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When I facilitate strategic management, I start with a Plan-to-Plan. Many of my clients think that is strange. I get asked, “Why don’t we just start planning? What’s a Plan-to-Plan?”
A plan-to-plan is like training for the Olympics. It increases our chances of success. Without training, we certainly wouldn't win gold. Without a plan-to-plan, it is more difficult to positively impact your organization's success.
These are the 5 reasons why I start with a plan-to-plan:
Sets the planning team up for success – The members of the planning team will understand the process we are using in planning, the time commitment that is required of them, and their role in creating and implementing the strategic plan.
Gets the right people on the planning team – I always recommend that in addition to top management that we include representation from other levels of the organization. We also discuss who else should be involved – union, community, key customers, etc. You want planning team members who will question your assumptions, bring in valuable information, and represent other opinions. This improves the quality of your plan.
Reduces resistance to the plan – If your planning team has a good representation from the people who are implementing the plan, then opposition to executing the plan is substantially reduced. This is because all important issues were discussed during the creation of the strategic plan.
Assesses if you are ready for planning – Strategic management is not about just creating a plan. It is also about setting up your organization to successfully implement that plan throughout the year. If you aren’t committed to executing the plan, then I recommend you don’t go through the exercise of creating one that you will ignore.
Identifies critical issues for your organization – These issues will be folded into the strategic management process. This allows your planning team to start discussing deep issues of great importance to the organization’s long-term success.
If you want to ensure long-term relevance, viability, and sustainability of your organization, then you should start your planning with a plan-to-plan!
Need help with your plan-to-plan? Contact me at Valerie.MacLeod@HainesCentre.com
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