Elements of a Strategic Plan
By definition, a strategic plan is developed by the CEO’s and rest of a Company’s top management. But the irony of the fact is that the heads who are meant to be doing this are the ones who are usually caught up dousing the fires of everyday operations. As such, they are unable to allot time to invest for this very important and necessary document that charts the future path of the Company. This document helps the Company to stay on the long-term track in between the shifting priorities of time.
So, what are the elements of a robust Strategic Plan?
Each plan must be tailor-made to suit the Company and its business. There can never be a one-size-that-fits-all for creating a great business strategy. Some key ingredients for creating a strategic business plan must include – points that will help your Company prosper, irrespective of the industry you belong to.
Ensuring that the key components are being used wisely:
The CEO’s and the top management of the Company, including the C-level executives must all put their heads together to create and transform a shared vision into a successful business strategy.
The mission statement should give an objective view of the Company’s goals and purpose of existence. The values of the organization should be embodied in the mission statement. The document must not try to be politically correct with just a ‘feel good’ statement.
Every Company has a short-term and long-term goal. The strategic plan should specifically lay down the objectives that your business is scheduled to accomplish, as well as the timeline within which these objectives will be reached. The plan must encompass and focus on achieving the broader goals as specified in the mission statement.
This part will lay down the “how” of achieving your goals and objectives. We should keep in mind that inclusion creates buy-in, and any winning strategy will need engaged employees to be executed successfully. Strategic planning groups may have different ideas about how to achieve what your strategies target, but brainstorming together can result in an agreement about how the approach should be. In smaller organizations too, CEOs should try to involve as many employees as possible, not merely to be on the same page but to discover those winning ideas.
Why every business strategy should have an action plan.
Well-laid down and pompous vision and mission statements, detailed action plans about what is to be done, who is accountable and when it is due, are of absolutely no use if they are not acted upon with the same zeal as they were put down on paper. Too many Companies stop with laying down their strategic planning gems in writing, but do not act upon them. As a result, these gather dust until the next strategic planning session.
Contemporary business environments demand that we must all be flexible and ready to modify and align our strategy if needed, that too at short notice. It’s fine if the strategies are working well, but in case they come upon some potholes on the road to success, then we must have an open mind and take a detour to put the Company back on the right track.
It is good to chart out business strategies that are not too ambitious. They should be plans that your organization can sustain and keep up with in the long run. Having the key ingredients that are given above will ensure that your business strategy will achieve the outcomes that you are looking at.
A strategic business plan is crucial for every business, however old or new. Contact us in case, you are in need of some expert guidance to take you through the process, including charting action plans and touching base once in a while to see if things are moving as planned, and in the right direction.