Anyone who’s run a business or passed near a business plan has heard about SWOT analysis.
An organization’s ability to appraise its business, market and resources are directly correlated to the effectiveness of its strategic planning process. And SWOT analysis is one of many different tools of the strategic planning process. Establishing goals and benchmarks for the organization’s future success is integral to strategic planning.
However, there are many strategic planning mistakes that you can fall into quite easily. But, no worries. Keep on reading for our full breakdown of the nine common pitfalls of strategic planning.
The Foundation of All Strategic Planning Mistakes: Relying on an Inexperienced Internal Facilitator
Bringing in a seasoned outside consultant to help with strategic planning may help to ensure that the process is free of personal bias and more objective.
A skilled CEO or management team may lack the ability to facilitate effectively. Additionally, the objective viewpoint of outside consultants encourages open and honest communication among all involved in the project.
Setting Business Goals That Are Unclear and Vague
A lack of clear goals and a well-defined process may lead to strategic planning sessions that deviate from their intended path. Nothing can leave participants more dissatisfied than that.
Your strategic planning meetings are more likely to succeed if everyone is clear about what is expected of them. Make sure to notify them about the anticipated results from the outset.
Avoiding the First Step of Data Collection
Despite the abundance of data accessible today, many firms are missing out on the chance to benefit from it. However, relying exclusively on your gut and preconceived notions can lead to failure.
Start by acquiring as much information as possible on the present financial and market conditions. Then, you should begin developing a plan for your company.
In addition, you should look at your clients and competition. Don’t spend your time worrying about what the world will be like in 2035.
Instead, keep an eye out for emerging trends and significant events that can alter the social, economic, or political landscape. Conduct frequent surveys to determine what features you need to include for the next release.
Failing to Create an Environment of Trust
It’s critical that everyone participating in your strategic planning sessions participates freely in brainstorming meetings and contributes their views and ideas. This can only happen in a setting where people feel safe and nonjudgmental.
Ideas that seem entirely out of left field may have a significant impact. Ideas and inputs that may lead to breakthroughs in an organization will never see the light of day in circumstances where employees don’t feel safe or respected for voicing their opinions.
Trying to Go Too Granular
Goals and strategies for achieving them are the main focus of strategic planning meetings. You may dilute the strategic effect of these meetings by focusing on techniques at this stage. It can lead to the process being bogged down in the details.
Instead of focusing on the few strategic actions critical to success, this raises the danger of having too many action items that are never completely finished.
Failing to Address Misconceptions About “Strategy”
Since “strategy” may imply various things to different individuals, many people don’t have a common understanding of what it means. You have to have a vision of what you want to become and where you want to end up.
The massive actions you take to get there are part of your strategy. It’s critical to have everyone on the same page at the commencement of your strategic planning meetings.
Creating a Plan That Is Almost Hard to Implement
For this same reason, many strategic plans fail to aid in evaluating and adjusting a firm’s direction to achieve desired outcomes.
Please make sure you can genuinely deliver your strategic plan before building it. Identifying who does what and by when necessitates knowing your team’s skills gaps, as well as knowing each member’s strengths and shortcomings.
Understanding if the present team members can fill these gaps is also critical to this process. Perhaps you’ll need to bring in some fresh people to help out. It’s more of an art than an exact science, and you can discover more about the process here.
Not Implementing Any of the Suggestions Surfaced in Your Sessions
A strategic meeting or series of sessions is a time-consuming and crucial activity that requires executives to take time out of their hectic schedules to take part in it. After all, it’s not part of your regular team meetings.
It’s vital to follow through on the recommendations from the research and put them into practice. Despite this, the most prevalent failure of strategic planning sessions is a lack of follow-up action.
You should establish a process for tracking and monitoring progress for each task assigned to a specific person or group of people. Quarterly updates, interim progress reports, and individual follow-ups are standard procedures.
Having the Wrong People or Functions in the Room at the Same Time
Strategic planning sessions are often divided into two camps: those who feel it’s simpler to get things done in a small group against those who believe a more extensive group has the potential to generate more excellent ideas and increase buy-in.
The facilitator’s position grows in importance as the gathering becomes larger. Whatever your viewpoint, it is critical to engage professionals from all disciplines, including sales, finance, operations, and other organizations, to get the best possible advice.
Strategizing for Short and Long-Term Goals: Simplified
Experienced business people will tell you that most plans unravel when everything goes live. However, a well-designed can still exceed your expectations and performance metrics.
It’s all about learning what not to do. Hopefully, our guide has shed some light on the nine common strategic planning mistakes, so you know exactly what to avoid in your pursuit of business growth and success. If you liked our article, you can head straight to our business section to check out our other tips and explainers.