What Can a Strategic Planning Facilitator Bring to Your Business?

One of the most important aspects, if not the most important aspect of any business is a business’ ability to get things done. In order to do this, many companies have a required planning system so that the progress of a goal can be monitored and checked for efficiency and needs. These plans are great tools for any company, but the problem with them lies within the devising of them. Being able to write a good plan is a skill that many people lack. Luckily, for leaders who struggle with coming up with plans to reach attainable goals, there is strategic planning training.

Strategic planning training is a great way to learn how to make the goals of your business a reachable because a facilitator will show you the steps that you need to take in order to get there. These strategic planning facilitators can coach you on one plan or on your technique in general and they follow a program that is designed to make creating a plan a simple and easy task that will translate into real world results. A common tool that you might learn from one of these experts is The Driver’s Model.The Driver’s Model is an important tool when it comes to strategic planning training. This is simply a formula that will assist almost anyone in coming up with a plan that will allow you to make the steps to achieve your business goals easy and effective. Leadership strategy facilitators want you to achieve your goals just as much as you do, and that is why this method is so easy and effective, as well as translatable to everyday planning. There are three phases in the Driver’s Model.

Phase one deals with the current situation of a business. This is the phase that a strategic planning facilitator would ask you and your company, “Where are we now?”

Phase Two is the goal phase, or where you determine exactly what you want out of the plan that you are creating. Strategic planning training would teach you to ask yourself and your company, “Where do we want to be?”

And the final phase of the Driver’s Model is Phase Three. This phase is where things start to get fun and you and your employees get to brainstorm and come up with creative ideas. A strategic planning facilitator would ask you during this phase in regards to your goal from Phase Two, “How will we get there?”The Driver’s Model is only one of the many lessons you can learn from these planning experts. Each and every one of them is full of tips and tricks that will help you lead your company to its greatest success. Strategic planning training can help you obtain the things that your business truly wants and needs in real time, so that success and results can be seen and growth can occur. Plans help us achieve goals and goals help us achieve productivity and innovation, which can only benefit business.

Powerful Strategic Plans – Five Keys to Execution

Biennial or annual strategic planning has grown common in many organizations. The value of this effort seems obvious: In a quickly changing global environment, organizations need a systematic check on conditions that impact customer needs and their own ability to meet those needs.

Assessment of results to-date, current trends, and future opportunities, normally part of a strategic planning process, enable leaders to affirm or re-define top-level outcomes and goals. Resources to achieve desired results may be re-aligned. Presumably, the resulting strategic plans then form the framework for operational and business plans that set target objectives for a given period of time, and describe how the organization intends to achieve these objectives.

Are strategic plans a reliable investment?

Recall the words of anonymous military leader: “Strategy is like rain in the desert: It evaporates before it hits the ground.” Indeed, despite significant investment of leadership time, staff energy, and organizational resources, a high percent of strategic plans will sit on the shelf after development. Implementation of the plan is the critical issue.What characterizes plans that work (those that support effective execution and guide on-the-ground action toward strategic outcomes)? We have facilitated a wide variety of strategic planning sessions with government, non-profit and business organizations. Based on that experience, we have found that five elements must be present for strategic plans to deliver on their potential value:

(1) Customer Outlook and Alignment

The strategic plan must clearly define and align organizational result targets and strategy with customer needs and priorities. As companies evaluate their vision. mission, and goals in light of current realities, the customer’s voice is a reliable guide. Organizations that anchor top-level priorities to what their customers want build relevant plans that are more likely to produce intended results.

(2) Organizational Insight and Alignment

Accurately assessing organizational capability and re-aligning resources to achieve desired strategic outcomes is an important key to success. A well-structured planning process enables participants to develop internal business and operational plans that directly support and enable execution of overall strategy. This process includes specification of SMART objectives as targets for operational plans. Target objectives that are Specific, Measurable, Aligned, Resourced, and Time-bound are, in turn, the cornerstone for:

(3) An Effective Feedback System

Without feedback, a complex system can quickly get off track. Building metrics and associated targets, tracking tools, and a regular check-in system into strategic and operational plans enables effective progress reviews and greater flexibility in identifying and meeting challenges during implementation. This keeps all contributors focused on how to best achieve operational targets and strategic goals.

(4) People Power

The people who will carry out the plan must be committed to its success. People Power is the energy that puts plans into action. Engaging stakeholders from all levels of the organization in plan development can build investment in implementation. Participatory planning can also yield front-line perspectives on customer priorities, organizational procedures, and resource needs. Surveys, interviews, focus groups, and work team discussions can be used to solicit input and recommendations from stakeholders. Acknowledging these contributions, and providing specific feedback on how they impacted the planning process can build plan “ownership” throughout the organization.(5) Continued Leadership Commitment and Focus

To harvest the full pay-off of strategic planning, leaders must maintain their commitment and focus during execution. When new priorities or requirements surface, it is critical to weigh investments and anticipated reward of on-going plan initiatives against the benefit of change. In many instances, new operational priorities can be aligned or coordinated with the efforts already underway. This approach capitalizes on investments already made and honors commitments to stakeholders, while enabling needed flexibility to address emerging opportunities and requirements.

Top 4 Ways to Improve a Strategic Plan Completely

While getting a new job assignment or a promotion in your career, you will hear such words a lot, “Congrats, from now on, you’ll be responsible for strategic planning as well.” The need to have strategic planning skills comes whenever your career has advanced to a certain level, and then business leaders like you will require a set of tools that will help in planning strategically. Such tools enable a strategic planning consultant or a manager to analyze the current market position and how many opportunities a firm has in the present scenario.

However, despite the skill’s importance, a handful of technical educational institutes prepare business leaders of tomorrow. Once such educational programs are prepared, the business leaders will be able to implement sturdy business development programs intuitively. In this post, we are discussing the top four ways by which you can improve your company’s strategic plans. However, first, let us see how recruiting a strategic team must be done.

First things first

One of the most crucial aspects of building a good strategic plan is the right mix of people… that is, the right team. If a business has the correct team to plan strategically, the company will grow and will exceed expectations of internal and external customers. So the gist is that the company will have to ensure that smart workers populate the team of strategic planning. Which is why, it is beneficial to pick the right employees for this task. In this sector, staffing is invariably very important and challenging.So here is one recommendation-pick those people who are willing to learn and adopt newness every time. For performing strategic planning, you will have to perform the cross-functional team having the correct mix of tactical and high-level thinkers. Further, it is advisable to include a couple of younger, high-performing strategic planning consultants who can always push the boundaries and absorb any growth opportunity that comes their way. Now, once the team is decided, you will have to ensure that the planning process is done properly. For this purpose, we are sharing the top ways improve the current planning process.

The following options are to be considered to improve strategic planning sessions

  • You will have to perform a one- or two-day immersion session that has to take place away from the office distractions. After the immersion session is done, the tactical implementation has to take place, too. During this phase, you will have to track post-planning implementation closely for maintaining momentum. Also, it will be necessary to maintain a progress table periodically during the tactical implementation stage.
  • A couple of one-day sessions must be carried out periodically over a period of a few months; this approach can be a bit more efficient as it always drives a way more focused planning session along with tactical plans that are being assembled as well as reviewed while the process is underway. In between, it is expected from the leaders to monitor the progress of all the teammates and their individual contributions.
  • Afterward, it is apt to structure all the planning sessions in such a way that it (the structure) starts reflecting a desired level of contribution. If, however, you opt to be a facilitator, you will have to create a properly planned agenda that will further help in time management.
  • Use the company’s core project managerial skills for maintaining the schedule and the momentum that will drive completion (of a project at hand). Further, it is better to target all the annual budgeting that will drive the alignment along with the implementation of chief strategic initiatives.

So that is it for now, readers. If you want to have reliable strategic planners without having to train new hirers or without having to cough up funds for bringing the brightest and the most expensive talent on board, it will be better to get a strategic planning consulting company and take its services.