3 Things Strategic Planning Won’t Do For Your Organization

Strategic planning can do a great many things for your organization. It serves as the roadmap guiding your organization down the winding road to success.

We can go on-and-on about what strategic planning can [and should] do for your organization. But, equally as important, there are things you should not expect the strategic planning process to inherently fix for your organization.

So, here are three expectations you should eliminate from your shortlist as you embark upon creating your 2018 plan in the coming months.

1) Strategic Planning should not drive your team to “get things done.”

A common misconception is that strategic planning will create a to-do list for your organization. Instead, strategic planning should drive your team to get the right things done. Productivity for the sake of productivity isn’t going to add value to your organization; focusing your team on the actions that will help achieve your vision of success will. Think quality over quantity.

Use our Expertise & Software to
jump-start your 2018 strategic plan.

Start your 14-day risk free assessment today.


The planning and execution process should drive your teams to become more self-managing by empowering them to focus on the things that matter most, collect measurements on targets on those actions, and drive results from the bottom up.

2) Strategic planning meetings shouldn’t solve your day-to-day operations

We often see strategic planning sessions and reviews bogged down by trying to solve day-to-day operations challenges. While your plan may include longer-term initiatives and actions to help improve the efficiency and operation of your organization, strategic planning and strategy reviews are inherently designed for your organization to take a step-back and look at the big picture.

Day-to-day operational issues don’t belong in strategy sessions. Trying to mend these issues in strategy session will only derail your meeting and shift focus away from how your organization is going to reach its long-term goals.

3) Strategy won’t inherently improve your organization’s communication

Simply having a strategic plan won’t improve your organization’s communication. But, the way you create your plan, roll it out, and keep it front and center will.

Eliminate jargon speak, unnecessary acronyms, and function-specific language, opting instead for a unified language that your entire organization can understand. After your plan is done, you’ll need to roll it out and stand up a structure so your organization can focus on execution. As your organization continues to contact the information, execute against the plan, and report on performance consistently, it starts to create the open dialogue which accompanies efficient communication.

As you enter the period when 2018 planning becomes top-of-mind, keep your expectations of the planning process level and steady. It’s important to fix your organization’s near-term issues, just remember the strategic planning process is focused on helping you drive your organization to your desired future state through vigilance and long-term dedication to the ongoing planning and execution process.


One Comment

  1. Dennis Schumann says:

    Nice article. First the goal, then the strategy to achieve the goal, then the execution of the strategy. But…70% of all strategy fails to execute (E&Y, D&T, etc.) so why? The goal is flawed at onset because it never reaches a Nash Equilibrium with the players (all planning is a game). There is a way to do this using history but there is a serious lack of innovation and critical thinking out there.



What is 12 + 15 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
All fields are required.

Free Guides & Resources

Setting OKRs that Work

A FREE downloadable guide and canvas to build Objectives and Key Results.

SWOT Assessment Guide

A FREE downloadable guide and canvas to complete a SWOT analysis, synthesize it into Competitive Advantages, and then use your SWOT to create SMART goals.

Guide to Create KPIs with 100 Example Metrics

A FREE downloadable guide to learn the basics of Key Performance Indicators with 100 example metric sources for ever department of your organization.

Free Guide for Writing Better SMART Goals

Download the FREE guide to learn how to create goals that have impact in your organization.

Free Guide to Build a Growth Strategy

A FREE downloadable guide and canvas to create a growth strategy that clearly defines where you play and how you’ll win.

Goals/OKR Cycle Guide

A FREE downloadable guide and canvas to establish a quarterly rhythm for OKRs and Goals.

OKR Essentials Cheat Sheet

Download the free cheat sheet to guide you through building and refreshing OKRs.

Join 50,000 Other Leaders Engaged in Transforming Their Organizations

Subscrbe to get the latest agile strategy best practices, free guides, case studies, and videos in your inbox every other week.

We Believe in Empowering Teams to do Amazing
Work, Consistently and Passionately

Success isn’t a list of flashy logos. It’s about helping anyone who wants to lead a great organization.
If that’s you, join our list of clients – you’re in good company:

Armen EZR Multnomah RHA SEO Monitor
Chobani Cisco Armen KIA Patagonia
Concordia College Davenport Fairbanks St. John's Washoe County School District
Boys and Girls Club BSA Cancer Society Maryland Food Bank Make A Wish
CMPD Long Beach San Francisco City of Sparks Washoe County