According to common management theory, strategic planning is a disciplined effort to produce fundamental decisions and actions that shape and guide what a business is, what it does and why it does it.
Strategic planning requires gathering broad-scale information, exploring alternatives and emphasizing the future implications of current decisions. It can facilitate communication and participation, accommodate divergent interests and values, and foster orderly decision-making and successful implementation.
In consulting circles, failing to have a plan is equal to planning to fail.
The modern focus on operational improvements alone can result in “correctly doing the wrong things.” This means that an organization can invest its resources into pursuing perfection for a product or service past its prime.
Indeed, with today's diminishing product/service life-cycles, pursuit of operational perfection can be futile after time has already run out your organization's offering to the market. If the risk of correctly doing things wrong is acceptable to you, then continue to focus only on operational improvement and stop reading now.
But eventually, your luck will run out. If however you want to aim for the right things and are willing to do them until you master them, then let's get down to business!
Strategic planning and goal setting and the mandatory alignment with those plans and goals will not be achieved overnight. In addition, improving operational effectiveness by itself is important, but it won't keep you ahead of competitors because they’ll be doing the same thing.
Genuine strategic planning relates to the transitional scaffolding by which an organization moves from an "as-is" condition to a "should-be" future condition. Decreasing the time, cost and aggravation of getting from “here” to “there” is a main purpose of its implementation.
Legacy believes in the Pareto principle, which would propose that strategic planners typically accomplish 80% of a task in 20% of the time required by non-planners. Conversely, 80% of an effort in a non-planning environment would achieve 20% of the strategic planner’s results.
Through the development and implementation of strategic planning, we can help ensure that 20% of an effort often achieves 80% of the results.
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