Strategic Planning Resources
The Planning Boot Camp
Planning Boot Camp

Planning tools specifically for:

Short Term Strategic Planning

Many planners still consider "strategic" to be synonymous with "long-term". Executives enjoy long term strategic planning because it's usually pure fantasy. Consultants love to do long term planning exercises because they make everyone feel good. Yet long planning horizons are the root cause of visions and strategies that are too motherhood to be successfully executed. According to Peter Wright of The Planning Group "when we take executive teams through an exercise to create a 2-3 year practical vision, they are visibly uneasy. If they commit to a vision of the company only 8-12 quarters away, real plans will need to be underway within a few months just to be on track."

This sense of urgency is the best reason to keep planning horizons short. Bridging the gap between strategy and execution is difficult, and a vision that is both practical and compelling is the best foundation. A vision should drive the articulation of an organization's most crucial priorities, its "strategic imperatives", as well as a solid plan for how to achieve those priorities. Without that short, practical vision, turning strategy into action is almost impossible.

There is one important caveat: strategic planning, in particular vision statements should never have a horizon that is too short. A vision for an organization that is only 12 months away, for example, is likely unrealistic, and can cause a sense of hopelessness. This can be just as damaging to successful execution as a vision that is too long.

There is a place for a very high level, longer term strategic vision for your firm, but don't let it be a substitute for a practical vision and strategy that will be the drivers of real action. Keep your business planning horizon between 2-3 years to create plans that are practical, compelling, and stand a fighting chance of execution.

Author Bio
During years of developing business plans with North America’s largest companies, Peter Wright has created many tools, models, and practices that are highly applicable to strategic planning and business planning that professionals can offer clients, and employers. Peter used his experience to develop The Business Planning Boot Camp series.

Article Archive   Links   Contact   Home   



Recent
Strategic Planning
Articles

What is Your Value Proposition?
The term value proposition has been around since Michael Lanning coined it in 1984, while working for McKinsey and Co. So why do so few companies know what it is, or truly understand how they add value in the marketplace? Read more...

The CEO as Chief Strategist
How much time should CEOs and other senior executives spend on planning and strategy? Read more...

Short Term Strategic Planning
In these times of corporate speed, agility, and web-years, why do so many companies insist on creating strategic plans with 5-10 year planning horizons?
Read more...

A Vision of Failure
Envisioning the failure of your company can be as important as envisioning its success. There is nothing like winding down a business after catastrophic failure to help you step back and really understand the big picture with remarkable clarity. Why not understand failure so that it never really happens. Read more...

If you like these articles, subscribe to the:
Strategic Planning Newsletter.
Click here...


strategy and planning - operate effectively - stategic planning process - develop skills - image
Privacy Policy      © 2006 Copyright   www.planningprocessstrategic.com
designed by: stephsco