Every strategic plan requires a vision. Before getting started with you vision, I would like to recommend reviewing or developing your mission, values and current operating plan, and making adjustments, if necessary. Your commitment to these values will provide the road map necessary for planning the year ahead.
SWOT will work as well as any other approach as long as limitations of this approach are considered and the plan is extended to include critical elements that must be built into the planning design. These elements include:
Goal setting to leverage strengths and assets, to adapt to weaknesses, and to establish priorities based on the mission and values.
Establishing objectives to support goals and timeliness to accomplish these objectives.
Establishing individual accountability’s to ensure that objectives are accomplished by established timeliness. Accountability’s will need to be codified so that the plan can be sustained over time.
Assigning a strategic planning Consultant with responsibility for keeping you track over time. In small businesses, this role can be filled potentially by a the President/Owner.
Absolutely key is that the plan be sustainable over time (3-5 years). If your Senior Management Team is unable or unwilling to commit to this time frame or if resources of time/financials are not available, it’s best to go down the strategic planning road.
Establish time intervals for reporting progress on the strategic plan — e.g., six months, annually, bi-annually. Keep in mind that the shorter the intervals, the greater the commitment to the plan tends to be. The annual planning meeting provides an ideal venue for this review.
Be sure that time is assessed for strategic planning at each meeting. This doesn’t mean that the time allotted needs to dominate the meeting, but it will mean that the plan will stay “on the plates” of those with primary responsibility for accomplishing objectives by established timeliness. Using Dube Consulting to help you stay on track will be beneficial to your business.
Establish a procedure for adjusting the plan in the future based on changing issues/challenges/roles your team and on changing external conditions (economy, etc.).
The proper approach to strategic planning is to enter into this arrangement to assure the long-term success and viability of the business, to demonstrate high commitment to the process, and to grow the influence in a variety of ways.
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