By Shannon Sage
Strategic Planning with a Woman’s Touch

A few things that men can learn from women in their strategic planning process

A recent article from Inc. Magazine entitled, Why Women Are Great Strategic Planners, highlighted the differences in a woman’s versus a man’s approach to strategic planning.  The author, Jenn Houser, explains a conversation she had with a male entrepreneur who was so fired up about his product that he completely overlooked the concept of planning.  Houser comments, “Then I asked him if he had a business plan. He said no, he’d do that when he was getting ready to raise money.”  The man was so engulfed in his product concept that he had not even thought about how he was going to get to the point of raising money.

Planning strategically in your business is key to getting your feet off the ground.  Success isn’t a matter of chance but rather a matter of choice.  This concept really encapsulates why it’s important to have a clear strategic direction and strategic plan.  Business success isn’t going to happen by accident.  You must look into the future and create a plan for wherever it is you’re trying to go.  Forget about failure rates and all that garbage.  If you aren’t intentional about the direction of your business or department, you aren’t likely to get there.

Houser explained that, “he was planning his company using the stereotypical male approach to driving: Never stopping for directions or checking to see if he was going in the right direction. I told him he needed to plan like a woman.”  Below are her tips for strategic planning with a woman’s touch:

  1. Make a game plan before you start out. If you are going into business you need to write a business plan.  Build a roadmap outlining where your business is going to go in the next 3 to 5 years.
  2. Admit what you don’t know. Figure out what you do know, what you don’t know, and how to fill the gaps of what you don’t know.
  3. Ask for help along the way. Ask for advice and feedback from others in your industry.
  4. Be willing to change your mind. Having an open mind to feedback is essential.  You don’t have to say yes to everything, but it is important to be able to change and have the right plan that will give you the ability to make progress in your business.

To read Houser’s full article, click here.