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What is strategic planning?

Strategic planning is a management activity that is used to set priorities, focus energy and resources, and shape operations.

It involves assessing the organisations current position in the market and deciding how to respond to its changing environment. Strategic planning aims to agree goals for the business that will guide the actions of employees and other stakeholders so that they work toward desired outcomes.

The outputs from strategic planning usually include statements on the organisation’s vision, values and mission as well as a clear strategic plan. Together these ‘set the agenda’ for the business at a high level and act as a reference point for future decision making.

Done well, strategic planning helps the business to ask and answer tough questions about the future focus of the business. Choosing a direction necessitates ruling out other options. It’s unlikely that there will be a single ‘right’ way to go and differences of opinion are to be expected – even relished.

It is important to air the differences and work through them, making sure the senior team agree on where they want to take the business and how. Without that commitment, you will struggle to turn the plan into actions, and actions into desired results.

Many management teams recognise that it is difficult for them to take part in the discussion and mediate the outcome. They find working with an independent facilitator helps them explore options and resolve conflict to create a plan they all believe in.

Get in touch with our business advisors to find out more about how they can help you with your strategic planning.

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