There are many arguments for a company to not have a strategic plan, albeit none of them valid. The lack of a strategic plan would be equivalent to taking a driving vacation without your GPS to New Braunfels, Texas (#2 destination according to HomeAway.com’s ‘The 10 best vacation spots you may not know about‘), in that you may know the intended destination (New Braunfels, TX) but have no viable means of navigating the way, short of trial-and-error or stopping along the way to ask for directions, neither of which are comforting or the best use of your valued vacation time.
A strategic plan acts much like a GPS to help guide you and your team to your defined destination (‘Success’ as you have defined it), it will also help you course correct if and when you make a wrong turn or have to make an unexpected detour from your original plan. So, having and utilizing a strategic plan is a critical element to growing your business and helping guide your team to success.
So, what’s the best way to develop a strategic plan? You can most certainly go it alone, as many large companies develop their strategic plan(s) only utilizing internal resources. However, small and mid-size companies should highly consider bringing in an expert, not to influence the direction of your company or set its long-term goals, but to facilitate an effective strategic planning session with your company’s key decision-makers.
An experienced facilitator will help guide your leadership team through the process, capturing the key elements, information and inputs. Affirm Consulting also will provide the follow-on support needed to finalize your company’s strategic plan and provide helpful insight on how best to utilize and communicate your developed goals and strategies within your company.
Business Mentor Note: Involving all of the key leaders within your company and devoting the necessary time to gain their input into your organization’s strategic plan is rarely an easy task, unfortunately there aren’t any real shortcuts to developing a highly effective strategic plan for your business. Based on the critical nature of a strategic plan and how it will be used to guide your company, the upfront commitment of time and leadership resources will pay long-term dividends to your business.
“Leaders establish the vision for the future and set the strategy for getting there.” – John P. Kotter