Planning in itself can be a major “pain” for entrepreneurs who are basically wired for action. The need for planning is recognized and action-oriented companies will develop business plans. The reliance on just “business planning” certainly works, but it is typically tactical and focused on near term needs. As a result, strategic planning often is not done or is actually done poorly. Doing only business plans limits and restricts the potential of future growth. The Mission is usually clear, but the Vision becomes an extrapolation of past and current situations. The very best perspective is to reach out to a “Future State” and then connect the dots to get there. This helps to avoid going down wrong “rabbit path.” Frequently, culture is not addressed through a controlled consideration of what the core values of the company need to be in order to support a clear Vision. This results in misalignment of focus in reaching goals and targets. If culture is allowed to just simply happen, it becomes a hodgepodge of what the employees tend to make it based on their inadequate understanding of where the CEO/Owner/President wants the company to go. This results in a constricting of growth and profitability that does not manifest itself right away. It can be extremely restrictive and all progress is impeded until that dysfunction is somehow resolved.
Strategic Planning is NOT an event. It is a PROCESS that deserves continual attention in order to address changing events as they occur. All business development has to start here to be as effective as it can be. It identifies those specific components such as the “critical few” long term initiatives that will be needed to fulfill the considered Vision. One cannot predict the future, but we can determine the most likely scenarios based on trends analysis. The planning selects the most likely scenario going forward that will lead us to achieving our goals. However, it is important that the most likely scenario does not become the only consideration. In a war board situation, all scenarios are watched for trend changes constantly and the company needs to be poised to shift with the trends that continue to evolve and develop. The process starts with an understanding of what the overall objectives are. That moves to knowing or creating the future state or Vision and having an understanding of what the critical success factors need to be and determining what barriers will impede success.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: (Tools, analysis, recommendations, consulting, coaching, facilitation and training are all available and provided by The Balzer Companies as an integral part of Strategic Business Development)
1st : Develop the Vision—select the best Scenario for the future development of the company.
2nd : Complete a 3 to 5 year “One Page Strategic Plan” including identifying the critical few thrusts to get there for both the future and the current year.
3rd : Craft a simple, focused and clear strategy that can be expressed in just a few words.
4th : Develop the tactical business planning to achieve the strategy.