operations kills strategy.” Strategic planning is the process of thinking about the possibilities rather than what we are able to do today. When the most brilliant thinkers present their ideas to teams, those in the operations department are the first to respond, “We can’t do that.”
While we’re not able to accomplish it right now, that does not mean we cannot be able to do it in the future.
Three fundamental aspects of strategic planning
Planning for growth requires a deeper understanding of our customers in the near future. What are our customers’ needs and expectations? What can we do to meet and surpass their expectations?
Begin by asking:
1. Where are we now in our business?
How do we operate?
What are the best ways to earn money?
How do we calculate our profit margins?
How are we comparing ourselves to our competition?
In the process of assessing, it is crucial that we be realistic and objective. We must also be realistic.
2. Where do we want to go with the company?
What are the places we honestly would like to go to?
If we were free of constraints, What would we come up with?
What are our primary goals?
What will our company look like in five, ten, or even 20 years?
What should we be focusing on?
What advantages will we gain in the coming market?
It is a complex discussion that takes patience and time from the team’s senior members.
3. What are we required to accomplish to get there?
Then, we must contemplate the way to go about it.
How can we become the company we would like to be?
Who are we looking for to be on our team?
What skills do we need to acquire? What adjustments are we required to make to reach our strategic goals?
What is the most efficient method to implement these modifications?
Are we required to alter the organization and funding of the company?
Many managers try to schedule strategic planning sessions as a part of their work routine; However, the actual strategic planning process is challenging to complete in brief intervals.
Organizations that are successful tend to organize strategically planned retreats in places that are not the workplace to encourage creativity and new ideas.
Things to think about
The world is evolving so rapidly that strategies for success that are valid, even if they were in place one year ago, could not be as relevant anymore and might need to be re-designed.
Thinking deeply, brainstorming, and weighing the implications of multiple ideas can be very challenging. Many groups are distracted or distracted by discussions about previous initiatives and their frustrations, which wastes time. A facilitator or coach outside of the group could be highly beneficial in helping the group break free of previous limitations and pushing the group to remain focused and stick to the agenda.
Strategic planning can be uncomfortable, and the process may be a source of emotional stress. The tempers can get out of control. Also, a competent facilitator or coach can assist the group in navigating discussions and helping channel the energy into innovative ideas and thoughts.
After the strategic plan has the foundation of a solid plan that leaders can begin to work towards more effective implementation when they:
Involve everyone. Although the senior management of an organization could be the one most involved in the development of the strategic plan, all levels of the company must be aware of what direction the organization is taking.
Engage your team. Give information as fast as you can and let everyone feel a part of the process. People are supportive of what they do.
Set goals that you are able to measure. What is the time frame? What resources will be required? What are the goals? What is measured will be achieved.
Enjoy the victories. Everyone needs to celebrate wins. Make milestones that allow people to achieve their goals. Honor the little steps that are successful.
Dr. Mary C. Kelly is a motivational and leadership speaker whose lively and innovative keynotes are aiding individuals and organizations to increase their productivity and motivation in a lively and entertaining manner.