Focus on the Process, Not the Plan

As the number of days in the year continues to dwindle, many organizations are in some phase of the strategic planning process. While the end result of going through the strategic planning process is to leave with a complete strategic plan, it is important you [and your planning team] focus on the process rather than the plan itself.

But isn’t the point of strategic planning to have strategic plan?

Of course. As tempting as it may be to just focus on the plan itself, here are three ways that focusing on the plan instead of the process could lead to a failed strategy:

  • You’ll rush through the process – Trying to get to the end too fast could make you rush through the process. This could allow you to miss important details or strategic issues your strategy should address.
  • You’ll try to make the plan “too perfect” – Focusing entirely on the plan itself could also put your team on the quest for the “perfect plan” instead of one that is realistic or achievable. Something that sounds great in theory could actually be unobtainable in practice – an issue that can be weeded out by focusing on what’s realistic during the planning process.
  • You might skip the hard questions – Trying to get to your end result faster might tempt you to skip over the hard questions that surface during the planning process.

The end-to-end planning process is designed for your planning team to step back and really look at the reasons your organization is winning or losing. Only then can you move forward to create strategy and action plans. Sure, you might save time skipping steps or focusing on the plan prematurely, but you’ll end up with an end-result that won’t hold up in the new year.

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