3 Situations that Cry Out for Strategic Planning
By Jim Gribble "The Strat Plan Guy"
As a Strategic Planning Facilitator, I have the opportunity to observe all kinds of businesses. For many who do not have a formal strategic plan in place, it’s pretty easy to find some common denominators. Here are a few situations that clearly call for strategic planning…
1. Lack of a Clear Direction
The most common situation I encounter is companies lacking a clear direction. When the members of top management are asked where the business will be in a year and how they expect to get there, they have very different answers. It’s not uncommon for me to find a great disconnect within an organization between marketers and those serving customers, showing a need for team building. This constantly amazes me, since marketers can learn a great deal from customer inquiries, complaints and comments. It can help them to craft more effective promotions and even make important changes to product and service offerings.
When I review the ads, brochures, websites, social media and other promotional material for the company, I find inconsistencies and no clear message communicated through every channel. I often find that those in charge of media inquiries and public relations are completely separate from the marketing or sales department. Though it may be understandable why these disconnects sometimes occur within an organization, much of this lack of communication can be overcome when companies engage in effective strategic planning.
2. Surviving, even Thriving on Blind Luck!
Another common situation is what I call blind luck. These companies have survived and maybe even thrived for years and yet when asked to explain what makes them different or superior to the competition, no one seems to have a clear answer. Leadership doesn’t really know why their customers continue to do business with them and have never really asked, showing a need for leadership training. They’re not sure who their number one competitor is, what they have to offer, how they keep their customers or what they’re charging.
Often the friends and colleagues of these blind luck companies don’t refer new business opportunities to them because they are not really sure what these companies have to offer. If you’re often asked, “What is it that you do again?” then there’s a good chance your company lacks an effective strategic plan and also needs leadership development.
3. When EVERYTHING is a Priority
One of the greatest benefits of effective strategic planning is discussing and then establishing the most important activities for the business. With many companies it seems like everything is a priority.
This situation can paralyze an organization — employees often find themselves ‘stuck’ not knowing what to do next. They will wait for the ‘boss’ to tell them what to work on instead of having a clear list of priorities from which to work. When a new opportunity presents itself, they are unsure how to evaluate whether it’s something they should pursue or not. These companies often pursue all opportunities for fear they may miss ‘the big one’.
Get Started with Effective Strategic Planning
If any of these situations sound familiar, it’s time to get serious about your business focus by engaging in effective strategic planning.
When you establish your company’s mission, its core competencies, top objectives, and agreed upon action plans, it will bring clarity and focus — and will ensure every part of your organization is pointed in the same direction.
I can help you to make this a reality!
Let’s start with a phone conversation. Help me to understand the state of your business. I want to learn about the challenges you face and the goals you envision. My role is to help you enhance your leadership through the creation of plans aimed at achieving the most important objectives for your business. I will work with you to establish the process that you feel is right for your team.
*************Strategic Planning Facilitator, Jim Gribble “The Strat Plan Guy”, has decades of experience helping all types of organizations achieve their goals. During the first part of his career he ran profit centers as large as $85 million for leading direct-to-consumer companies. Jim first learned the power of strategic planning in the 80’s as a Product Manager at Xerox. Next, at International Masters Publishers he led a strategic planning effort that guided the company’s growth from $30 million to over $120 million in just four years. As an independent consultant for the past 15 years, Jim has developed strategic plans and marketing programs that have resulted in tremendous success for many clients. You’re invited to learn more about what Jim can do to help your business or organization benefit from effective strategic planning.