Top 5 Mistakes Made In Strategic Planning

Have you ever heard the expression, ‘Fail to plan, plan to fail’? Benjamin Franklin said that regarding PR work, but the expression is one best applied to business as a whole. That’s why even with an abundance of resources, a dedicated team with a ton of experience, and a strong, charismatic leader, a company can still fail. New Quest Coaching and Consulting aims to mitigate as much risk as possible for their clients by providing top-notch strategic planning consulting to their clients. New Quest has outlined the five major pitfalls made in strategic planning to help you begin mitigating risk right away.

Outside Facilitation

Strategic planning sessions for company vision or project planning will generally utilize a facilitator. The facilitator, a qualified consultant, should be a neutral third party who isn’t internally biased to the company. The third-party facilitator will be able to promote objectivity in the planning session and may have external viewpoints, which may encourage communication amongst those participating in the planning process.

Objectives Aren’t Clear

Planning itself should be targeted, with the intent and goal of the session clear. Without hashing out a structure for proceeding, the likelihood of sessions going off the rails can leave participants confused and disengaged. In the beginning, it should be made clear what the outcome of the session is and what each individual’s role is.

Building and Maintaining Trust

Thoughts and open dialect should be encouraged. The strength of the sessions comes from the ideas generated by the group. Participants must feel comfortable in discussions and must feel that they won’t be judged. Even the most obtuse ideas can sometimes generate positive change. If people don’t feel their opinions are valued equally, or they don’t feel comfortable speaking what’s on their mind, these potentially game-changing ideas may never come to fruition, and opportunities may be lost.

Focusing on the Nitty-gritty

Strategic planning has a purpose, and it is to establish broad organizational goals and to determine a direction of travel. It can become easy to focus on the minutiae, but the intricacies can wait. The session is designed to take strides towards the overarching goals of the company or project. Trying to work out every detail can pollute the creative waters by narrowing the focus.

Full Representation of Key Functions

There are two schools of thought on strategic planning sessions and the size of the group. One thought train believes a smaller group yields faster results, while a larger group fosters a larger number of ideas. Both are correct and feasible, but it depends on what the goal is, and where the timeline is set. It becomes the job of the facilitator to pivot as the group gets bigger, and they should be ready to broaden their perspective as needed. When considering a session, people from all disciplines including finance, sales, operations, and marketing should be represented in some way to bring different viewpoints to the table.

But just having representatives there isn’t enough. The tough part comes from ensuring cohesion and the ability to harness the skills brought forth by the individual. From there, whether it’s the facilitator or the team itself, the session can continue forward as one unit.

New Quest Coaching and Consulting is a cutting-edge provider of strategic planning and consulting based out of Kamloops and servicing Western Canada and Northwest USA. Check out their Strategic Planning Page to find out more information today!


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