The Real Value of Strategic Planning
My initial reaction to reading this article was shocking, as I could not believe that managers important enough to be included in corporate strategic planning meetings would regard those meetings as unproductive and useless. After all, the outcomes of corporate strategic planning meetings should dictate the vision and direction of the entire company for the next several years. Therefore, if companies have such meetings as unproductive and useless as some managers claim them to be, how can a company change?
The article covered the basics of strategic meetings including the who, what, where, when, and whys. The who should be limited to groups as small as 3 but no larger than 10. When groups grow larger than 10, it is difficult to ensure that everyone one can participate. The what should be focused on planning long-term trends, opportunities, challenges and decisions rather than near-term financial budgets and targets. The article also mentions that those meetings should be held at business units rather than headquarters because it would allow managers to feel more at ease. I found this approach to be very unique and agree with the sentiment that in doing so would not feel like a summons. Last but not least, strategic planning should take place no more than 80 days of the 240 workdays in a year. That does not mean to meet for 80 days but for every business unit to use those days to prepare and analyze the different strategies for the 10-30 days that the CEO will use to review those plans. Catering a company’s new direction to conform to those key points in the article is the first step to transforming the perception of strategic planning meetings.