It’s That Time Again — Strategic Planning

As we enter into the final quarter of 2020, (and we think we can say with absolute certainty that we are all anxious for 2020 to be over!) we find ourselves in the midst of strategic planning for the upcoming year. 

Our friends over at Long & Short of It, masters of ideation, customer insights and market research, provided some thoughts on strategic planning during this unprecedented time. Their mantra is “dig and find lots of data and then turn it into actionable insights.”  Following is their guest post. 

We’re all a bit tired. Psychologists are calling it pandemic fatigue and even Zoom fatigue. It’s basically just getting burned out because our normal routines have changed for a prolonged period of time and we don’t have a good sense of when we’ll finally settle into our new normal (not our favorite term either).

STARTING A NEW WORK INITIATIVE MAY BE HARDER THAN IN THE PAST. 

But there are some basics that must continue or are now in need of a reboot, such as updating your strategic plan. If your organization doesn’t have a strategic plan for 2021 or if it was created pre-pandemic, now is the time to either create one or revise the one you had. Customer purchasing patterns, competitor strategies and other factors have dramatically changed since early this year.

According to McKinsey, over 75% of U.S. consumers have tried a new shopping behavior since the outbreak of COVID-19. They have either tried new brands or shopped at a different retailer. They are also caring more about how companies take care of the safety of their employees and the company’s purpose.

Companies are also pivoting in what’s being called the big reset. Leaders are modifying how they manage, technology use has increased, core processes modified, and they are finding new ways to innovate. It’s very likely your organization has been doing a lot of these same things. If so, your strategic plan needs to reflect these changes.

A GOOD STRATEGIC PLAN IS GROUNDED BY YOUR MISSION AND BUSINESS OBJECTIVES.   

Once those are established,

  • Update the insights you have on your customers, competition, financial performance/drivers, and other areas as needed (legislation or political landscape, technology developments, employee engagement, etc.).

  • Review and validate if your vision for where you want to be in the next 3 to 5 years is still what you want to achieve.

  • Review or develop the strategies and supporting tactics to achieve your vision.

  • Finally, ensure metrics are in place to measure your progress along with how the plan will be managed.

A PLANNING SESSION CAN HAPPEN VIRTUALLY.   

With many teams working somewhat remotely, this can be done virtually. We’ve done it this way and can help you with it. Let’s chat and learn how to effectively run a strategic planning process virtually. It can be surprisingly fun and more productive than some in-person sessions. It’s important to do this now and not hope that your original map is good enough since the road to your destination is very different.

Here’s another guest post from Long & Short Of It: “Generic Values=Generic Culture”

 

 

 

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