Many strategists report that they are not getting their job done because of things that have little to nothing to do with charting a solid strategic path for their organization. The “process” of strategic planning is so large and diverse with so many differing options that many organizations spend as much time deciding what their process is going to be than developing their strategic plan.
For those strategists who have the good fortune of heading into a meeting prepared to think through the risks and reward scenarios concerning their strategic ideas and have them agreed to, there are many more who come away with little more than a To Do List directed by the senior executives of their organization.
This is very frustrating and you know this if it has happened to you. The following are some practical guidelines that will help you avoid three common pitfalls organizations often fall pray to.
Spend more time determining what your top three goals are. Don’t let your team get lost in the implementation details. Stay on the top side of the strategy development to make sure that once they are implemented they will actually deliver the desired results your goals demand.
Spend more time determining long-term goals than short-term wins. The key is to get leaders out of a short-term mindset because the goals of this timeframe typically benefit a specific area of the organization versus the entire organization.
Spend more time thinking through what is needed from the organization. One limiting approach to strategy planning is to make all decisions based upon present People and Financial Resources. This approach nearly guarantees an inhibiting force before you start. Think outside the box that may need to transcend present resources to achieve your next set of goals.
Following these simple guidelines can assist you and your organization by not allowing operational considerations and constraints to guide your strategic planning process. In all cases, strategy comes first, then implementation.