5 Ideal Times to Work with a Strategic Planning Company
Strategic planning is an organizational strategy used in companies of all sizes, across business verticals. It provides a roadmap for a company’s future. In this post, we’ll cover what strategic planning is and when it should be utilized. Strategic planning companies are experts in the key aspects of the strategic planning process and can help organizations outline and implement strategic planning initiatives. Organizations without a strategic planning foundation and forward-thinking process are much more likely to face roadblocks or even worse, potential bankruptcy.
What is Strategic Planning?
Let’s review what strategic planning is and then we’ll discuss when strategic planning and the help of a strategic planning company should be utilized,
Strategic planning, as defined by Indeed, is “a process used by organizations to identify their goals, the strategies necessary to accomplish those goals, and the internal performance management system that will be used to monitor and evaluate progress. Most organizations use a SWOT or gap analysis to identify the underlying factors driving their current performance. This, in turn, informs the selection of the most high-leverage strategies to create change. The strategic planning process culminates in the development of a strategic plan document that serves as the organization’s collective roadmap.”
Elements and components of a strategic plan include:
- Mission and vision statements for context
- Goal setting
- Strategy implementation timelines
- Progress monitoring timelines
- Benchmarks and/or objectives that inform progress towards goals and how they support the mission and values
- Defining how and when progress will be tracked
- Outline of roles and responsibilities for each employee or team
While each company and its strategic plan will be unique, many strategic planning frameworks include some variation on the following phases:
- Initial organizational analysis or assessment
- High level strategy formulation and development
- Strategic plan documentation
- Translation of high level plan into operational planning and action items
- Performance evaluation
- Strategic plan review and refinement as needed
If strategic planning sounds like something that your organization or team could benefit from (spoiler alert: most companies will benefit), you may consider working with a strategic planning company to develop the plan, especially if this is your first time utilizing the framework.
5 Ideal Times to Work with a Strategic Planning Company
1. You’re First Starting a Business
Having a strategic plan in place when you first start a business will be helpful in setting your business up for success. It will provide structure during a confusing and often chaotic time, and helps to keep everyone focused on key priorities. In a new organization’s case, a strategic plan would be one smaller piece of the larger business plan (such as financial and marketing plans). Strategic planning companies are especially useful in this scenario, as they provide the expertise and guidance that brand new organizations often lack.
2. During Turbulent or Changing Times
We all learned recently how much a pandemic changes and impacts various industries and the way we work in general. Times like these, when the market experiences significant changes, are another ideal time to adopt strategic planning and strategic planning companies for a go-forward strategy. Strategic planning can provide clarity and organization during uncertain times. In light of recent events, an effective strategic plan looks a lot different today than a few years ago, in large part due to the increasingly hybrid workplace. Your team members are probably not in the same location, or even if they are, may not all be coming into a physical office. Many organizations had to develop strategic plans when determining how to successfully work in this hybrid and virtual environment.
Pro Tip: Lean into this new remote-first environment and ensure your team is set up for success by having the right tools and tech in place.
3. Before Launching a New Product or Feature
Strategic planning companies can help accelerate innovation during a new product or feature launch through design sprints and innovation exercises. This will ensure your team has their best foot forward during a key business time period when stakes are high and there are many variables and moving pieces. Learn about when you should run a design sprint here and how Voltage Control can help here.
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4. Following a Merger or Acquisition with Another Company
Mergers and acquisitions are never easy or straightforward but are a necessary and natural part of business. Having a strategic plan in place during M&A will help with team alignment, collaboration training, and team culture, even if your team is remote. A strategic planning company can help put together a strategic plan in order to make the transition time more clear and set goals and expectations accordingly. As an unbiased third party, they are removed from office politics and provide a neutral voice during a complicated experience.
5. During a Change in Leadership
Similar to the above, a strategic plan and strategic planning company will provide clarity and an unbiased view during a change in organizational leadership, especially important when happening at the senior level. In addition to assisting with the strategic plan development, the strategic planning company can bring in an expert to help facilitate meetings and conversations. A facilitator is someone who plans, designs, and leads a key group meeting or event and can help when dealing with larger or sensitive topics. They offer a non-biased opinion and take care of logistics while making sure everyone stays on track.
Pro Tip: Check out Facilitation Lab, our weekly virtual meetup focused on helping facilitators hone their craft to help improve the quality of meetings. Control the Room, Voltage Control’s Annual Facilitator Summit, is another resource for facilitators. The summit provides facilitators with the opportunity to deepen their knowledge on how to facilitate meetings that matter and connect with other facilitation and meeting practitioners.
Strategic planning is a necessary (and exciting!) process when an organization wants to set and identify vision and goals and determine future initiatives. Strategic planning often occurs at the onset of a new business venture or product, or during a time of change and uncertainty. Organizations considering strategic planning should also consider utilizing strategic planning companies. They, as an unbiased third party, bring expertise and guidance, promote team alignment and provide a more streamlined process.
Create your strategic plan today
Does your organization need help developing a strategic plan? Voltage Control offers training and facilitation services. Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more or schedule a consultation.