Strategic planning is an organizational development process that provides direction toward common goals and a shared vision for the future. It is essential for focusing energy and resources, strengthening processes, and setting priorities.
Our skilled facilitators at Employers Council can work with you to ensure a smooth strategic planning process.
Why Update Your Strategic Planning Process?
Successful organizations have clear strategies for shaping and guiding why they exist, whom they serve, what they stand for, how they meet objectives and realize success. Employers Council’s consultants offer skilled facilitation in the strategic planning process using a collaborative and inclusive approach. Our services include organization-wide, department level, and team specific initiatives.
Strategic Planning FAQs
The short answer is it depends. One factor is the degree of stakeholder involvement and how inclusive you want the process to be. For example, for smaller organizations with a limited scope of work, and minimal stakeholder involvement, the length of their planning process may take weeks rather than months. If you refresh your strategic plan every year, you might be able to work through this process in 4-5 weeks. Larger organizations with a broader scope and scale may take 6 months or more.
Once the plan is created, the most important factor to consider is putting it into action. Implementation requires the application of how, by when, and by whom to achieve the established objectives.
A common mistake organizations make is underestimating the amount of time to ensure a solid strategic plan. Rushing the process may cause harm, especially for long-term plans.
What makes up the strategic plan may look different for different organizations. Vision, mission, values, objectives (long and short-term), and an action plan are necessary standards. Robust strategies may include a detailed marketing plan, financial forecast, and an approach to anticipated changes. Important elements to keep in sight are what we need to do, how we want to get there, and metrics for process tracking.
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The strategic planning process may look a little different from organization to organization, but there are a few core components that each process should have.
- Involve the right people in the planning process.
- Ensuring a clear understanding of the organization’s direction, particularly vision, mission and values.
- Identify short and long-term objectives consistent with the vision and mission. What do you want to achieve?
- Conduct an analysis of your organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, often referred to as a SWOT analysis.
- Establish goals that will allow you to take advantage of strengths, mitigate weaknesses and threats and to seize opportunities. Make sure these goals align with the vision and mission.
- Formulate a plan to achieve these goals and establish appropriate milestones and measures to track progress.
- Execute the plan. Communicate the plan. By creating a clear line of sight between an employee’s day-to-day activities and the plan, employees will be better able to contribute to the success of the plan and the organization.
- Monitor performance on an on-going basis. Make sure that actions and decisions made during the execution of the plan continue to align with the vision, mission and values of the organization.
- Adjust as necessary.
Employers Council professional staff is prepared to walk with you through each phase of the strategic planning process.
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