4 Keys to Successful Strategic Planning with Your Team
Anyone with the desire to succeed has to make plans but the success of that plan depends on how actionable the plan is. In an organization, strategic planning is important in order to change or restructure something in the organization such as restructuring a department or developing a new product or service.
Sometimes, teams consist of senior management personnel who either control one or two departments or are senior stakeholders in the company. In order for strategic planning to be successful, there are a couple of things that make the strategic planning process effective, meaningful and productive.
Here are 4 keys to successful strategic planning with your team
For your team to do successful strategic planning, you must engage every member of the team. A team usually consists of individuals who have been handpicked to serve one purpose or the other in the pursuit of the goals of the team. As such, every team member brings something to the table.
A team where one or two team members are left out of the loop is definitely bound to lose efficiency. This is why it is important for team members to work together, think together and plan together. Every member of the team must be able to provide valid input and ideas in the planning process. Irrespective of the differences between each member of the team, there must be engagement where everyone makes a valid contribution to the success of the strategic plan.
A team that cannot communicate will definitely have problems successfully planning together, because the input of every member of the team is important. This is why you need to leave communication lines open among team members. In most teams, there are usually different types of individuals and most times, they are not on the same level. Yet, everybody brings something to the table. Therefore, while you involve everyone in planning, everyone should be equal. Everybody should be able to give their own opinion and share their ideas.
In fact, if your team is a senior management team where there are employees who are not present at strategic planning meetings, it’s important that bottom up and top down communication lines should be open. In other words, the opinions of employees at lower levels should be taken into consideration. This way, everyone, even those at the bottom of the organization can provide stunning revelations that reveal flaws in the overall strategic plans due to something that the senior management team overlooked.
The bottom up communication approach allows senior management teams to give employees at all levels the opportunity to provide input to a strategic planning process with surveys, focus groups, meetings, anonymous tips, etc. The top down approach of communication is also important because it involves communicating the strategic plan to employees. This way, employees understand what the plan is and the role they have to play to bring the plan to fruition.
Real accountability is a very important key to strategic planning. It goes beyond just identifying the roles each employee and member of the team has to play for the success of the strategic plan. Real accountability involves every member of the team, not just the team leader. Every member of the team needs to carefully think about how to make strategic planning successful, such that the organization can achieve its goal and objectives.
During the strategic planning process, everyone is always enthusiastic about the success of the plan and what they've been appointed to contribute to its success. Real accountability involves directing that enthusiasm through a timeline so that the strategic plan will be effective.
Most times, strategic plan is a process to design a new product, restructure the organization or restructure a department in the organization. For any strategic plan to work, innovation is an important factor. Apart from the fact that every member of the team must be innovative and bring new, yet realistic ideas to the table, other employees in the lower levels of the organization should be allowed to be innovative as well.
This is where the bottom-up communication approach is important because employees at all levels are allowed to share their ideas with the senior management team. And the realistic innovative ideas gathered from team members and employees will be effective for driving a successful strategic plan. As such, the culture of the organization should be reshaped to encourage innovation and an effective process for managing innovations should be implemented.
For an effective and productive strategic process, it’s important that everyone in the organization is engaged and that there is effective communication among all parties involved, with enough room given for innovation and accountability.
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