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Knowing the strategic plan definition is important to understanding exactly what you are creating and why you are creating it.

 
Strategic plan definition: a documented, coordinated and disciplined process to produce a desired outcome. 

 
The word “documented” is used because if it not written down, then it is merely theory or a concept. 


When a plan is at the strategic level, it is a global or universal plan.  Therefore it must be coordinated throughout all departments.  All departments should be involved with the strategic planning process.

 

Lastly, you do not do a strategic plan for the fact of having a strategic plan, and then file it away.  It is a living document that all organization decisions are based.  Therefore, the process must be disciplined, meaning that there are identifiable benchmarks to track your progress toward the desired outcome. 

 Important Considerations for Strategic Planning

A critical element that is sometimes lost in the strategic planning process is that strategic planning is a Mission-Statement-down,/Plan-up approach.  The president of a corporation doesn’t do strategic planning, his staff does.  The vice-president of sales doesn’t do strategic planning, his or her sales force does. 

 

The leaders assist in writing a mission statement and the vision statement required in the strategic planning process.  This puts them in the planning process in spirit.  They may even assist in the SWOT analysis, and at a minimum review it before planning continues.  

Yet, the constant presence of a leader in the planning may actually impede the whole point of strategic planning which is to come up with an innovative plan based upon the synergy of the collective minds of the subordinates.  A leader's presence would definitely censor the brainstorming portion of the planning.

 

Because of this, corporations often bring in a third party coordinator to facilitate the planning process.  Incidentally, this is one of my favorite things to do.  For more information on how I can facilitate your strategic planning click here.

 

 During the planning process the leader might provide guidance and direction. And, he or she also approves, and/or adjusts, the proposed plan.  Yet, in the strategic planning process, it is up to the subordinates to do the planning.

 

This brings me to my next point.  Leaders must empower the people to conduct the strategic planning process.  Leaders must trust the fact that your empowered planners are intelligent, and will look out for what is best for the organization.  Without this belief, strategic planning simply will not work.  It would be better if the leader simply shut himself or herself in their office and write the plan by themselves, because they have their own strategic plan definition.



 

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