Why is it that some companies succeed despite the odds? It’s because they have one all-encompassing strategic objective and empower their employees to act.
When it comes to strategic planning, it goes without saying that some companies understand its importance and application better than others. It is perhaps this reason why these companies do well regardless of the economy they find themselves in. It’s also likely why some companies only grow when their industry grows and falter when it doesn’t. Companies that understand the importance of adopting healthy strategic planning initiatives understand how best to chart their path to success. They combine their plans with resources that lead to actions and results. So, in adopting a strategic plan, what must it involve?
Strategic Plans Must Provide Incentives to Act
Opposite to popular opinion, there is a distinction between strategic planning, planning, objectives, and goals. While some companies lump all of these together as one, they are not the same. Each plays a prominent role in the overall plan for business growth, but the emphasis must be on how each compliments one another in leading to success. A strategic plan lays the groundwork for future planning initiatives and provides the roadmap to future business growth by empowering management and employees to think strategically.
Essential to a strategic plan is the adoption of a mission statement that declares the enterprise’s intent and purpose. This statement is intended to announce to the market and customers a company’s services, its intentions, and how it will go about accomplishing its goals. However, its importance goes beyond just addressing its market. The purpose statement is a call to action for its management and employees to become active participants in the enterprise’s success.
In addition to the mission statement, a company-wide code of conduct, or value declaration, is also an essential part of the overall plan. This code of conduct sets the boundaries of proper company-wide behavior and establishes a set of norms by which all employees will abide.
The Importance of Company-Wide Objectives & Goals
Objectives are company-wide initiatives where planning is combined with the company’s resources. So, a company may determine that a goal would be to increase sales to $32 million within five years. Doing this would then take this five-year objective and break it down into annual, semi-annual, and quarterly goals where each would include a benchmark and evaluation period, followed by a change in approaches if deemed necessary.
Essential to accomplishing these objectives are individual strategies. Each strategy the company adopts would entail using company-wide resources to achieve the outcome. In this case, there may be several strategies, all intertwined within each other towards the common goal of attaining the $32 million in five years. Consistent with this approach is to understand how each of these strategies, coupled with its resources, will be used and adapted accordingly.
Strategic planning is an ongoing initiative meant to bridge together every aspect of a company’s management, its employees, and its resources into one common goal. It is never just one plan, and never as simple as making a singular declaration of increased business growth. The project must empower to act and provide the impetus to manage and assess the initiatives’ success and change strategies accordingly.