How to do “Real” Strategic Planning

By Alan Lowe on July 27, 2011

[Editor’s note: This week, we are pleased to introduce guest contributor Alan Lowe to share his thoughts about strategic planning. Alan is CEO and President of The Lowe Group. He helps Business Owners and Executives grow their companies and reach their Long Term Goals. He has extensive experience in Strategic Planning, Financial Management, Executive Coaching and Leadership Development. ]

Is your plan really strategic? Or is it more of a tactical plan? Or do you even have a written plan at all? One thing is certain…… your brain is the worst place in your business to store this vital information.

So if you want to do a better job planning for success, where do you start? There is not one perfect strategic planning model that fits every company. Each business seems to develop its own way of doing planning which fits its culture. However, you can decide which model would be a good starting place for you and your team.

There are five models to consider:

(1) The Basic Strategic Planning is often used by organizations that are smaller and have not done strategic planning before.

(2) Goal Based planning is more comprehensive and seeks to assess the external and internal threats and opportunities facing the company.

(3) The goal of the Alignment Model is to get all the stakeholders of the business working together to accomplish the same goals.

(4) Scenario Planning works to ensure that the participants in the process are fully engaged in strategic thinking. Created by Shell Oil, this model can help a company make critical decisions by identifying the major trends and uncertainties facing the organization. Some entrepreneurs resist doing strategic planning at all because they perceive the process as being too structured, too linear, or too confining.

(5) Organic Planning seeks to address that concern by using techniques such as story boarding and dialogue to identify and articulate the organization’s vision and values. This process focuses more on the learning that can be derived and less on the process.

Over the next few weeks, we will discuss each of these models in more detail. My encouragement to you is this…… no matter which model you choose – just GET STARTED! In today’s world, the winners will be those companies who accurately assess themselves and their market and then take action quickly.

Alan Lowe
The Lowe Group, Inc.

About

As CEO and President of The Lowe Group, Alan helps Business Owners and Executives grow their companies and reach their Long Term Goals. He has extensive experience in Strategic Planning, Financial Management, Executive Coaching and Leadership Development. During his career he served at the C-Level for companies in four different industries. His strong analytical skills, strategic thinking and practical approach to business helped the owners grow their companies and position themselves for a successful exit. Additionally, Alan also served as a Chair for Vistage International for 12 years. During this time he coached dozens of CEOs and Business Owners in a variety of different industries to improve their Return on Investment, get clarity around their Strategic Intentions, and improve their leadership skills.

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  1. […] time we talked about the types of models a company could use to conduct a Strategic Planning session. Today, let’s take a quick look at the Basic Strategic Planning model. Conceptually, […]