In today’s business climate, effective strategic planning is essential as businesses explore how to best allocate resources, penetrate new markets, sustain and improve business units—all while remaining on the cutting-edge of cost effectiveness and overall value.
Strategic planning is vital in driving sustainable success and helps establish short-term and measurable objectives around specific business goals. A successful plan is manageable through well-defined key performance indicators, but it also involves input from the entire organization.
Here are five affirmation principles that engage employees to help create a strategic plan:
- Customization. Best-in-class organizations blend execution and analytics into a workable strategic model. This encompasses a broad focus on business execution, analysis of market data, employee collaboration and the development of short- and long-term milestones. It’s important to provide specific objectives that can be measured and achieved within a realistic timeframe, supported with carefully crafted incentives and recognition programs. Such an approach can inspire innovation and ultimately drive continuous improvement in all areas of business.
- Collaboration. Many key business decisions are made without consulting lower level employees. Moreover, business strategies can be poorly communicated to employees with little explanation as to how those decisions help company objectives. It is critical to the success of an organization to solicit ideas from all levels of employees to foster teamwork, cohesiveness, innovation, strong collaboration and commitment.
- Performance. There is a correlation between an organization’s ability to measure the value and effectiveness of products and the success of managing and improving business as a whole. Effective strategic planning should incorporate a culture of total quality management, developing measurable performance targets that are frequently measured, evaluated and reported across an organization.
- Execution. All areas of an organization must be involved to effectively define, implement, manage and improve in an effort that yields a positive ROI. Strong execution and the ability to achieve product excellence begin with a company’s line of employees, supervisors, mid-level managers, etc. Leaving them behind puts an organization at a disadvantage and can negatively influence business execution.
- Efficiency. Focusing on efficiency in process development and quantifying performance around key indicators—while involving the appropriate stakeholders—drives faster decisions and quicker responses to bottlenecks or perceived roadblocks. At the same time, businesses remain focused on product quality and gain insight from those that contribute to the creation of products. This contributes to the overall health and success of an organization.
Every organization approaches the process of strategic planning differently. Yet, the application of affirmation principles, when effectively applied, can lead to improved performance and employee satisfaction.