It’s been claimed that 80% of any given strategic plan is simply a rehash of a previous plan, and 80% of what doesn’t get done is from the 20% that is new. In other words, strategic plans fail to drive change because they are really just recycled yearly operating plans.
Our Forks-in-the-Road planning methodology is designed to help participants break free of the traditional planning mindset and consider truly strategic decisions. Combining pre-work and in-session discussion, we ask them to propose, evaluate and identify one or two decisions that:
- Are controversial and will be seen by some at the table as wrong-headed.
- Despite their controversial nature, are compelling in that either direction could be the best course of action.
- Are irreversible and, if taken, would be very difficult, if not impossible to change.
After identifying these decisions, the planning team will be in a position to develop a plan that is truly strategic.
In developing the strategic plan itself, we help planners distill objectives and strategies into a simple framework. This framework makes it easy for managers and employees to connect their day-to-day work to the broader goals of the company, and helps leaders know what to say yes (and no) to as they move forward.
Before the planning process begins, the company vision, mission and purpose should be defined, and leadership should be aligned around these sentiments.