Many companies do their annual strategic planning in the fourth quarter. This gives them time to get organized, so they hit the ground running in January. Makes perfect sense. Only there’s a new dynamic in play: volatility. Whether your company is in Cincinnati, Jacksonville or anywhere in America, strategic planning in turbulent times can present some unique challenges.
The world is changing faster than ever before. One tweet can send markets soaring or plummeting. New tariffs can alter the competitive landscape. Low unemployment means it’s hard to find qualified workers.
Strategic planning is an organization’s best tool to minimize risk and maximize success. And that’s especially true during turbulent times.
It’s always better to have a plan. That applies in sports, approaching a jigsaw puzzle and in business.
The real value in having a plan comes from the thought process that went into it. By getting the right people in the room (and setting the right tone), you’ll come up with better ideas. You’ll look at problems and opportunities differently. You’ll more thoroughly evaluate situations and make better decisions.
It can be daunting to do strategic planning given the volatility and turbulence in the market. Smart organizations realize they need high quality input. Options and contingency plans become more important than ever.
I’ve helped facilitate and write over 400 strategic plans. Many of these were in times of great change and uncertainty. And the vast majority led to success for the organization.
Facilitating a strategic planning session is more art than science. Sure, there are fundamentals that need to be addressed, but the greatest difference comes from the little things. When to politely cut someone off when they’re on a tangent. How to draw out input from the quiet experts. How to get agreement on the most important elements.
For many clients, I remain involved to ensure implementation gets done. Some of that is executive coaching to help people accentuate their strengths and mitigate their weaknesses.
As you think about your strategic planning this year, consider a different approach. I will help you think differently. And quite likely, more productively. Strategic planning in turbulent times is different. Let me help you do it better. Whether you’re in Cincinnati, Jacksonville or anywhere in America, give me a call so we can discuss your specific challenges and opportunities.