Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Conducting beneficial strategy planning process

Many corporate executives come out dissatisfied and disappointed after annual strategy meetings. They feel like they have not created an impact on the strategic plans of the company. Many people feel that this is due to the formal setting of the meetings. But i disagree and say its due to the lack of prepared minds attending the meetings. When people are not aware of the issues the company is facing, the competition out there and the future direction the company envisions for itself, they cannot make effective contributions to the strategic plans of the company.

For any strategic planning process, first the issues that the company is facing should be identified. This is important as we want to develop strategy that can mitigate these issues. Without knowing the issues, the strategic plans developed cannot be effective. The CEO can throw light on these issues. The next step is to call people who can effectively contribute to these meetings. People who are well informed about the issues and challenges facing the company. Along with strategy planners, people who are going to implement the strategy should also be involved in these conversations. Only then can we make strategic plans that can be implemented. Another important aspect is the time and venue for these strategic conversations. A prior date should be set so people can get a chance to look at the issue the company is facing and be prepared with future plans. Its also better to hold meetings at the business unit's site rather than the corporate headquarters. Also the CEO presence at the business unit helps to signify the importance of these meetings. The duration of these meetings should not be more than a day. A one day meeting should be adequate to produce effective strategic plans. Also during these strategic meetings, the topic of discussion should be focussed at overcoming challenges and issues and not on the financial aspects and budgets for the company, these should be held in separate meetings.

By keeping the above in mind, can strategic planning be effective and satisfactory without having prepared minds involved in the conversation?

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