The Real Value of Strategic Planning
The authors start out explaining that many executives view the cyclical strategic planning process as a ritual that adds little value to the organization. My first reaction was: why doesn’t my organization have a strategic plan? Why have I not even heard the idea discussed over the past 5 years? We have 5-year financial plans, but these are more like financial projections than strategic plans. As someone who likes to focus on systems, organization, processes etc. the strategic plan seems like the guiding document that ties everything together. Every policy decision, budget proposal, and organizational change should be tied back to broad goals.
I work for the City of Pittsburgh and I think the frequent changes in leadership discourage strategic planning. Every four years Council Members and Mayor face reelection. Oftentimes policy initiatives are ‘taken with a grain of salt’ by the bureaucracy who plan to outlast the current elected leadership. The line “we pretend to make strategy and they pretend to follow it” exemplifies this perfectly.