What is Strategic Planning, and How Will It Grow Your business?

A group of people in office gathered around papers on table

What Is Strategic Planning?

Strategic planning is a systematic approach to goal-setting and defining the direction of an organization. It includes tasks like selecting a methodology, meeting with a coach, creating a written strategic plan, and/or engaging with strategic planning services to support the process.

A typical strategic plan contains a core set of principles that set the stage for success. The key principles vary somewhat among businesses, but strategic planning usually involves business development methods, planning techniques, and interpersonal collaborations among team members.

A solid strategic plan is the “secret sauce” that enhances a business and encourages it to grow. However, not all strategic plans succeed. Roughly half of all businesses engage in some type of strategic planning, but 67% of strategic plans fail.

Even more shocking, the Harvard Business Review found that 95% of employees don’t understand their companies’ strategic plans. This shows the importance of approaching strategic planning with an open mind and working to welcome all employees into the process.

Below are some of the most common questions about strategic planning. The answers come from the strategic planning experts at Leadership Resources.

What are the Benefits of Strategic Planning?

Strategic plans lend structure and direction to companies that are eager to grow. As the company expands, everyone can always turn to the strategic plan for continued inspiration.

Some of the top growth benefits of strategic plans include:

  • Relying on a single, unified vision that carries the company forward
  • Eliminating biases, false assumptions, and bad habits
  • Establishing metrics and tracking progress
  • Maintaining personal and interpersonal accountability
  • Minimizing the negative effects of fear
  • Nourishing a healthy company culture
  • Handling growth skillfully

What’s the Difference Between Goals and Objectives in Strategic Planning?

Goal-setting is a fundamental aspect of strategic planning that impacts the daily jobs of nearly all employees. Without a clear grasp of potential outcomes, it’s challenging for people to accomplish the right things and move forward with purpose. 

Strategic planning builds a picture of a bright and successful future, then arranges the specific goals and objectives it takes to get there. When discussing goals and objectives, it’s easy to get the two confused, so below are two definitions that show the difference.

Goals

A goal is a single long-term outcome that can be reached through strategic planning. Goals are broad, overarching achievements that are worthy of celebration after you reach them.

Objectives

Objectives are short-term, measurable activities that make progress toward goals. To achieve its goals, a company needs to create numerous strategically designed objectives.

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Does it Help to Have Strategic Planning Services?

There’s no need to tackle strategic planning alone. There are many types of supportive resources and experts available to make the process easier and more effective.

Custom strategic planning services are tailored to the company’s unique needs, challenges, and goals. These services allow a business to take a proactive approach and directly address roadblocks that are standing in the way of strategic planning.

For example, imagine that a company has an entrenched negative culture that’s limiting the potential positive effects of its strategic plan. A strategic planning coach works with the company’s staff to get to the root of the problem and overcome obstacles to success.

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How Does Virtual Strategic Planning Work?

In today’s rapidly-changing work environment, virtual meetings are becoming the norm. Up to 45% of all Americans now work remotely some or all of the time.

This makes it more important than ever to incorporate virtual strategic planning sessions. With the right technology and processes in place, strategic planning can take place at a distance just as smoothly as in person.

For the best results, follow virtual leadership training best practices like:

  • Working with a business leadership coach who has experience with virtual strategic planning sessions.
  • Providing employees with the technology they need for smooth remote communication.
  • Making it a priority to build buy-in at every level.
  • Maintaining a human touch by providing plenty of time for strategic planning, breaks as needed, offline support, and opportunities for feedback.

How Should We Get Started With Strategic Planning?

Ultimately, the world’s best strategic plans result from asking the right questions. What is strategic planning at your organization currently? Could it be improved for much greater success and profitability? What kinds of roadblocks are standing in the way? 

Growth doesn’t happen by accident and it takes significant strategic planning, plus the boldness to push forward through difficult challenges. For the best results, experts recommend engaging with full-service strategic planning and leadership development programs as opposed to following simple training programs

Leadership Resources provides leadership development and strategic planning services that set the stage for manageable growth. To learn more, please contact us about how to grow your business with strategic planning.

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