What are the basic steps in the strategic planning process?

“…sophisticated tools of forecasting and business analysis…strategic plans, usually fail to produce dramatic breakthroughs…They are designed for detail complexity…There is a second type of complexity…dynamic complexity

Peter Senge, Author, The Fifth Discipline

In today’s highly competitive environment, a firm must engage in a strategic planning process to work through the complexities of business.  The process is not as important as the wisdom applied.

A short sighted view of solely managing an organization by budget planning or forecast planning is insufficient to prosper.

A simplified view of the strategic planning process is shown by the following diagram:

The “must-do’s” of strategic planning:
  1. Include all key stakeholders
  2. Think big
  3. Be patient and flexible
  4. Know that there is no one best way
  5. Have a clear vision of the future state
  6. How often depends on the environment
  7. Incorporate it into the business and meetings
  8. Write down the planning information and communicate it widely
  9. Build in accountability
  10. Note deviation from the plan and re-plan accordingly
  11. Evaluate the planning process and plan: the process is as important as the plan
  12. Acknowledge and celebrate successful results
  13. Have an internal champion who will drive the process


Don’t be a planning fatality:  The Top 7 Strategic Planning Mistakes.


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