Strategic Planning is a process and series of building blocks. It should consist of a complete SWOT Analysis, an evaluation of the business team’s cohesiveness and for the organizations leader to craft a vision, build the proper alignment and champion the execution.
This takes time and discipline. The SWOT analysis will bring business awareness that can lead to the development of a strategic plan. Many small business owners are not familiar with the SWOT process and many have never heard of it.
The SWOT analysis is a simple yet comprehensive tool utilized to both examine and build executable strategies.
- S-W-O-T stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.
- SWOT is utilized in conjunction with both Business Analysis and Strategic Planning.
- The analysis helps create business awareness and allows you to see your business from many directions.
- SWOT allows you to view business influences both internally and externally.
The SWOT process is advantageous for improving business operations and decision making and is most effective when engaging other team members in the process.
Building A Cohesive Team
The effectiveness and execution of the plan is greatly determined by the cohesiveness of the leadership team. Building a strong and cohesive leadership team is crucial, takes time and is not easy.
It involves addressing 5 key areas of dysfunction:
- Absence of Trust
- Fear of Conflict
- Lack of Commitment
- Avoidance of Accountability
- Inattention to Results
Regardless of how well you think your team is today, every team needs constant work in these areas and without it, even the best teams will stray and become less effective in their ability to carry out a strategic plan.
“Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” Warren Bennis
Vision, Alignment and Execution will change the way you lead.
- Crafting a vison is an expression of a future desired state. The team will be required to make the vision a reality. The vision will constantly be re-visited and reshaped.
- Building and maintaining alignment is ongoing. It requires everyone to be on board and committed to the organizations direction.
- Championing the execution will require the leader to have buy in before moving forward to major execution.
This involves a lot of complexity on the leader’s part but the model we bring to an organization is manageable and has a realistic framework to guide the process.