Preparing properly for a strategic planning meeting will help you get the best results you can. Here are a few things you should to prior to the strategic planning meeting to ensure your time is used as effectively and efficiently as possible.

Assessment of Resources

Assess the capacity of the company in key areas such as:

  • Personnel (particularly management)
  • Finances
  • Technology
  • Physical assets

Refer to these assessments when strategic planning is being conducted. This will help determine any obvious limitations that would prevent a strategy from being successful and will be useful when developing action plans.

A timeframe

Be clear about the timeframe your strategic plan will cover. I am in favour of strategic plans that span less than three years. With the pace of change in the world today, I feel that anything longer than this is not productive and that participants will not believe in anything beyond this time period. I do not believe in revising the plan every year unless something significant has changed within the company or the environment. Ideally, the strategic plan is completed at a time that leads into the business planning and budgeting process for the next fiscal year.

Accountabilities and next steps

To ensure the strategy is implemented, the strategic planning must lead to tactical action plans. Prior to your meeting, it is important to have some idea of next steps and deadlines. During the meeting, managers should be assigned the responsibility of writing up particular tactical plans by a specific deadline. Generally, the manager who is responsible for the execution of a tactical plan should be writing that plan. The CEO should ensure each manager has the resources and support required to draft their tactical plans effectively and within the required time.

Remember that one tactical plan should outline how the strategic plan will be communicated to employees. Include a step to collect employee comments and feedback.

Should you have any questions or feedback regarding the content of this article, please email me at tthompson112@roadrunner.com.

By Terry Thompson, Surrey, BC, Futurpreneur mentor

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