Why a Strategic Culture Beats Strategic Planning

strategic planI’m sure you have heard stressed the importance of strategic planning for your business. It’s an idea that has been around for years. In fact, in 1980 Harvard professor and businessman, Michael Porter, wrote that competitive strategy needs to include 4 key elements: company strengths and weaknesses, personal value of the implementers, industry opportunities, threats, and broader societal expectations. These key concepts were consistently used in strategic planning ever since.

The problems with strategic planning

It is good to have a strategic plan for your business. They help provide a company with a unified direction to move. Without strategic planning, it would be hard for companies to establish and accomplish goals. However, there are a few key problems with the plans:

  • They are static – There is a lot of time and work that goes into creating a strategic plan, which is good. However, once it’s created it all stops. The business has a plan to work from, but what happens when there is a change that the plan didn’t account for?  The environment within a business is constantly changing, which means your plans need to change as well.
  • They limit those included in the process  – Every person within an organization cannot be included in creating the strategic plan. So, the plans are limited to the contribution of a few. It is hard for other employees to get their ideas leveraged within the plan when they are not a part of putting it together. If this is where the strategic planning stops, great ideas and plans are lost.

What’s a strategic culture?

A strategic culture within a business takes the strategic plan process and weaves it throughout the entire organization. It is not a one-and-done type of process. It is an ongoing, living, and breathing process that is incorporated on a regular and consistent basis. The process starts by splitting up the development of the strategic plan into short periods. The plan is always worked on in one form or another.

Why a strategic culture is better

You and your employees are able to see on a regular basis what parts of the plan are working and which are not. Doing this allows you to make changes to the plan right away. If your environment changes and your plan doesn’t your company is missing opportunities until the following year when the plan is updated again. Don’t let those opportunities slip by you because you are stuck on your written strategic plan instead of creating and working in a strategic culture.

Having a strategic culture also allows everyone within the organization to be a part of the plan. Each employee will be able to see how their job fits into the bigger picture of the company goals. They will think of ideas and solutions that could improve their department’s processes. A strategic culture improves employee value and engagement because of this. It creates a place where loyal employees want to work.

Take action

2017 is quickly winding down and it’s time to get ready for 2018. This is a great time to begin making the necessary changes within your organization. If you are ready to find out more about how to create a strategic culture within your organization contact SPEARity™ today.


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