October’s the time for organizations to start the 2015 strategic planning process. And if you’re like most strategy leaders you also know strategic planning is often bundled with a lot of anxiety. There’s potential for endless meetings, lackluster engagement or even derailment by so-called anti-sponsors.
What’s a strategy leader to do? Take ownership. Chart a course. Pave a path.
It’s time to start the strategic planning process. But it doesn’t mean the rest of your organization is ready. Bad strategic planning is like throwing a party and no one comes. It’s demoralizing.
So, keep your chin up, think positive and consider these tips for successful strategic planning:
- Get the sponsorship. Senior management, including the CEO, need to support the strategic planning process. Ask senior management for specific acts of sponsorship. How will they communicate involvement to their teams? What expectations will they set? How will they show support for the process?
- Have an executive driver. Someone has to drive the strategic planning process. Delegation without a single-point of contact is ineffective. If appropriate, consider assigning a coordinator for support. Coordination, communication, and logistics are often intensive.
- Allocate necessary time. Strategic planning isn’t an event. It’s a process. It’s not completed in hours, or even days. Often weeks are required to collect the right input, evaluate gaps and opportunities, and foster cross-functional collaboration required for alignment and execution.
A good strategic planning process builds trust and engagement. Don’t worry if it hasn’t gone well in the past. It’s time to create an experience that overcomes the nasty perceptions of strategic planning. Remember, what starts right usually ends right.
Want to learn how OnStrategy is helping organizations create an actionable strategic plan in six weeks? Curious what our recommendations are for securing engagement, alignment and accountability? Check out the course overview for our online 2015 Strategic Planning Workshop, which starts next week. The workshop is packed with best-practices and real-world, actionable steps for mastering the strategic planning process.