- December 12, 2013
- Posted by: andreag
What value does strategic planning add to the organization?
Often prospective clients end their initial phone call with the question, “What is this going to cost?”. My reply is always the same, I can’t tell you without meeting with you to understand what you really need and want, design a solution that fits, etc. The question on the phone reflects how many organizations and their CEOs view planning. That is, they view it rather like a commodity, and they are looking for the lowest bidder.
My responding question is always, what do you want your planning process to do for you? What problem are you trying to solve that has you talking with me? I want to be sure that my work with the client will add value. Often plans do not. Commonly we hear stories of organizations and leaders having gone through a planning process, but finding no changes in the organization afterward. Well, if nothing changed, what was the value added? A team building experience perhaps, but nothing more.
Strategic planning value
Here are some possible values that a planning process can add, i.e., new conditions that are achieved that weren’t previously achievable:
- Align the board of directors and management
- Align the management team on a strategic agenda to move the organization forward
- Communicate clarity of direction throughout the organization
- Provide clear direction and thereby restore integrity of leadership
- Solve key performance problems
- Develop a path forward that will attract outside funding
- Improve execution on a change agenda
- Create agreement on core beliefs and principles
- Develop a tool to manage and create the organization’s future
There are other potential values to be sure.
My view is that you shouldn’t engage an outside resource until you are clear what value you want that investment to add. Unless you have clarity on the added value and on the ability of the outside consultant to deliver it, you may well not achieve your return on investment.
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