Creation of the Implementation Plan is generally the responsibility of the organization’s Strategic Planning Group. If necessary, we recommend that organizations establish such a group before the workshops start, or at the very least, create one from among the participants. The Strategic Planning Group can also be responsible for tracking key issues—especially the STEEP ones—to ensure the organization does not miss any significant changes taking place.

Step 11: Develop the Communication Plan

Generally, the subject of a Communication Plan comes up as one of the Top-Level Goals. If it does, then we work with it there, as part of the overall strategic plan. If not, we add it at the end.

If it doesn’t come up as a goal, we recommend that the organization develop a Communication Plan separate from the overall organizational strategy, as it is a critical element in getting all your stakeholders, including employees, to understand what your organization is and does. We will discuss Communication Plans in a further article.

Once the whole Strategic Plan is complete, and the Critical Path Analysis has been prepared, then the major parts of it can be displayed in WarRoom fashion along a timeline. It can be very useful to display it along a wall, or on foam boards, with the opportunity for people to place questions or comments along it as time progresses. And so that it can be reviewed easily if new and unexpected events occur.

One important note to remember is that Strategic Planning is a process, not a one-off event, although the kind of workshops we have described here are events. Generally workshops such as these we have described are the start of a new process, or a major update that may be conducted every two years or so. The other important note is that this approach to strategic planning can and should be fun and inspiring. Go into the process with minds focused on possibilities and potential!

Editor’s Note: This Article is excerpted from Strategy with Passion: A Leader’s Guide to Exploiting the Future by MacNulty & Woodall

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Christine MacNulty
CHRISTINE MacNulty has forty years’ experience as a consultant in long-term strategic -planning for concepts as well as organizations, futures studies, foresight, and technology forecasting, technology assessment and related areas, as well as socio-cultural change. For the last twenty years, most of her consultancy has been conducted for the Department of Defense and the Services, NATO ACT, NATO NEC, the British Army’s Force Development & Training Command, and the German BBK. Prior to that her work was in the commercial arena where she had Fortune Global 500 clients. During the last thirty-five years Christine MacNulty has contributed methods and models for understanding social and cultural change through people’s values. She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce in 1989. She is the coauthor of two books: Industrial Applications of Technology Forecasting, Wiley, 1971 and Strategy with Passion – A Leader’s Guide to Exploiting the Future, August 2016. Her paper: “Method for minimizing the negative consequences of nth order effects in strategic communication actions and inactions” was published in NATO Defence Strategic Communications Journal, p 99, Winter 2015. Two monographs “Truth, Perception & Consequences” (2007) and “Transformation: From the Outside In or the Inside Out” (2008) were published by the Army War College. Perceptions, Values & Motivations in Cyberspace appeared in the IO Journal, 3rd Quarter, 2009, and The Value of Values for IO, SC & Intel was published in the August 2010 edition of the IO Journal.
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