By Shannon Sage
Scary Planning Pitfalls that You Should Be Frightened of

Strategic planning is a powerful tool but it can yield less than desirable results if you end up in one of these possible pitfalls! To prevent that from happening, here’s a list of the most frightening and common traps to avoid during the strategic management process:

  • Relying on bad information or no information: A plan is only as good as the information which it’s based. Too often, teams rely on untested assumptions or hunches, erecting their plans on an unsteady foundation.
  • Ignoring what our planning process reveals: Planning isn’t magic: You can’t always get what you want. The planning process includes research and investigation. Your investigation may yield results that tell you not to go in a certain direction. Don’t ignore the information!
  • Being unrealistic about your ability to plan: Put planning in its place and time. It takes time and effort to plan well. Some companies want the results but aren’t willing or able to make the investment. Be realistic about what you can invest. Find a way to plan that suits your available resources, which include your time, energy, and money.
  • Planning for planning sake: Planning can become a substitute for action. Don’t plan so much that you ignore the execution. Well-laid plans take time to implement. And results take time to yield an outcome.
  • Get your house in order first: Planning can reveal that your house isn’t in order. When an organization pauses to plan, issues that have been buried or put on the back burner come to the forefront and can easily derail your planning efforts. Make sure that your company is in order and that there are no major conflicts before you embark on strategizing.
  • Don’t copy and paste: It’s easy to fall into the trap of copying the best practices of a company similar to yours. Although employing best practices from your industry is important, other organizations’ experiences aren’t relevant to your own. Organizations are unique, complex, and diverse. You need to find your own path instead of following a cookie-cuter approach.