four best practices for strategic planning

Growth, Today, we help clients with total transformation—inspiring complex change, enabling organizations to grow, building competitive advantage, and driving bottom-line impact. Move down the organization and the signal-to-noise ratio progressively degrades. The purpose of long-term strategic thinking should be to define, validate, or redefine the vision, mission, and direction of the company. In conference rooms everywhere, corporate planners are in the midst of the annual strategic-planning process. While a vision describes how you view your business to your … Be the first to hear about the latest trends in management, leadership, communication, project … After a few years, the new process feels just as uncreative and bureaucratic as the old one. Each has different goals and requires different approaches, a different frequency, and the involvement of different people. Some iteration will inevitably be necessary, but in our experience linearizing simplifies the process. With strategic planning—unlike sports or music—repetitive practice doesn’t make perfect. The application of strategic planning in business is a result of difficult managerial decisions that comprise good and less desirable courses of action. Leadership memorialized the strategy with a simple chart that showed share of wallet on the y-axis and wallet size on the x-axis. What are the goals and long-term aspirations of the family? Nonexecutive directors—who are charged with bringing an outside perspective to evaluating and approving the company’s strategy—can play a powerful role too. Many companies have at least a three-dimensional matrix: for example, brands or product lines, geographies, and functions. They constantly reinvent and stimulate the strategic dialogue. After a constructive dialogue (shown at the middle of the W in the exhibit), the leadership team selects from among the options and sends management back to develop detailed plans, which are then discussed and approved in a second meeting. The process can lead to refreshed long-term visions, adapted or new medium-term strategies, and decisive short-term actions. It makes it easier to spot the emerging competitors, new business models, and changes to customers’ economics that could undermine the long-term vision or challenge key strategic assumptions. Most businesses practice strategic planning annually, but the best ones do it more frequently, such as twice a year or even quarterly. It’s hard to overestimate the importance of clear communication that promotes the strategy with a common, proprietary vocabulary. Breaking out of this kind of cycle is challenging. Clearly, long-term vision, medium-term strategy, and short-term plans need to be revisited with different frequencies—and those frequencies need to reflect the particulars of the sector. Ideally, as staff and board engage in the process, they become committed to measurable goals, approve priorities for implementation, and also commit to revisiting the organization’s strategies on an ongoing basis as the … Four Best Practices for Strategic Planning, Die Another Day: What Leaders Can Do About the Shrinking Life Expectancy of Corporations. The best practices outlined in this report may need adjusting in certain special situations. Strategic-planning-business-unit-strategy-four-best-practices-strategic-planning Characteristics and Workflows of the Business Unit Strategic Planning Some Effective Ways of Direct Marketing to Try Face to Face Direct Marketing Definitions and Goals Direct Marketing Ecommerce and the Examples To Define Direct Mail Advertising and Its Types strategic planning … Executives at most companies criticize it as overly bureaucratic, insufficiently insightful, and ill suited for today’s rapidly changing markets. All rights reserved. Sometimes, organizational independence is necessary as well. Another powerful way to encourage the organization to embrace the new strategy is to identify quantitative metrics and goals that can measure progress. One highly effective approach is known as the “W-shaped model,” and it begins with the center communicating the critical questions for the year to divisional and functional managers, who are charged to return with the answers, along with an update on progress against plan and a series of ideas—some bold and disruptive—for consideration. Today’s new and intuitive digital tools make it possible to have a real-time and “clickable” view of critical strategic variables that drive performance against plan. In most companies, if you ask ten managers one level below the executive committee to describe the company’s strategy in a couple of sentences, you get a set of responses that are not fully aligned. In these cases, it is essential to have a strong executive sponsor and clear funding sources. To ensure that the new strategy isn’t drowned out by day-to-day concerns, leading companies convert it into a set of manageable strategic initiatives that give the strategy both visibility and traction. Although there is no one-size-fits-all approach to strategic planning, we have found that the companies that get the most benefit from their strategic-planning activities have four things in common: It is important to think about strategy at different time horizons. Failure in strategic planning can be disastrous. A critical element in effective strategic … Once a small entrepreneurial project nurtured within Nestlé, Nespresso became a worldwide success—but only after it was set up as an independent unit. Forums in which strategy can be discussed outside the rhythms of these three processes are also important; they can allow for real-time adjustments throughout the year. When going broad, the strategy team still has a critical role as orchestrator. The strategy department typically plays the role of process manager, providing support and keeping the team on course. Once the right questions are selected, the leadership team can let go, knowing that the teams are working on the right issues. A few months later, managers look back and realize that, despite best intentions, the pressure of day-to-day operations and organizational inertia have kept them from making measurable progress on the new strategy. Far too many strategic-planning processes fall short. ... AMA's Ask The Experts: Top Project Management Professionals Discuss Virtual PM Best Practices; View all Posts from this Blog.

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