By Scott Philips
If you are a regular follower of the TNP blog, you are likely familiar with our strategic planning “lingo” because we make a point of repeating ourselves on this topic. When we were recently asked by a client to share with them our basic framework for strategic planning, it only seemed right to (re)extend the content to you as well. It is so critical for organizations to ask themselves the right questions on the quest for success.
The purpose of strategic planning is to detail three key elements, listed below. Do keep in mind that the process of strategic planning is complex and layers-deep; the framework below simply gives the broad-strokes version of the process.
Where are we going or where is ‘there’? The answer to this question provides the foundation for what we are going to do in the near-term, mid-term and long-term. Sometimes this includes transitioning the business through significant changes, including leadership, market focus, geography shift, and even ownership. It frequently involves understanding ‘legacy’ and what really matters to you. In any event, this work takes soul searching and exploration as the details are laid out.
Where are we today? What is working well, not working so well and what really matters when we look at where we are going? These pieces provide the starting point for your journey. Those “lost in the woods” will only find their way if they have some clear idea of where they are at the beginning. There are many tools to uncover the realities of this state of being, but this is important self-examination that frequently uncovers critical weaknesses and issues.
What stands between where we are today (‘here’) and where we want to be in the future (‘there’)? If we know what the key issues are that keep us from achieving our desired destination then we can begin to build the plans and actions that get us successfully from here to there. Knowing what constitutes ‘critical’ issues is important in this process. Often the really important issues get clouded with ‘urgent’ issues. Knowing the difference is essential to successful action plan development.
The work of detailing these three elements takes time, processes and strong facilitation working with open-minded individuals that desire to share a common ending point.
TruNorth Partners has worked with over 200 companies in creating Strategic Plans and Initiatives that have led many companies to a positive future destination. For more information or for detailed tools that will aid in your strategic planning process, contact TNP. Let us help you in crafting a future that you will be proud to own.