Develop a Strategic Plan

Three simple steps to developing good strategy

Guest blogger Guy Hamilton, who’s also a Group Chair for the mentoring and business coaching group The Executive Connection, and lectures at QUT on strategy execution, shares some common strategy development pitfalls before offering three key steps to getting it right

One need only to reflect on the parade of large corporates who have announced bold new strategic initiatives that end up being unwound five or so years later – and often under the guise of ‘divesting non-core assets’ to appreciate that the process by which some boards review, approve and track strategic initiatives is often sub-optimal.

I was reminded of this when a colleague recently shared a paper which quoted 2013 McKinsey research showing that only 34 per cent of 773 directors surveyed thought their board comprehensively understood their strategy, just 22 per cent understood how their firms created value and a mere 16 per cent felt their board had a strong understanding of the dynamics impacting their business.

When facilitating a strategy session, I invariably ask two questions – what exactly is your business and what does it include and not include? And what does good look like in five years’ time? Continue reading

Less is more with strategic planning

While there’s broad consensus that the primary responsibility of a board is to set the strategic direction of the organisation and so assure its future success, the same cannot be said for how boards go about their strategic planning.

There are those that attend to it during the annual board retreat, others that build it up over time and in close consultation with management; just as there are those that are favourably disposed towards hefty ‘quantity trumps quality’ documents that run to many tens of pages, others that prefer the tighter, more succinct approach.

Personally – and based on my experience over many years – I’m a firm disciple of the consultative style and an advocate of the ‘less is more’ approach that delivers a strategic plan occupying all of two A4 pages!
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