Dynamic Strategic Planning
How does an organization adjust and adapt its “at our best” to meet customer needs tomorrow? In this excerpt from The Shift from Me to Team, which will be published soon, we describe the Dynamic Strategic Planning that paves the way.
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Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat. —Sun Tzu
Understanding what we look like when at our best with a Vision of what we hope to attain provides security for today’s decision-making. It also provides the foundation to make decisions for the future. Sustainable success requires clarity about making changes to thrive; how will we adjust and adapt “at our best” to meet our customers’ needs tomorrow? We must have our eyes on the future once we have established a stable foundation for today’s operations.
We have shared how best to prepare your organization for sustainable success now to enable the organization to compete and thrive in the future. It is about a continual process of creating sustainable success year after year.
Strategic planning has become a term many organizations give a head nod to, but little else. Our work shapes the organization’s culture and articulates its Vision to prepare them for a new, more coherent, successful future. This strategic preparation will determine future success or failure. We use the term “Dynamic Strategic Planning” in place of “strategic planning” to emphasize the importance of regular review of the plan and reallocation of resources. The discipline behind Dynamic Strategic Planning for the future will enable sustainability.
To reach its destination—the compelling Vision of a beautiful tomorrow—the organization must find a way to thrive into the future. Doing so will mean anticipating shifting markets and emerging technologies, responding to the needs of an ever-transforming workforce, acquiring resources in a potentially unstable world, and more.
The organization’s Foundation of Greatness, as we described in earlier posts, will be its compass for the journey. The Dynamic Strategic Plan will outline initiatives to pursue future success. These initiatives—pathways to the organization’s shared Vision—will surface in the planning process as the organization’s collective perspectives are engaged.
If the organization commits to this process, it will ensure that the river’s natural flow does not get diverted or dammed up. It will be on its way to honoring what it is meant to become, with the least effort required for success.
Like a river flowing down a mountainside, organizations that honor their Core Identity feel a natural energy propelling them toward their compelling Vision.
When you plan a road trip, you begin with a destination in mind. You envision the destination and the gap between where you are and where you want to go. You’ll need resources like a well-tuned car, gas, food, lodging, and a game plan for reaching the destination. You will need maps and GPS to know if you are on or off course and progress to the destination, and you may need to reroute because of unforeseen obstructions.
Dynamic Strategic Planning is that purposeful process, and it begins with the organization’s compelling Vision of a better future for its team members, clients, customers, patients, vendors, and other stakeholders. It establishes objectives of the Vision and identifies initiatives to achieve them.
We must be ready to adapt and adjust dynamically under pressure as we learn more about the status of the course we are on. Be open to adjusting initiatives undertaken as some will produce greater results than others. Resources are limited; where can the best investment be made?
Initiatives do not have guaranteed outcomes. The organization is on a journey that will reveal a clearer destination the closer it gets. As team members go through cycles of Dynamic Strategic Planning, the motivating factor will be a clearer picture of a more successful organization and a clearer picture of the organization’s meaningful Vision of a better future.
In concert with your Reinforcing Systems, Dynamic Strategic Planning prepares your organization to better address tomorrow’s challenges by anticipating and getting in front of them. Too often, this planning gets sidetracked by the urgent challenges of the moment, oftentimes challenges that could have been avoided had there been a greater commitment to planning. Too often, excuses for not delivering on long-term plans go unchallenged, and initiatives lose momentum and are soon ignored. We may have invested in a strategic plan, but now it is a binder on the shelf.
The inability to delay gratification is understandable and part of human nature. Humans are wired to do today. We all have felt firsthand the immediate gratification of taking on and completing a task. We get satisfaction from actively engaging in activities that bring short-term gratification. We feel the immediate reward of endorphins, dopamine, and adrenaline as we address the “here and now” and feel the joy in checking off tasks accomplished.
Discipline in strategic planning is critical because we receive no immediate gratification from preparing and planning for a better tomorrow. The lack of disciplined planning can jeopardize an organization by leading to a loss of everything it has worked hard to achieve.
For reflection and meaningful planning to occur, new habits must be formed, and future planning must shift from something that happens when we have time to a purposeful, ongoing, disciplined system that gets the attention deserved. The Dynamic Strategic Plan must become a living document for reference, examination, re-examination, adjusted to meet the needs of an ever-changing today and tomorrow.
Organizations must develop disciplines to address both immediate challenges and those in the future. We must get used to this way of thinking. Thinking in the now and the future ensures a more predictable and natural flow for success.
Regular, disciplined update meetings are a prerequisite for successful strategic execution. Regularly review key metrics that share where you are on your journey. Set monthly review meetings, if not weekly. Have enough Dynamic Strategic Planning Committee members such that if one or two cannot meet, progress can be made without them.
At each meeting, each committee member shares the status of the deliverable they had committed to the previous week. They also commit to a deliverable for the next meeting.
In simplest terms, the organization fully engaged in Dynamic Strategic Planning:
- is focused on a shared compelling Vision
- has clarity on the objectives of its Vision
- is dynamic in assessing initiatives to achieve the objectives and assessing gaps in resources, facilities, habits, systems, talent, skills, and knowledge
- is disciplined in commitment to strategic progress. The organization does not allow the pressures of the moment and the temptations of immediate gratification to get in the way of a more fruitful journey.
Dynamic strategic planning does not need to be overly sophisticated. It must be simple enough for all to understand the reasons for the changes we are making, and the team must be committed to sharing progress regularly.