A properly conducted strategic planning process creates your company’s roadmap to sustainable, profitable growth. However, to make the strategic planning effort pay off the company culture needs to be open to exploring new ideas and rational debate, and everyone involved needs to have the right mindset.
Creating a sound Strategic Plan takes time, a lot of hard work and an open mind. Gathering market intelligence, analyzing this information, figuring out what it all means, evaluating your options, and so on. These are all important components of the planning process.
The key obstacles to successful Strategic Planning have little to do with market data or analysis. The main roadblocks to creating your company’s roadmap are corporate culture, as well as people’s attitudes and mindsets.
Obstacles to Strategic Planning
Here’s a list of individual and organizational behavioral that stand in the way of a company’s ability to develop a sound strategic plan:
- Not open to criticism
- Not challenging the status quo
- Lack of curiosity
- Not open to discussing sensitive issues
- Having all the answers
- Not asking the right questions
- Not facing reality
- Lack of courage
- Short term thinking
- Low risk tolerance
- Lack of patience
- Avoiding conflict
- Lack of knowledge
- Lack of analysis
- Too much analysis
- Lack of accountability
- Fear of failure
- Inability to listen
- Lack of creativity
Do any of these sound familiar?
If so, you probably have sufficient self-awareness to break out of the negative, destructive culture. More than likely, you’ll need outside help to improve the company culture and the prevalent attitudes, but at least you’re aware of the problems.
On the other hand, if your organization shows none or perhaps very few of these symptoms, and everything is just fine, you’re either very fortunate and your business is in great shape or you’re in denial of the internal problems your company is facing. In the latter case, it will be difficult for you to engage in open, honest discussions about the changes your company needs to make to become more successful.
Before you start thinking about conducting Strategic Planning make sure that you’re aware of your company’s culture and attitudes. Do you want to be part of the solution or are you part of the problem?
For Strategic Planning to be successful it is critically important to have an environment in which anything can be discussed openly and honestly, in a fair, professional and rational manner, without emotions getting in the way, and without fear of reprisals or repercussions. If that environment is not present, any attempt at Strategic Planning is going to be futile and the outcome can only be a disappointment.
Are you ready for Strategic Planning?