What is Strategic Planning?

Strategy is choosing to perform different activities that can be preserved and that will provide a sustainable competitive advantage as you reach your vision and goals.  

Part science.  Part art.

What is it?

Strategic planning is a process of defining organizational strategy and to focus on creating the future.  It is a creative process that at times does not flow smoothly but does come together in the end.

A good planning process will align all the members of the organization toward common goals.  With a clear picture of the future decisions become natural decision where limited financial and people resources are to be invested. 

Strategic planning is a disciplined and guided effort to make fundamental decisions and take action that will shape and guide the organization toward the future.  In order to determine where it is going, the organization first needs to know where it is now and then work on closing that gap as detailed as reflected in a document called the strategic plan.

 

Strategic plans are talked about as being future oriented, but when pressed, reveal more about today’s problems than tomorrow’s opportunities. Good thinking should result in ideas that will differentiate you from the competition with a sustainable advantage.  The real winners will reinvent their industry with radical and innovative ideas.  

  • Examine the current reality

  • Test assumptions

  • Gather and incorporate information about the present

  • Anticipate the environment of the future

  • Prepare to respond to the circumstances of the organization's environment

  • Intentionally set goals

  • Develop an approach to achieving and measuring those goals

 

  

The 7 benefits of strategic planning:

 

  1. Make your future happen don’t let it happen to you

  2. Establishes direction

  3. Make smarter business decisions

  4. Longevity of the business

  5. Increased profitability and market share

  6. Unique differentiation:  avoid “competitive convergence”

  7. Increased job satisfaction – successful, focused, meaningful
 

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