what is strategic planning

FOLC Strategic Planning

Photo courtesy of Editor B(CC Attribution)

What is strategic planning?  It is the process of defining a business strategy.  What is strategy?  Michael Porter defines strategy as “The creation of a unique and valuable position, involving a different set of activities from competitors.”  

Strategy is useless if not well executed.  All too often, strategic plans are created only to sit idle collecting dust on a shelf or a far corner of a desk.  This creates what I call the gap between Strategy and Results and unfortunately in most companies it is a big gap at that.  

strategy to results gap

strategy to results gap.

To bridge the gap between strategy and results, it is essential to think of the strategic planning process as consisting of two phases: “strategic thinking” and “execution”.   Strategic thinking is about the leadership team, having gathered and analyzed internal and external data and input, rigorously thinking and collaborating through a process to define a winning strategy to create a unique and valuable market position based on a differentiated set of solutions and activities.  After setting the strategy, the execution phase is about detailing the action plan including an executable one year plan, quarterly priorities, key performance indicators (KPIs) and shared clarity on who is accountable for what by when.  Getting things done requires instituting a meeting rhythm of daily huddle, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual meetings. 

Translating the strategy into results requires engagement at the individual, team and organizational levels.  The more team members are vested in the success of the organization the more likely they are to deliver on their individual goals.  To foster individual and collective alignment, engagement and focus, it is important to define and implement a quarterly theme/celebration.   

Many organizations are “too busy” for strategic planning while others create wonderful plans without actually executing.  In both cases, these organizations perform poorly against their peers and well below their own potential with tragic consequences.  Avoid the fate of these organizations by fully embracing both “strategic thinking” and “execution” as the two phases of a successful strategic planning process that delivers results.  

Contact me to find out how to close the gap between strategy and results in your own company.  SeeMetrics Partners support you in getting Real Results while building Rewarding Relationships.  Schedule an initial call by getting on my calendar here.


SeeMetrics Partners