When you hear the phrase “strategic planning”, does your mind light up or does it give you a headache? There is clearly a right and a wrong way to initiate and carry out the process.
In my conversation with John Handelsman, CEO of Present Values, I realized that my previous employers approached this all wrong.
See if you agree with John on what components of leadership, teamwork, data and process are necessary to make the strategic planning exercise pay off.
WHAT YOU’LL LEARN FROM JOHN HANDELSMAN, CEO OF PRESENT VALUES:
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A BUSINESS PLAN AND STRATEGIC PLAN? (1:46 in)
In John’s words – Strategy is all about choices and planning is all about execution. A strategic plan is typically much longer term. A business plan is much more operational in nature.
Insight – Think of the business plan as how are you going to execute to achieve your high level strategic goals.
HOW SHOULD A COMPANY DEVELOP A STRATEGIC PLAN? (3:05 in)
In John’s words – It’s very important that the leader believes in the process. There needs to be data. The leader must learn to delegate responsibility. The responsibility and ownership of each part of it is shared.
Insight – Consider conducting a strategic planning “SWOT” analysis of your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Data is needed from an analysis of the company internally and the competitive environment externally.
CAN YOU CLEAR UP ANY CONFUSION BETWEEN STRATEGIES AND TACTICS? (5:45 in)
In John’s words – Strategies are high level choices relative to direction for growth and management of risk. Underneath are initiatives, projects or programs that support strategies. Tactics are activities (of initiatives) that support strategies.
Insight – Strategies are directives intended to achieve your objectives and material goals.
HOW MANY STRATEGIES SHOULD A COMPANY HAVE? (7:24 in)
In John’s words – The number depends upon what’s going on in your business and what is your team capable of executing well.
Insight – Keep the list to a minimum but don’t miss any opportunities. Data is critical.
WHAT CAUSES A STRATEGIC PLAN TO FAIL? (8:26 in)
In John’s words – One of the things most companies miss is, they don’t put in place a performance management tool.
Insight – To achieve your strategic goals, it’s necessary to keep a scorecard of the progress or lack of that is being made on a regular basis.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOUR STRATEGIES BE REVIEWED? (14:11 in)
In John’s words – The strategies should always be reviewed. However, the strategies should not always be changed or shouldn’t quit.
Insight – Giving up on a strategy too early is often caused by failing to discover and make an adjustment. Patience is required.