Why a Strategic Plan?
Out all of the people in an organization row in the same direction, that organization can dominate any industry in any market against any competition at any time. In The Fifth Discipline Peter Senge says you cannot possibly do this without a strategic plan. What happens when individual and departmental goals are out of sync with the organization's vision, mission, and values? Without total Strategic Intention and alignment you come face to face with the Law of Unintended Consequences! You don't know where you are going, you'll end up someplace else. -Yogi Berra.
Strategic Planning means moving forward with Certainty. Certainty of a crystal clear Vision:
- Vision: When there is a genuine vision (as opposed to the all too familiar vision statement), people excel and learn, not because they are told to, but because they want to. Vision is what the organization wants to be,
- Certainty of Mission, what you're going to do to achieve that vision, and
- Clearly defined and agreed upon Values that take the guesswork out of decision making.
Once created, you are responsible as leaders to create a climate and environment that creates ownership and engages everyone in implementation. They must wear it like a crown with full commitment and ownership. Effective Strategic Planning pulls (guides) the organization, its resources, and its people like a magnet instead of pushing (forcing) it like a bulldozer.
Without clear, focused, enthusiastic, and aggressive implementation of the plan, it provides no more value than the piece of paper it was written on; a waste of time, energy, and money. Effective strategic planning incorporates entrepreneurial thinking (also a competitive advantage in corporations), visionary activities, planning, and leading others in alignment to do what you want them to do because they want to do it! It also includes coaching, leadership, guidance, and support. It means designing and maintaining effective systems and processes and unparalleled attention to customer service.
 Patrick Lencioni's Five Dysfunctions of a Team
Peter Senge, the Fifth Discipline, The Art and practice of the Learning Organization