What’s ahead in the next year for your company? Will there be a new level of success? More clients? More profitability? Or do you predict a period of difficulty and struggle? In this article we’ll explore how the right strategic planning services can help your organization answer these challenging questions.
Strategic planning is the key to turning an average year into a spectacular year. Its systematic approach takes your business to the next level. Read on to see how strategic planning services can help.
The Basics of Strategic Planning
First, what is strategic planning? It’s a thoughtful approach to running a business that includes key steps like choosing the right methodology, meeting with a strategic planning consultant, developing a written strategic plan, and partnering with strategic planning services to support the success of the process.
During the implementation stage of a strategic plan, individuals and teams collaborate to pursue the best possible outcomes. Unexpected issues arise, and problem-solving occurs under the guidance of the strategic plan and the company’s strategic planning leaders.
An often-cited study from several years ago found that about 67% of all strategic plans fail. More recently, a group of Harvard Business Review researchers found that in the current business climate, 60% to 90% of strategic plans are failing to meet expectations.
The good news is that not all strategic plans are destined for failure! Your results depend on your strategy and commitment. When companies handle their strategic planning properly, they set the stage for success. Below, we’ll outline the factors that support the best strategic plans.
The Importance of Collaboration and Communication
Communication is the cornerstone of every great strategic plan. It takes a spirit of openness and collaboration to learn the elements of a new strategic plan and bring them to life.
Unfortunately, many companies resist sharing information and avoid communicating key details of their strategic plans across the levels of their organizations. One study found that 95% of employees don’t know or understand what’s in their employers’ strategic plans.
Do what it takes to strengthen your company’s communication. A great first step is to examine the fundamentals of how, where, and when your teams are collaborating. Is company leadership providing the tools they need to succeed? Is technology or structure interfering with collaboration?
One of the most common areas for improvement involves holding productive team meetings. For additional tips, take a look at Leadership Resources’ blog post about creating meetings that are designed to elicit maximum cohesion and performance.
Growth-Focused Strategic Planning
How growth-focused is your organization? When a company has bold goals for growth, the strategic plan should be structured to systematically achieve growth-focused goals.
In our work with hundreds of different organizations, Leadership Resources has sometimes seen companies struggle with manageable growth. The growing pains of rapid growth can cause people and processes to buckle under the pressure.
This is where a business coach or strategic planning consultant makes a huge difference in the outcome of your strategic plan. A skilled, experienced coach keeps you on the lookout for common mistakes and pitfalls, even as they nurture you along your path to success.
Goal-Setting to Reach Your Objectives
Imagine that you’re developing a brand new strategic plan. Everything you’re creating is fresh from the ground up as you build a new strategy from scratch.
One of the most common questions we hear at this point in the journey is, “What’s the difference between goals and objectives in strategic planning?” They work hand-in-hand, but they’re not the same thing. Below are two definitions that clarify the differences between them.
What Are Our Goals?
In a strategic plan, a goal is a single, long-term achievement that serves as a broad, overarching outcome everyone pursues together. When you set goals, you’re thinking “big picture.” This is a fundamental aspect of strategic planning that allows your teams to move forward with purpose as they do their daily work.
What Are Our Objectives?
Unlike goals, which are more long-term, objectives are short-term activities that make progress toward goals. Any objective you set should be measurable and achievable, or it’s unlikely to help you reach your goal.
When you engage in strategic planning, you’re setting goals and arranging the objectives it takes to get there. Companies are most likely to achieve their strategic goals when they’re skilled at devising specific objectives and holding people accountable for their roles in accomplishing them.
Incorporating Virtual Strategic Planning Services
Did you know almost half of all Americans now work remotely for at least part of their job? Virtual strategic planning is the new norm in an environment that’s constantly evolving.
Here are our top 3 tips for working virtually and strategic planning:
- Be human. Maintain human connections by giving people breaks as needed, offline support, and opportunities for feedback. Acknowledge their feelings and avoid allowing your virtual interactions to feel too robotic.
- Provide support. Your employees need the tools and technology to maintain remote communication. Offer guidance and support for smooth collaboration.
- Seek help from the pros. You don’t have to do it all alone. Work with a strategic leadership consultant who has plenty of experience with virtual meetings and strategic planning.
Strategizing Your Next Step: Finding the Right Strategic Planning Services
Taking your business to the next level takes next-living thinking. For the best results, experts recommend expanding your employee resources with full-service leadership and strategic planning programs as opposed to basic training programs.
We’re here to help! Leadership Resources provides leadership development and strategic planning services that help companies become more adaptable and successful. To learn more, please contact us and schedule a discovery session.