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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

2009 Is Half Over - How To Improve Your Strategic Planning Process

Hard to believe - but 2009 is now half over, which means it's time to assess how your organization faired so far.

The most important thing to do is step back and improve your strategic planning process.

Even top performing companies undertake a time-consuming strategic planning process that unfortunately leaves many executives frustrated with the results.

This sense of disappointment was captured in a recent McKinsey quarterly survey of nearly 800 top executives:

  • Only 45 percent of the respondents said they were satisfied with the strategic-planning process
  • Moreover, only 23 percent indicated that major strategic decisions were made during the process.

The operative question for organizational leadership is: "how can you make your strategic planning process more effective?"

Here are five ideas you can use to make make your strategic planning processes run better.

  1. Start with the issues - conduct internal and external reviews and a SWOT analysis
  2. Bring together the right people - involve the most relevant people in the organization, and consider involving external resources for new insights
  3. Adapt planning cycles to the needs of the business - separate the strategic formulation process from the business planning process
  4. Implement a strategic-performance-management system - that assigns accountability for results of initiatives and projects established to meet company goals.
  5. Integrate human-resources systems into the strategic plan - include performance appraisal, 360 feedback surveys and incentive pay based on performance results

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