The key elements of a strategic plan are
- A vision of what your organization could be doing to produce a lot more value
- The few key strategies that will enable your organization to realize that vision
- A commitment to mobilizing the resources needed to implement those key strategies
Creating a worthwhile strategic plan requires the authors to do a fair amount of research to learn what vision is compelling to their key constituencies, what strategies are most likely to realize the vision, and where they can get the resources needed to implement the strategies. A manager then has to get their organization to buy into the strategic plan. Even then, there is no assurance that the plan will get implemented or will get the desired result. Why bother?
An organization that does not have a strategic plan can maintain its existing operations, and can undertake tactical projects to make the operation more efficient, reliable or responsive. But it will always lack the insight and will to deliver anything other than what it has always delivered so well. They risk losing out to other organizations that have figured out how to deliver more value.
A manager that does not have a strategic plan cannot lead with purpose, because they have not invested the effort to find out what their organization can do to deliver more value and how it might invest its efforts to make that happen. They will probably be recognized as good operations managers that lack the vision and leadership skills needed to keep an organization in the forefront of its field.
If you would prefer to be known as a leader rather than an operations manager, you need to learn how to effectively invest effort in developing and implementing strategic plans. You might find our no-cost executive coaching services (www.ECofOC.org) helpful to your acquiring these skills.