Why is a strategic plan important?
Here are the 4 main reasons to perform a strategic plan:
1. Effectiveness and Efficiency
Efficiency is your ability to accomplish something with the least wasted time, money, or effort. Effectiveness is doing the right things to bring you toward your overall goal.
The more involved your team is in the planning process, the more motivated they are to realize it.
A solid strategic plan integrates key performance indicators (KPI) that allow you to track progress over time and manage the actions required to achieve your objectives.
By celebrating small wins, your team will have the time to savor and learn from each other in terms of how they overcame these “bumps” in the road, fostering a feeling of pride and happiness.
According to Gartner, organizations that can successfully unlock the capacity to execute new growth strategies increase their profitability by 77%.
There is a flip side to this statistic. An even greater amount of data highlights why strategic plans fail. If you are interested in knowing how to avoid these pitfalls, we invite you to consult our other blog, which takes a deep dive into why strategic plans fail and how to ensure they do not happen to you.
I can’t stress enough the importance of strategic planning and its positive impact on a business. A strategic plan goes beyond positively impacting your bottom line. When a strategic plan is cocreated, it rallies your team towards a shared objective and goals.
Here are the top 4 reasons why you should do a strategic plan:
1. Effectiveness and Efficiency
What is the main reason why strategic plans are necessary? Effectiveness and efficiency.
I like the quote from Alice in Wonderland when Alice asks the cat if he can tell her what road to take. The cat asks her that it depends on where she wants to go. Alice answers that it does not matter. The cat then answers that, in that case, any road will get you there.
Most businesses are rarely looking to take the scenic route to achieve their objectives. Instead, they want to achieve their objectives in the most effective and efficient manner.
Reminder: Efficiency is your ability to accomplish something with the least wasted time, money, or effort. Effectiveness is doing the right things to bring you toward your overall goal.
Having a clear vision of where you want to go (mission), why you are going there (your “why” and reason for being), and the road to get there (priorities and objectives) provides a clear direction for you and your team.
According to Gallup, only 22% of employees believe their leaders have a clear vision for the organization. That’s depressing! As a leader, you know where you are going. However, when you’re leading a team, it’s not about you knowing where you are going but getting your team on board.
Having AND communicating the organization’s strategic plan is a sure way to get your team rowing in the same direction as you. However, an even more effective approach is cocreating your strategic plan with your team.
Cocreating your strategic plan proactively tackles implementation challenges and shows your team that their input, knowledge, and experience are valued. When your team cocreates the strategic plan, it becomes their plan just rather than your plan. The more involved your team is in the planning process, the more motivated they are to realize it.
A solid strategic plan integrates key performance indicators (KPI) that allow you to track progress over time and manage the actions required to achieve your objectives. There are two main types of KPIs that you should follow: leading and lagging indicators.
Leading indicators or proactive indicators help you look forward and adjust your team’s plans, actions, and behaviours to achieve your goal. For example, in a sales context, a leading indicator can be the number of meetings or calls a sales representative has with prospects.
Lagging indicators or reactive indicators look at what you have already accomplished and help you predict or identify a trend before the result occurs. For example, monthly sales are a lagging indicator.
Of course, this section assumes that you actually review your KPIs with your team and develop action points to realign daily weekly, monthly, or quarterly actions.
It’s pretty easy to get caught up in the doing of things (I am probably the queen of this!) and forget all the small wins you achieved along the way. It may be easy to “see” and celebrate the “big” wins, but they are few and far between.
Every goal is made up of many milestones and objectives. When developing your strategic plan, identify with your team (another word for cocreation) the milestones and smaller goals you will encounter on the road to getting there. In my experience, things never happen exactly as they were planned. By celebrating small wins, your team will have the time to savor and learn from each other in terms of how they overcame these “bumps” in the road, fostering a feeling of pride and happiness.
You may have noticed that the cocreation comes up a few times in this blog. And that’s because it is a critical concept in our approach.
At Maïeutyk, we believe that innovation, creativity, and synergy occur when a group of people unite their collective knowledge to solve a specific problem. This is why we use a combination of the Kaizen approach (a fusion of 2 Japanese words: “Kai,” which means change and “Zen,” better) and “Design Thinking” during our workshops. Our facilitators have mastered the art of asking the right questions at the right time. Our cocreation workshops provide a space for open and collaborative dialogue.
In addition, we accompany you through out the entire strategic planning process and play the role of accountability partner during the implementation phase.
In conclusion, I’ll quote the African proverb:
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go farther, go together.”
Integrating your team into your strategic planning process will simplify the implementation process.