The Most Critical Elements of Strategic Planning
What Is Strategic Planning?
Strategic planning is an organization's process of defining its strategy, or direction, and making decisions on allocating its resources to pursue this strategy.
What Are The Most Critical Elements
Successful strategic planning is the extent to which everyone in the organization can see a direct link between what they do every day and the long-term success of the organization. Clarity is key and one of the most critical elements of strategic planning. Providing clarity places on the leader great responsibility, but can also serve as one of his or her greatest assets. When clarity is provided it allows the leader to paint a picture the whole team can align to. Identifying the whole team is the the other critical element as it contributes to the success of the strategic planning process.
Who Should Participate?
Because the strategic planning process attempts to set the overall direction of the organization, in theory, and often in practice the CEO participates in the strategic planning process, because if a strategic plan fails, or the implementation is faulty, it's the CEO that is held responsible. However, that's not to say that others in the organization should not participate too. Managers should have some responsibilities for plan implementation, and communicating the essence of the plan to employees. The CEO is the strategist in the organization. However, he or she isn’t the only strategist. Organizations have many strategists that go beyond top leadership and these individuals make up the team. When we shift our thinking to move away from truncated views of strategy as a deliberate, top-down process, it helps us to identify a much wider group of players as potential strategists who make up the team. We can sometimes overlook the important role others within the organization play in strategic planning. To introduce strategic planning as part of organizational culture, involving middle managers and lower-level employees as strategic players is important.
Threats To Strategic Planning
Strategic players like middle management and lower level employees actions and influence on the strategic planning process is significant for the survival and competitive advantage of the organization. Involving them helps the CEO in preparing members of the organization, as well as, getting their buy-in, while offering them an opportunity to rally behind the plan. There are many threats to the strategic planning process. Commonly, most CEO's think threats to strategic planning comes from outside of an organization, however, the greater threat to the strategic planning process often comes from within the organization. Providing clarity and involving all strategic players to formulate your whole team allows you to address the most critical elements of strategic planning, which can determine whether your plan is a success or failure.