In addition to closing the year and preparing for the holidays, December has another activity that raises our stress level: strategic planning . This time with a recovering economy, but in a still uncertain scenario, setting objectives for the next period may seem more complicated.
But do not worry. If you’re having trouble moving forward (while thinking about Christmas dinner and the gifts you still have to buy), today we want to share five steps to speed up the strategic business planning process . This is an extremely important task, because a large part of the success you can achieve next year will depend on it; so don’t take it lightly.
Step 1. Look at the company as a whole
One of the most common mistakes in the strategic planning process is to focus only on the activity , the results achieved or the new objectives of certain areas, forgetting about the rest. It is common; for example, spending hours analyzing what happened in Sales or Customer Service without considering why Accounting doesn’t send their invoices on time or ignoring repeated requests from the IT manager to update their billing software. This happens in companies of all sizes and is one of the main reasons for the lack of effectiveness of strategic plans.
Step 2. apply a system
It is not about putting together a document in a hurry to meet the partners or to give the employees the idea that we have clear objectives, we must take this process seriously. Focus on three points: the results that were achieved in 2021 , the scenarios expected in 2022 (pessimistic, realistic and optimistic) and the objectives to be achieved . As the business owner, meet at least three times with those responsible for all areas (remember not to leave any out), ideally for a whole morning or an afternoon, away from any possibility of interruption and with all the important information at hand (you have to work on collecting it in advance). It is essential that thestrategic plan is agreed by the majority so that it does not present resistance from the start.
Step 3. Advances the results of the process
Do not wait until you have the final document until you make an announcement of the new objectives to the entire company. It is better to share the first conclusions with some trusted employees and in charge of key areas, so that they share their point of view and adjustments are made in time. Insights and informal input from those, for example, who are in contact with customers every day can add a lot to the planning process. Of course, it is important to ensure the confidentiality of the information and to define how and with whom we will share certain data.
Step 4. Lean on an expert
In this type of process, meetings are usually led by the owner or the CEO of the company. But many times, and beyond all their experience at the head of the business, they lack the necessary skills to generate group dynamics that promote the exchange of valuable opinions. So, if you want to get the most out of this process, hire a professional specialized in strategic planning and innovation, with proven experience who can add an objective point of view to the conversations and conclusions.
Step #5. Connect all the time with the business mission
Finally, it is essential to motivate the team throughout the planning process to prevent each meeting from becoming a mere formality . The key? Align hard work with the emotional and the overall vision: nothing is more effective for this than remembering what the mission of the company is and what motivates us every day to give our best. If your business is going through a difficult time and your collaborators feel unmotivated, rely on the services of an expert in group dynamics to boost participation through entertaining methodologies .
Now you have several ideas that will help you review the various areas of the business and also how to improve for next year, which one will you begin to apply?