Is strategic planning passé?
It is according to opinions expressed in a Wall Street Journal article headlined “Strategic Plans Lose Favor.” The paper reported that an increasing number of companies are finding “that strategic planning doesn’t always work,” and that business leaders are beginning to “rely less on static five-year strategic plans” and are deciding that “increased flexibility and accelerated decision making are much more important than simply predicting the future.”
Well, I guess I might also question the value of strategic planning if I expected that it should “always work,” or that it was “static,” or that I relied on it for “predicting the future.”
I’m more in league with consultant Gregg Stocker, who wrote in a blog post responding to the Journal article, “Strategic planning is a process by which an organization defines its strategy to successfully achieve its fundamental purpose. … [I]t must still be done if the organization is to become and remain successful.”
Among the many benefits of strategic planning listed by consultant Carter McNamara in “Strategic Planning in nonprofit or for-profit organizations” are these:
The process of strategic planning is important as well; for example, in gathering opinions from every corner of an organization and building consensus.
So I’m enthusiastically participating in developing YBP’s second strategic plan and, if you’re a YBP member or partner, invite you to do the same. It’s easy to read and comment on the principal provisions of the latest review draft of the plan – just scroll down to Jan Brown’s article “YBP Strategic Plan Elements For 2011-2015” on page 4 of the latest YBP newsletter.
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YBP believes that the long-term profitability of a business is best ensured when it pays as much attention to its community and environmental impacts as to its financial performance.
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