McBride for Business Blog

Strategic Planning:  Why So Few Do It Well – And 3 Things to Watch For To Make You Better

June 6, 2018 // R. Shawn McBride // No Comments »

In a recent article we covered the importance of knowing your long-term direction. We also started to touch upon the fact that very few folks do it well.

With Strategic Planning being so important why do so many folks struggle at it?

There are usually a lot of factors in play when Shannon J. Gregg and I look at an organization and it’s effectiveness (typically we use the Do Business Effectively(™) Pyramid – and it’s yours to use for free).

Here are some of the most common issues we see and how to address them.

1) Don’t Make Time For Strategic Planning

This is a big failure point. Many companies just don’t make the time to do strategic plans much less update them.

If you are going to have great strategic plans you have to make time for them – regularly. At minimum you should have quarterly meetings and between those meetings meaningful research and support work for your strategic plan should be happening.

Sounds like a ton of additional work?

Doing good strategic planning is work. However it doesn’t have to be all stress. We can show you how to make it easier.

2) Short-Term Orientation

Humans have a hard time planning for long horizons. One of the most common issues we see is that companies plan for the next quarter – maybe the next year.

Rarely do we see someone on the board or other decision making authority that is pushing for five to ten year objectives to me met.

When you keep focusing on the next quarter and the next year it is hard to do the things you need to do to transform your business into being better.

To address this issue you need to make long-range planning part of your regular discussions. You need leaders and outside consultants that think this way…ask the questions…and force the organization to evolve.

3) Not Watching the Big Picture

Many companies aren’t looking at the future of the marketplace. They are looking at how they did last quarter and how to incrementally improve.

If you want to be great at strategic planning you need to make sure someone is looking at the changes in the business environment that your company will be in in the future – and how the things you are doing now will impact you in 10 years.

What To Do Next

There you have it: 3 big failure points. Use this article as your checklist and guide.

If you print this article and keep it as a reference you can refer back if you start to slip back on your old planning habits. If you can stay strong in all 3 areas your strategic plans will be better than 90% of the plans out there!

And doesn’t that make you feel good?

The Our Shawn

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