What is Strategic Planning?

Sections of this topic

    Simply put, strategic planning is clarifying the overall purpose and desired results of an organization, and how those results will be achieved.

    There are different ways to do that planning, depending on the purpose(s) of the planning, the life cycle or stage of development of the organization, the culture of people in the organization, types of issues the organization is currently facing, and the rate of change in the external environment of the organization.

    For example, many people use vision-based or goals-based planning, in which they clarify the results they want to achieve in the future. They develop a vision of what the organization and its customers or clients will look like at some point in the future, and then articulate what they have to do to achieve that vision. They work from the future to the present.

    Unfortunately, many people believe that’s the only way to do strategic planning. That’s wrong. Another form of planning is issues-based planning, which clarifies current issues that the organization must soon address and how it will address them. Issues-based planning works from the present to the future. Issues-based planning is usually a shorter term planning and often is focused primarily ( but not exclusively) on internal matters.

    There are many different perspectives on how to best do strategic planning — and many different practitioners and facilitators have very strong feelings about how strategic planning should be done.

    But first, take a look at a simple analogy in order to further understand strategic planning.

    There’s lots more about strategic planning at

    Also see the other posts in this blog about strategic planning.

    Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD – Authenticity Consulting, LLC – 800-971-2250
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