Every business needs to be guided by a strong vision of its future, and a sense of the various strategies needed to take it there. Unfortunately though, countless business owners fail to deliver their planned strategic results, and realize their vision in the long term. If you’re afraid that your strategic planning is a little thin on the ground, here are a few key factors to great strategic planning…
Business strategies tend to be more successful when the organization adopts a bottom-up or top-down communication model. This should start off with a clear message to all tiers of the business that a certain strategy is going to be adopted, and what their role in that strategy will be. This is bottom-up communication, where employees have the opportunity to provide input on a given strategy with surveys, meetings, focus groups, and so on, regarding any ideas they have for organizational direction. This is then followed by top-down communication, where the higher-ups at your business share the strategic plan with the lower tiers of a business. This should be focussed on making sure every employee knows how their hard work and engagement is going to help ensure success in the future execution of these strategies.
Once the skeleton of a strategy is put together, there are a couple of crucial elements that have to go into good project management. The first is simply identifying all the necessary projects that have to be accomplished, and the cost of any outsourcing, hiring, running QA test metrics and so on that may be necessary for the completion. The second element is developing a model for prioritizing all of these projects in a way that ensure the ones that take priority have all the right resourcing to ensure overall success. This requires your employees to be highly involved and committed, ensuring that they’ll spend all the required time on the projects they’re assigned to. By ensuring a high level of involvement in your employees, you’ll help everyone at the business gain a better understanding of the strategy ahead of them. You’ll also increase their level of commitment to seeing the strategy successfully executed, as they’ll see how their contributions affect the larger organization as a whole.
In today’s competitive business arena, it’s pretty common for the senior management of a company to encourage their employees to be more innovative, and yet fail to develop a solid strategy for innovation that encompasses reshaping the company culture to be more innovative, and implement a process for managing those innovations and so on. Don’t be fooled by modeling your business on companies that do everything they can to put out an innovative, cutting-edge image, and yet haven’t done anything truly ground-breaking in years. This will only lead to you following a half-baked strategy, and falling behind competitors who understand the course of innovation more intimately.
There you have three of the most important elements to modern strategic planning. The next time you’re trying to re-think the course of your business, be sure to keep this post in mind!