The most common reason for organizations turning out strategic plans that don't move the needle is the belief that strategic thinking and planning are the same thing. Strategic thinking is the generation of insights about a business while strategic planning then takes those insights and transforms them into an action plan to achieve goals and objectives.
Strategic thinking provides revelations in such areas as resource allocation, customer value drivers, market dynamics and activity systems. By continually working through models and enhancing skill sets like decision-making and problem solving, an organization's associates can transform an annual strategic planning process into thinking strategically on a daily basis.
The resulting strategic plan should include the key insights generated in the strategic thinking session and the goals, objectives, strategies, tactics and metrics that will drive daily activity. Creating a thick, three-ring binder plan that can also serve as a doorstop is not of value to anyone. Make sure that your strategic plan is concise enough to be used and updated on a daily-not annual-basis.
Brilliant strategy means nothing unless everyone in the organization understands it and it influences their daily activities. The following steps can be used to support the strategy rollout:
1. Development of strategy communication vehicles (presentations, maps, etc.)
2. Dissemination of the strategy through the chosen communication vehicles to all associates.
3. Collection and review of feedback regarding the strategy and its communication to the organization.
Properly done, the strategic planning process provides an effective and efficient means for educating, inspiring and preparing your management team to excel in their construction business. Improperly done, the strategy workshop wastes time, eats away at morale and creates doubt in a team's mind about the competency of their leader. Bon appétit!
Rich Horwath is an author, strategist and speaker who helps companies create competitive advantage through strategic thinking. He is the president of the Strategic Thinking Institute, a former Chief Strategy Officer and author of the book Deep Dive: The Proven Method for Building Strategy. Visit www.strategyskills.com to sign-up to receive your free copy of Strategic Thinker.