Strategic planning can seem like a waste of time and energy, probably because we’ve learned that “strategic planning” is where great ideas go to die.
In a survey asking nearly 300 global executives to rate their planning procedures, only a third said that it resulted in strategy that meets three crucial criteria: bold ambition, adaptability in the face of changing market conditions, and concrete guidance for management and the frontline.
Most respondents said they encountered flaws in processes, strategy, execution and adaptation. Yet somehow, many leaders reported they were satisfied with the process that led to their mediocre strategy.
There is a better way.
The producers of great strategy invest time, people and tools in making their strategic planning process a competitive advantage for their company. They allow for respectful debate, and most importantly, they incorporate data about customer needs.
Data is vital to effective strategic planning because the people making the big decisions are often further removed from the customer. Without data backing them up, strategies can lack customer insight and fall out of touch with reality.