Strategic/Operational Planning is a discipline…a process…a real commitment of time and resources.
We see many different approaches to planning:
- Some companies are diligent about doing it – they have a proven process and refresh the plans annually. It is an expected part of the corporate ‘routine’.
- Early stage companies may even ‘plan’ more frequently due to the rapidly changing nature of the business – one company we worked with had a rolling quarterly plan that was detailed for 2 quarters and had less clarity for the second 6 months. It was updated every quarter.
- Others have an irregular or random process…skipping a year or two…or three.
- And then there are the other companies that don’t do any type of planning at all.
Why strategic planning doesn’t happen
There are countless books, articles, and volumes of research in the public domain about strategic planning. With so much of this ‘stuff’ out there and available, why at times does it seem to be a struggle for leadership teams to do it?
Why planning doesn’t happen; here are some of the typical CEO reasons we have heard:
- We’re too busy. We don’t have time for it.
- Things are ok; we don’t need a formal process.
- Come on…how can we plan out (X) years (pick a number) if we don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow?
- I’ve heard too many stories about companies that waste time on a strategic planning process and the fancy report just sits on a bookshelf.
- Strategic planning is just a theoretical, academic exercise. All that stuff is crap.
- I have a plan! Everyone in the company knows where we are headed.
- We have a plan – we put together a budget each year.
- The honest answer (rare): We don’t know how to do it.
How do you plan at your company?
We have many contributions to make in the area of Strategic Planning. Please contact us to learn more.