8 Rules For A Successful Strategic Plan
Have you ever wondered what will happen to your business or organization in 3 years? 5 years? The world in which you live is changing rapidly and you are afraid of missing the boat? Or is the very purpose of your organization called into question and you need a new direction today?
If so, strategic planning is surely the answer to your question: a good opportunity to dust off your strategy and give your organization and your troops a new guideline.
Your strategic plan determines where you want to take your business so that all of your teams work towards achieving the same single objective. Strategic planning helps organizations take stock of what they do, how they do it and why they do it.
Your strategic plan is a road-map linking the presence of your organization and its ideal future. This sheet will be useful for carrying out your new mission, creating a productive team and strengthening your identity as an organization.
Rule # 1: Any strategic plan must be carried out internally.
YOU are the expert in your field, and YOU know better than anyone your business and the direction to take. This is why the initiative for a strategic plan must come from you and not from a third party.
Rule # 2: Surround yourself with the right people.
The strategic plan should normally be led by the president of the company/association, but in principle, any member of staff can participate in its preparation. In small structures (less than 15 people) it is also customary to bring all the staff together on this occasion. In larger ones, only make sure you surround yourself with key employees. Prefer preferably analytical and creative personalities, it is generally these people who are best able to establish a realistic assessment of the organization and formulate strategies for the future. Regarding the number of participants, count around 7 people, this is about the optimal number for carrying out a good strategic plan.
Rule # 3: Calling a facilitator to help you in this process is better!
The strategic planning process is not as complex as it seems… Only its outcome and conclusions are of paramount importance! To make the most of this time frame where the future of your organization is at stake, do not hesitate to hire a professional. The facilitator is there to ensure that everyone – including the more introverted – has a voice and that everyone is on an equal footing during your strategic retreat. The facilitator is also an ideas agitator, it encourages you to ask the right questions, to consider the best options for your business and to take stock of what you want for your organization.
Rule # 4: Analyze your environment with precision to avoid unpleasant surprises …
More than one ambition has been shattered simply because of a lack of environmental analysis. Please, avoid your strategic plan from turning into a real firecracker simply for lack of lucidity and discernment about what surrounds you. Study with precision your competitors, your market, the laws governing your sector of activity, the big trends to come … Simple tools such as SWOT analysis, PESTEL, benchmark or 5 forces of Porter will be of great use to you during this process.
For more details see our article Our favorite business strategy frameworks.
Rule # 5: Ensure the proper execution of the strategic plan.
Many strategies fail because they are not or are poorly executed. However, the strategy is also concrete in the field: Why should you strive to build the finest of strategies if it is not properly executed? Tools like balanced scorecards allow you to measure the activity of your business and closely monitor the execution of your strategy.
One of the most valuable tips I can give you to carry out your strategy is to act on your “lead measures”, that is to say on the things that you can do now to improve your future. performance. Are you looking to lose weight? Act on the measures where you have a real influence (for example, the number of sports sessions you perform per week) rather than trying to influence your final weight.
Rule # 6: Determine who does what.
One of the secrets of a good strategic plan and good execution is to determine who is responsible for what. It is a way to empower everyone in the organization and to be accountable to each other. Your efficiency will only be increased!
Rule # 7: Let everyone know the way to go.
A good strategic plan is a plan known to all. In short, communicate regularly on your new road map internally so that your team stays the course, externally to federate your customers as well as all of your business partners.
Rule # 8: Do not confuse strategic plans and business plans.
The business plan or business plan for our friends in Quebec is the document describing how your business works and how it creates value. Your strategic plan is not a detailed study of your business but rather the road-map of your organization for the future.
As you can see, the strategic plan is a key element in the strategy of any organization. Specifically, the strategic plan is your key to the future, what you need to do now to realize your vision for the future and your mission as an organization. Remember that all of your present actions have consequences for your future. Fortunately, this is not inevitable: Follow these simple rules and everything should be fine!