Something About Strategic Planning
Winners begin early in building commitment to the strategic plan. Suggestions are encouraged by managers at all levels, from key executives who will participate in the planning sessions and others who will share responsibility for implementing the resultant strategies. Together, they surface issues that will require changes in business process and/or culture and identify those constraints that will need to be overcome if the implementation is to be successful.
During planning sessions, key executives from each functional area are all encouraged to participate and contribute to the plan. These executives develop strategies that build on organizational strengths and consider the resources required to accomplish those strategies. They assure that a key executive “owns” each strategy and commits to a schedule for its accomplishment.
The key executives give thought to resource planning – realizing that human resources are the key to making positive things happen in difficult, complex business environments – and they commit accordingly.
Following the development of their plan, those responsible for implementations develop their own “tactical plans.” These action plans, when coupled with self-directed work teams, are major contributors to a successful Strategic Planning implementation. Teams use their plan to manage, make decisions and grow their business. Periodically, they review their “tactical plans” to monitor and report on the progress of implementation – keeping the plan “alive” by devising strategies and tactics when necessary.
Finally, to assure the successful implementation of their strategic plan, they work on the planning process itself. The planning group continuously “fine-tunes” the planning process to assure that inputs from all business functions are given their due consideration and to assure that buy-in and commitment to the final plan is at all levels of the organization.
So, why are most operations management teams outside of the strategic planning process? Why do many line managers view strategic planning as a make-work project that produces little or zero value to customers? Maybe, it’s because they did not participate in its development nor did they buy-into its validity – let alone commit to the execution of its strategic objectives.
In short, they’re not connected to the process! To achieve a company’s full growth and profit potential, CEOs and business owners need to assure the active participation of operation management in their strategic planning process. Professional assistance is available from Business Basics, LLC, why not give us a call.
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