Five Common Strategic Planning Mistakes

Failure to clarify your school Vision and Mission as part of the process

Many schools and organizations spend a great deal of time clarifying their Vision and Mission; and then forgetting about it. Being clear about both of these and ensuring that EVERY member of the school or organizational community is also clear is essential to successful planning. Many organizations fall down at the first hurdle because the lack of a shared vision and mission means lack of commitment to where the organization is going. Any plan is, therefore, doomed to fail. The time, and sometimes agony, it takes to reach a consensus on what your school or business does, for whom and where it is going, is worth every hour it takes.

Failure to consult

If it is important to have commitment to a shared vision (and it is), then failing to communicate with all stakeholders throughout the strategic planning process is likely to result in a flawed plan, and flawed implementation. It denies the creative input of people who have excellent ideas to move the school forward and it increases the dangers of group think, with influential school or business leaders more likely to hijack the plan to fit their preconceived ideas. While this is not fatal if the leader is knowledgeable and open to new ideas, it does run the risk that some of the best ideas will never be heard. Consulting all stakeholders does not mean they must be involved in every step of the planning process, but it does mean that at some time in the process parents, staff, board members, students and the wider community should have the opportunity to provide meaningful input.

Failure to gather data

Knowing about your school/organization and all of its characteristics, both good and bad, is essential to useful strategic planning. It is a waste of valuable time; for example, to implement a new behavior management plan if you do not have data on the type of behavior that is causing concern, the number of incidents of bad behavior and when and where the behavior occurs. Similarly, implementing a new literacy program when the data reveal that all members of the school community are reaching literacy benchmarks may be a waste of time and resources. After clarifying the vision and mission, the next essential step is to collect the data on which you will base decisions about the future.

Failure to communicate

Most people are uncomfortable with change if they do not understand how the change might impact on them. Many difficult times in schools and organizations are eliminated, or at least reduced, if management gets the communication process right. When discussing change that may occur as a result of strategic planning, all members of the school/organizational community need to understand the strategic planning process, need to be kept up to date on how the plan is progressing, need to know when and how they will be consulted, and need to have access to the plan when it is completed.

Failure to implement

A plan is nothing more than words on paper until it is implemented. Stakeholders quickly become cynical if months are spent on developing a strategic plan, and then the plan remains in the office of the CEO or amongst the Board papers. Towards the end of the planning process, the implementation plan must be developed. This involves identifying the strategies and actions to reach the goals outlined in the plan, deciding on the timeline, and identifying the people who are responsible for the actions. And it also means establishing a monitoring process to review on a regular basis how implementation is progressing.

Most Important And Effective Strategic Planning For Your Business

Advertising is a essential part of the effective marketing strategies planning. even before the days of internet when advertising is done through print media-likes newspaper, magazines, electronic media-like televisions, magazines, radio and direct mailing, strategic marketing planning could often make or break a company.

Branding helps a company in creating an identify for its business. People know a company by the name of its brand. The strategic planning Programs on the other hand help a company to effectively marketing of its products and services. The strategic marketing planning is beneficial for your business. it will helping your business to make their presence in the market.

Different people have different opinions about which web site marketing techniques are the best to use. Nobody would be able to tell you for certain which tactic is the best to use, because many people simply haven’t fully thought out their own strategies.

The growing need of branding and strategic marketing solutions has led in to the arrival of many strategic business consulting firms that provide a wide range of consultancy services to the travel companies. These multi-disciplined consultants help a travel company in drawing branding and strategic marketing plans by helping them with man power and knowledge support at every step.

Strategic marketing planning gives you a concrete result to aim for. You know what you want; now it’s just up to you to take the steps to achieve it. Your strategic marketing
Planning can give you a road map, and even an idea of when you should see results, and how good those results should be.

Strategic Planning: The Three Key Elements Of Business Strategic Planning

For businesses strategic planning is a concept, a mind set and a process. It is looking down the road at what’s around the bend. When everyone around your place is focusing on what’s coming you will all recognize it in time to take advantage of it.

As things appear on the horizon each of you will be asking the question, what’s important about that from your various perspectives. You will be able to articulate the important elements of foreseeable future possibilities so you can all focus on the possibilities each offer. The goal of the business is, after all, to help each of you make your dreams come true.

Strategic planning keeps you focused on the options you now see more clearly, so you can collectively make choices that benefit the company and all of the people involved.

In this brief article I will describe the five key elements of a business strategic plan. It has been my experience that when these three elements are combined into a simple straightforward do it yourself process your company will achieve its goals. This is not rocket science, unless you are building rockets, and will work for companies of as few people as one and as many people as you have on board your company.

Your Strategic Planning Team:
The strategic planning workbooks, textbooks, and how-to books all discuss the importance of the strategic planning team – the implication being that the company must be big enough that there are leaders at every level who can become part of the strategic planning team. Unfortunately that eliminates about 75% of all the companies in existence.

If that includes you do not fear as I am about to show you how you can reach out to the best people possible, individuals with various perspectives whose input will help you create a balanced strategy. In addition these successful people will help you develop and maintain this workable strategy over the long haul. And since they are not going to be charging for their input you will be able to afford an active strategic planning team forever.

I recommend that you connect with members of your industry’s trade association, business owners whose results have been demonstrated over time and whose opinions you trust. The well known power of group dynamics suggests that you limit the size of your strategic planning group to 6-8 people including yourself.

Each of you should also be located outside each other’s traditional marketing areas. If some of you are nearing retirement with vast experience, others in the midst of their careers growing their companies and some who are successors in successful businesses in your industry you will have an important range of diversity. Those who have been around a while can see things coming that are invisible to those just starting out and vice versa.

The Strategic Planning Process:
The strategic planning process should be simple, just three questions to focus on, so you will keep them at the top of your mind. Naturally there are multiple components of these three questions that will become second nature as the process of discussion moves along.

What are you going to sell in the future and how? Each member of your strategic planning team will offer different ideas based on what’s working for them now, what they have already considered for the future and their perspective (such as their Internet savvy or lack of same).

Who are your target customers and why? Every successful business owner focuses on their market share inside their traditional market. With different perspectives you will be able to expand that traditional marketing area AND focus on increasing your share of each customer. Members of your strategic planning team will open your mind to tactics they are using to sell more products of one kind or another to your existing core customers.

How can you differentiate your company vs your competitors? This often means discontinuing lines no longer profitable that you’re still carrying because you’ve always carried them. It may mean focusing on fewer products and services where your specific capabilities excel. And it most assuredly will mean introducing new products and services recommended by your strategic planning team based on their experiences and perspectives.

Once you and your team have these three questions at the forefront – the qualifiers become automatic. What’s important? What is it now? What exactly do you want it to be? And what’s possible to achieve at the intersection of your goals and your resources?

A Commitment To Action:
With the continual input from your strategic planning peer group you will be able to more easily target strategic opportunities all around you. Opportunities that would have continued to be invisible to you without their well considered input. These actions will, in and of themselves help you choose those capabilities important for your future growth and enhance your capacities for making the most of them.

As you and the other members of your strategic planning peer group put your plans on paper and keep them in front of each other you will develop an environment for continually review and modify your evolving mission statements.

Continually articulating your goals for the future as they are continually refined by your strategic planning peer group will keep the important next steps always in view. Taking action yourself or delegating it to the individuals or teams within your organization who have the power, authority, and accountability for their completion is all that now stands between where things are today and where you want them to be in the future.

If you are seriously interested in your organization’s future you’ll find that there’s really no better way to create and manage your strategic planning process.