Why do we have a strategic plan? If we don’t have an idea of where we want to go then we are effectively standing still. The cardinal sin of any business is to stand still. By standing still you are effectively going backward. Why? Because your competitors will not be standing still, they will be making every effort to take your market and your customers.
Strategic decisions are complex by nature – Why?
Because they contain a high degree of uncertainty
What is involved?
Matching the organisational resources (strengths, core competencies) to the external opportunities. Meaning matching what you are good at to something in another area to enhance your growth objectives:
The questions that need asking in relation to strategy are:
Where are we now?
Where do we want to go?
How are we intending to get there?
Do we have the ability to implement the necessary changes?
Example: Hammonds’ excellent reputation in bedroom furniture expanded the company into the ‘home office’ range. They recognised more and more people were working from home, so developed a range of furniture to support their needs. They used the quality benchmark they had already set for built in bedroom furniture and applied this to their home office range. An organisation will ask themselves ‘what are we good at and how can we use that strength within our market segment?’ – they subsequently expanded into the kitchen market in the same way.
Who is involved? Everyone including external stakeholders (don’t forget them)
Who is effected? Everyone in every function from admin to HRM
Formal strategic planning systems are most useful in stable conditions. We can forecast opportunities and threats, and then plan and implement strategies. In more turbulent environments you need more flexibility to have strategic success. You must have the ability to evaluate what is working and what is not, see new opportunities and introduce appropriate changes swiftly.
There is no sense in writing a 5-year strategic plan and then looking at it 5 years later and realising that you aren’t where you wanted to be.
Andrew S Grove, former CEO, Intel said the following:
Strategy is about actions, not plans – specifically the commitment of resources to achieving strategic ends…concrete steps that immediately affect people’s lives, not abstract actions.
Beacon Business Consultants can help you with your strategic planning. By its nature strategic planning is unique to each business or organisation. As we have a wealth of experience in directing businesses over the years, we can help you to realize your goals and help you put the wheels in motion about achieving them. We can also help you to review your objectives over time and amend them where necessary to ensure your ship stays on course.