Everything that happens within an organisation happens due to carefully mapped out strategic planning.

Strategic planning enables a company to clearly set out its goals and objectives, define its direction, identify its resources and figure out how to make the desired change happen.

There are five key elements when it comes to creating a strategic plan:

1. You have the executive’s full support.

2. Effective communication.

3. Employee involvement

4. Careful competitive analysis and organisational planning.

5. An understanding of the need for the strategic plan.

If the environment you’re implementing the strategic planning for is already employee-oriented, great! This means that there is already a set level of trust and gives you an advantage when implementing this strategic planning.

However, most implementations of strategic planning occur in organisations which are transitioning from being reactionary to strategic. This means that as an employee, learning to think strategically is the tricky part of the transition, not the strategic thinking itself.

Full executive support in successful strategic planning

When implementing strategic planning, it is important that you have the full support and involvement of the executive and managerial team. This is important as no matter where the strategic planning is being implemented, the executives must lead, support, follow-up and live the process of the strategic planning implementation. If executives do not lead, support, follow-up and live the strategic planning implementation process, it is bound to fail.

If you don’t have the full support of the executive team, refrain from starting the strategic planning implementation process. Having set out goals for this year and a mission and vision statement that hasn’t been implemented or touched will be a major source for negativity and employee disengagement.

You may find yourself thinking ‘but how can I ensure that our senior leaders are active in the successful implementation of a strategic planning process?’ You can secure this by undertaking the following:

  • Establish a clear vision – Make sure that you establish one clear, united vision in which everyone understands the anticipated outcomes and where you wish the organisation to end up. Ensure that the ‘vision’ is realistic and that all employees understand why the organisation is under-going change.
  • Appoint a leader – Appoint a leader who will be in charge of the whole strategic planning implementation process. This person will have in-depth knowledge of the process and will act as a source of information for executives and will ensure that all executives maintain an active role throughout the process.
  • Increase involvement – as an active member of the implementation process, open discussion with other employees on the topic and encourage them to take a more active role in it. This will boost employee involvement.
  • Establish Structure – Establish an employee structure (such as a leadership group or core planning team) that will add support throughout the organisation transition of being reactive to strategic planning.
  • Change systems – You may find that after the implementation of the strategic planning process you may need to adapt measurement, reward and recognition systems to fit the new organisational expectations due to the newly established strategic planning process.
  • Training – Training should be part of every strategic plan, so it is important that all employees go through the training required which stems from the strategic planning process. Executives must participate in the training and it is critical that they demonstrate their learning in the workplace.
  • Be honest and trust worthy – The heading says it all – be honest and trustworthy and you will develop healthy working relationships.

It has been proven that companies with a successful implementation of a strategic planning process experience a 29% greater return than organisations which don’t strategically plan.

If you stand by your vision and mission statements, strategies, values, goals, and strategic plans – your business will succeed.

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