This book is a “how-to” guide that provides an easy and fast 11-step process for developing actionable strategic plans that organizations can implement immediately. It takes the reader through a series of building blocks, recommending the techniques to be used at every stage so that a strategic plan is the inevitable result of going through these steps. The book also discusses the pros and cons of various methods for conducting strategic plans, the potential and pitfalls of bringing in outside experts, and the timing and planning considerations for leadership strategic planning workshops.
Strategic planning should be easy and fun. After all, you’re developing the description of how to achieve the wonderful, creative vision that you have of your organization, no matter how large, or how long it has been in business. Yet so many leaders and their teams struggle with it, complaining that it takes too much time and effort, or that the strategic planning consultants they have brought in to do their planning for them don’t understand their business or are taking too long and costing too much. It shouldn’t be that way. Others question the validity of planning in these turbulent, fast-paced times, saying that if we can’t predict (which is generally true), then how can we plan? Planning is not just about developing a vision or end-state; it’s about planning the journey to take you there.
We are passionate in our belief that strategy and planning are still the two most critical elements of an organization’s success, and we anticipate that our own perspectives and understanding will ignite the same passion in others—you, for instance! We want to show you that the planning process can be one of the most rewarding activities you can undertake, both intellectually and financially.