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The Importance of Setting Strategic Direction

Feb 09, 2023

What is an organizational strategy? Why is it important? How much time should you devote to developing strategic goals and action planning?

If you can’t answer all three of these questions, you are part of the norm. Research from Bridges Business Consultancy suggests roughly 48% of leaders spend less than one day a month discussing strategy.

Is this any wonder, then, that 48% of businesses are not successful at meeting just half of their strategic benchmarks. In order to see the rewards of an organizational strategy, planning must occur to guarantee it is realistic, attainable and successful.

Let’s start with an understanding of what strategic planning is. Broadly put, it is an ongoing organizational process that utilizes available knowledge to document an organization’s direction. Specifically, the process is used to align all stakeholders and employees regarding the organizational goals, guarantee those goals and strategies are supported by data and concrete reasoning, positively allocate resources and prioritize its efforts.

Why is it important? It creates the same focused vision for all employees. It shines light on any prejudice and error in reasoning. Lastly, it paces progress towards strategic goals. Having a strategic goal in place allows for the tracking of progress towards goals. When all stakeholders understand the vision, their development can directly affect its success, creating a top-down system towards tracking key indicators. Learning how to create an effective, captivating strategic plan can allow you to not only invest in your career but provide permanent value to the organization.

Strategic planning requires arranged time, deliberate effort and ongoing reassessment. Forbes says, “Your job is to lead, manage, plan and strategize. Your duty to your team is to facilitate and let go of protecting, pleasing and controlling so they can produce. Trying to take over tasks robs someone else of the opportunity to learn how to do them and take ownership of them in the long term. Strategy time is productive time.”

How much time is needed? Typically, that depends on the organizational needs. Exploring strategic planning elements can range from courses on key elements to in-depth investigation of strategy framework. Either way, working with a professional coach or consultant can lead to the formation of a winning strategic plan complete with tailor made strategies that lead to organization success.