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Strategic planning serves as a catalyst for effective communication, innovative thinking, and a holistic approach to address organizational challenges and opportunities. So why do so many organizations overlook strategic planning?

A critical endeavor for organizations of all sizes, strategic planning is sometimes undervalued and relegated to a secondary priority. Or worse, leadership doesn’t make difficult decisions for fear of making a mistake that jeopardizes the future.

As John F. Kennedy once said, “There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long-range risk of comfortable inaction.”

This blog underscores the significance of the planning process and provides a few insights along the way:

Size Doesn’t Matter for Strategic Planning

Strategic planning holds value for businesses of all sizes. Small businesses engaged in strategic planning are more likely to increase sales and experience growth. Moreover, the positive influence of strategic planning on organizational performance transcends industry boundaries and organizational sizes.

Planning Costs Time and Money; Can You Afford Not To?

In today’s competitive landscape, organizations cannot overlook strategic planning; it is a strategic investment despite concerns about resource allocation and organizational capacity.

Research consistently shows that organizations that actively engage in strategic planning outperform their counterparts that neglect this crucial process. Yet Bridges Business Consulting indicates that 70 per cent of leaders spend less than one day a month reviewing strategy. The benefits are undeniable, with strategic planning serving as a catalyst for superior revenue growth, increased profitability and sustainable success.

Professional Facilitation Makes a Difference

Engaging a third-party facilitator offers numerous advantages that far outweigh any concerns about time and cost. Meetings facilitated by external professionals generate more innovative ideas, foster consensus, and yield measurable outcomes. Should your strategic focus be mired in the logistics of room bookings, flip charts and catering, AND result in a sub-par plan that is not actionable?

Inviting the Right Players to the Strategic Planning Table

Careful consideration of participants is crucial for a successful strategic planning process. Research highlights that actively involving frontline employees in the planning process leads to a substantial increase in employee engagement and boosts productivity. Furthermore, organizations with highly engaged boards are more likely to outperform their peers, emphasizing the importance of board involvement in shaping an organization’s future.

Ensuring Each Team Member Plays Their Role in the Strategy

Launching the new strategic plan with the team is crucial as it aligns everyone towards shared goals, fosters ownership and commitment, and provides clarity and direction to the process. The Economist reports that 37 per cent of leaders identify gaining peoples’ support across the organization is the toughest implementation challenge. This critical milestone demonstrates transparency around decisions made and builds engagement in the process.

Achieving Goals Requires Successful Implementation

A recent McKinsey survey found that 70 per cent of executives surveyed did not like their company’s strategy process and 70 per cent of board members didn’t trust the results of that process. A common complaint is that past strategic plans didn’t guide operations. Activities, tactics and initiatives can be discussed and debated during a planning session, but the problem often lies with implementation. Working through a deliberate and informed process gives boards and executive teams the confidence to make tough decisions. External consultants can support the organization with detailed implementation plans and accountability touch points.

How Incite Can Help

Incite understands the impact strategic planning can have on organizations. We are dedicated to helping businesses of all sizes navigate the strategic landscape and unlock their true potential. Our expert team brings a wealth of knowledge and experience, guiding you through each step of the strategic planning process and ensuring accountability with implementation through ongoing advisory services. Let us know if we can help you get back on track this summer.