Admit it: When you receive your invitation to your company’s annual strategic planning meeting, do you have to suppress a groan? These meetings always have the same agenda, cover the same topics, and resurrect the same struggles as the previous year. Wouldn’t they be so much more productive, and wouldn’t the team get more excited, if there was time for deeper discussion, real actions, and achievable follow-on tasks?
I’m not going to sugarcoat it: Strategic planning is hard work. It takes preparation, teamwork, and a commitment to follow up and close out the inevitable action items that will be raised because no good strategy is created in a single sitting.
Planning for your growth requires a deeper look at the market, a better understanding of what keeps your customers up at night, and a refreshed assessment of how you can solve their problems. Dynamic market conditions demand honest conversations and a nimble plan to meet business objectives. Here are some tips to make your strategic planning process successful:
1) Include the right people
2) Commit to having big picture, “blue sky” discussions
3) Use your team wisely
4) Formalize action items and next steps
5) … and repeat!