“Strategic planning does not deal with future decisions. It deals with the futurity of present decisions. What we have to do today is to be ready for an uncertain tomorrow.”
– Mr. Drucker, Prominent Business Authority
The above statement by Mr. Drucker precisely explains what a Strategy means to any Organization or its executives. Many times, Strategy planning is considered as total waste of time and often ridiculed by most of the employees. However, a deeper analysis of several aspects of Strategy Development will make people change their perceptions. It will not be hyperbole if someone claimed that a strong strategy has the potential to drive a company to the threshold of success and beyond. Hence it is of the utmost importance to put in required amounts of efforts and time in devising a strategy that defines the path of an organization.
There is a set of people who believe that the real strategies are designed at real time; instead of an outcome of a thorough formal strategy planning process. These people base their claim by citing the dynamic nature of market, competition, ever changing laws or emerging regulations, etc. This might be true for some exceptional cases; however this cannot be said about all the companies. There are numerous companies who invest significant amount of effort and time in their strategy planning. In fact there are some which hold annual events at one of their main development centre and invite unit heads from all the development centres. For example, Infosys Technologies Limited, holds an event named “STRAP” every year. All of the business unit heads come together and discuss with Executives to come up with a plan for developing Strategy. Also, all the employees are provided with a forum through which they can share their inputs. This initiative has been instrumental in making every Infosys employee feel that they are part of the organization and their views really do matter in Company’s strategic goals.
There are several important questions which should be asked while coming up with strategy planning process. Some of the most important ones are as follows –
· Who should participate in Strategy planning reviews?
· How long should the reviews be?
· How should the conversations be conducted?
· How much preparation is necessary?
· What should be discussed?
· Where should be reviews held?
· What kind of follow up is necessary?
The strategic planning offers striking benefits. Through a strategy, one can difrect all the important resources in a focused manner and in right direction. Also, the direct involvement of employees in the process, as done by Infosys, may give them a sense of ownership. Many times, this leads to more efficiency, effectiveness and even greater innovation.
To sum it up, the strategic planning can be instrumental in taking a company to higher levels of success and hence sufficient amount of efforts and time should be invested in the Strategic Planning process.