Whether you run a corporation, small business, non-profit, or a church, you need a strategic plan. Why? Because it serves as a guide for the future, keeps team members focused on doing the things that matter most, and enables the organization to be intentional about pursuing its overall vision and mission.
An effective strategic plan serves three core purposes:
1) It provides direction. If you are going to inspire action and passion in your organization, then as a leader you must determine the direction and priorities of the organization. Nothing is more uninspiring to employees than being part of a company or team that lacks a clear vision for the future. People need to know where the organization is going and what role they play.
2) It creates alignment. Once you have established direction, the next component of the strategic plan is to align all of the activities within the organization toward the vision and strategic goals. It is very possible that you have a number of very good initiatives and activities taking place at any given time, but it does not mean that those endeavors all serve the purpose and vision of the organization. A good strategic plan organizes and brings everything under one roof to ensure maximum efficiency and effectiveness. Remember, if everything is important, then nothing is important.
3) It clarifies the allocation of resources. Lastly, a strategic plan will help you clarify how to allocate resources and achieve the long-term vision and goals of the organization. When you establish clear direction and create alignment, you will then be able to better allocate personnel, time, and financial resources toward the achievement of the organization’s goals and vision. The ultimate result is greater impact.
Organizational leaders engage in the strategic planning process in a number of different ways and for varied time frames. Although the approach to strategic planning is important for ensuring quality and effectiveness, of most importance is actually doing a plan in the first place. Do you currently have a strategic plan? If not, now is a great time to begin the process.
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Also, watch this short video for more insights on strategic planning: