So, what is Strategic Planning?
Generally speaking, Strategic Planning means different things to different people this is why we need to be clear about what we mean by strategic planning for an organization as we will talk about strategic planning and the different outcomes that are anticipated by leaders.
A strategic plan process is an articulated plan as people want articulated plan for their organization. Articulated plan means there is a MISSION with VISION, GOALS, and OBJECTIVES that wants to be achieved.
We can't say that this is a strategic plan unless external data are brought in to the equation. External market data, such as Customer behavior, how competitors are doing; what’s happening in the environment in selected industry otherwise, it will be just a plan. Sometimes we only need a clear plan which contains MISSION, VISION, GOALS, and OBJECTIVES but it is also important to know where the organization stands and what the market place of the organization is. To create a strategic plan, the market data collection has to be included which will be used to make strategic decisions.
To achieve the next part of the process, organizations need clearly outlined goals which means everyone in the organization know what his/her role in the strategic plan and that is drives organization engagement.
In other words, the plan should go all the way down to the individual level so everyone knows their responsibility in the plan.
Sometimes it is important to add on to what is called organizational transformation using a strategic planning process. To do so, an articulated plan is required which displays the strategic position of the organization and is been communicated on a regular basis. Changes are expected to be made on this plan as an organization moves along with the plan. Sometimes there can be records of changes in the behaviors of employees.
The point to be emphasized is, to reach the outlined goals, organizations are expected to do a lot of discussions about it in specific meetings (quarterly business reviews). What must be remembered is, an organization can maximize the information received from such meetings to make a better decision and drive behavior, Also, as the plan continues to be discussed, it becomes clearer for all employees to work towards achieving.
So, when considering strategic planning, think about what's important to your organization right now and get everybody on the team to be on the same page about the outcomes of strategic plan intended to be.