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How to do strategic planning faster

Folks find "classical strategic planning" very slow, especially when the meetings get off topic.

As a strategic planning facilitator, I learned immediately to keep the process simple and I have backed away from a strict, intellectual process to recommending a strategy formulation process that emphasizes team engagement.

Executives are so busy, always tied to their cell phone and email. Strategic planning team members want to plan faster, simpler, but they also want time to think, to formulate strategy. These two goals will collide and to manage the tensions, team leaders must focus the team on the customer benefit, sustainable earnings and sharing assets. The conversations in my seminars focused on straight forward leadership approaches.

The executives suggested:

Most frequent best practice Get a firm, top-down commitment to the process
Second most frequent best practice Use a facilitator to guide the process
Second most frequent best practice Have a clear agenda and impose time constraints for each meeting
Usually works The core of key players meet at least once a week to refine the work
Usually works Narrow any research to only the critical data
Usually works Have a note-taker and summarize results of each step to all concerned
Works sometimes Work methodically through the process once the team sets the constraints
May work, but loses impact over time Understand who your audience will be when you present the plan
The bar length indicates the most likely method for success.


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