team members strategising on info graphics around a table

Strategic Planning is the secret weapon for business growth

There are many reasons why businesses don’t conduct thorough strategic planning or even conduct it at all.  But the main one is that it's not seen as a priority or taken seriously by senior management or business owners.  This is most true in growth businesses, as a lot of the time there are pressure points developing, new products being developed, new services being added, staff stretched to limits, and little dents in the company’s armour starting to appear.

If the company or business doesn’t have a long-term strategic plan, some of these little dents become holes that start to gobble up precious time, money and human resources, and the company starts to sit in a circling pattern, and profits start to slow.

Strategic planning is the process of setting goals and determining the best way to achieve them. Researching and developing strategies to deal with these issues facing a business daily as well as developing long-term strategies to guide and direct the organisation’s future direction. The overall goal of strategic planning is to create alignment between the organisation’s goals, resources and capabilities towards achieving the necessary outcomes and how people throughout the organisation envision and expect those outcomes to be achieved.  As there is no point in achieving an outcome if it doesn’t meet the KPIs or expectations of management, staff or clients.  Therefore a review of how the outcomes met expectations is vital to the process.

The strategic planning process typically starts with the organisation's vision, mission and values. These form the basis for the organisation's purpose and how it plans to achieve its goals.  In purpose-driven strategic planning, there is a singular focus that everything that is achieved through assessing with the question, “Are we closer to our values and purpose, or further away from our values and purpose, through achieving this?”

7 Advantages of Strategic Planning 

  1. Increases the Probability of Achieving Goals
    A strategic plan ensures that goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.  Following a strict rationale like this makes sure that everyone in the organisation follows the process and this helps to increase the likelihood that goals will be achieved to expectations. 
  2. Improves Efficiency
    A strategic plan serves as a guide for decisions and actions. It also eliminates wasteful activities by focusing on the most important tasks and activities that contribute to achieving goals.  Reducing wasted time, money, people resources, products or raw materials all contribute to a better bottom line.  If improving efficiency through continuous improvement processes isn’t part of your strategic plan, it should be.
  3. Helps to Identify Opportunities
    A strategic plan can help to identify potential opportunities that can be tapped into and leveraged to meet organisational goals.  Often organisations are so busy managing the market they do have, they often don’t take the time to look around and see if there are opportunities that have arisen because of market or industry trends, and this leaves possible new revenue streams untapped.
  4. Clarifies Roles and Responsibilities
    The strategic plan clearly outlines the roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders in the organisation, ensuring everyone works together towards the same goal.  When people know where they are going, what they should be doing, and their precise responsibilities then it is easier to manage process flows and identify where there are issues and celebrate where there are successes.
  5. Assists with Allocating Resources
    A strategic plan will help to identify what resources are necessary to meet objectives and goals so that resources can be allocated accordingly.  This again can reduce wastage or investing too many resources on initiatives that may not provide the returns the organisation has outlined in the plan.
  6. Monitoring Performance
    Strategic planning helps the organisation’s management and Board to monitor performance, which can be used to determine if changes need to be made or if plans need to be adjusted to achieve the goals the organisation has identified as its key priorities. The Strategic Plan becomes the guide rails through which all decision-making is made.
  7. Enhances Message Communication
    A strategic plan formalises and clarifies the organisation’s mission, vision, strategies, and objectives, which makes it easier for stakeholders to understand and engage with the message.  When communicated effectively across all areas of the organisation, a strategic plan creates alignment in messaging.  One of the most exciting things for a Board or Senior Management team or Owner is for a team member to self-determine whether an activity is getting the company closer to or further away from its goals.  That feedback loop when listened to by management is invaluable.

Factors for Successful Strategic Plan Implementation

Have a Clear Vision

A company must have a clear vision of what it’s trying to achieve in order to develop its strategy, and the ability to communicate this vision effectively to the rest of the organisation. A good vision statement should be concise, understandable, and inspirational to the team. 

Involve all Stakeholders

Successful strategic planning requires the involvement of all stakeholders, such as senior leadership, employees, suppliers, customers, and partners. Allowing them to contribute and have a voice in all discussions can help identify potential gaps, opportunities, and challenges that need to be addressed. 

Regularly Review and Assess outcomes against Strategic Objectives

Strategic planning is an ongoing process.  Organisations must review and assess their plans on a regular basis in order to ensure that they remain relevant and in line with changing conditions. This could involve using key performance indicators to track progress and making adjustments as needed.  It's not enough to have a session with the management team and just write a plan, there is a specific way to do it, to make sure you achieve the necessary outcomes.  We’ve often heard, that’s OK we can do that ourselves, and yet two years later we see the same organisations with the same issue cropping up, due to inconsistent standards in their implementation.

Donna Bates is a renowned strategic planning consultant who has helped thousands of organisations and individuals over the last 25 years create clarity and alignment in their organisation and she can help you build a blueprint to help your organisation perform better into the future through implementing a long-term strategic plan.  If you’d like to know more and start a conversation, reach out here.

Donna Bates

Donna is a Strategic Planning Consultant, whose talents have been refined over 25+ year corporate career.

She is an Award-winning, Business & Marketing Growth Strategist who specialises in consulting with company's going through growth, change & upheaval.

Being a “legacy leader” she has mentored talented people across a wide spectrum of industries globally, helping them to grow & pivot their businesses, to stay relevant & profitable.

Recent Posts

Screenshot 2024-05-02 at 3.09.08 pm

Meta News Dummy Spit ‘Dangerous and Hypocritical’

Military Must Not Be Our First Resort in a Public Health Crisis Involving COVID

Military Must Not Be Our First Resort in a Public Health Crisis Involving COVID

Donna Bates The West 190923

Knowing When to Pass the Torch: The Value of Leadership Change

Lighting strikes over a city in a distant shot

Integrity in the Storm: Navigating Ethical Leadership During Crisis