Why Do You Need a Plan?

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    Developing strategy takes time and resources. It requires the time and commitment of some of the most highly paid and highly experienced people in your organization. So if your team is not willing to invest the necessary time, I recommend that you don’t do it. Poor planning is often worse than not planning at all.

    So why do you need a strategy? Why take time for planning? There are many reasons. But Leadership Strategies’ Drivers Model focuses on five in particular.

    1. To set direction and priorities

    First and foremost, you need a strategy because it sets the direction and establishes priorities for your organization.

    Your strategy defines your organization’s view of success and outlines the priority activities you must complete to make this view your reality. The strategy will help your people know what they should be working on, and what they should be working on first.

    Without a clearly defined and articulated strategy, you may very well find that your priority initiatives – the ones that will drive the highest success – are being given secondary treatment.

    2. To get everyone on the same page

    If you find that you have departments working to achieve different aims, or going in different directions, you need a strategy.

    Once you define your strategic direction, you can get operations, sales, marketing, administration, manufacturing, and all other departments moving together to achieve the goals of the organization.

    3. To simplify decision-making

    If your leadership team is having trouble saying “no” to new ideas or potential initiatives, you need a strategy. Why? Because, as mentioned earlier, your strategy will have clearly outlined the priority activities you must complete to achieve success. Once you are clear on your priorities, it makes it much easier to say no to those potential initiatives that will pull you off focus.

    4. To drive alignment

    Many organizations have hard-working people putting their best efforts into areas that have little to no impact on strategic success. They are essentially majoring in the minors – because their activities are not aligned with the priorities.

    Your strategy serves as the vehicle for answering the question, “How can we better align all of our resources to maximize our strategic success?”

    5. To communicate the message

    Many leaders walk around with a virtual strategy locked in their heads – they know where their organization needs to be and the key activities that will get it there. Unfortunately, the strategy is not down on paper and hasn’t been communicated thoroughly. As a result, few people are acting on it.

    When your staff, your suppliers, and even your customers know where you are going, there are even greater opportunities for people to help you maximize your success in getting there.

    Once you recognize the need to plan, you now have the role of becoming the catalyst for facilitating the buy-in and commitment of your leadership team and the rest of the organization.


    Certified Master Facilitator Michael Wilkinson is the CEO and Managing Director of Leadership Strategies, Inc., The Facilitation Company, and author of the new The Secrets of Facilitation 2nd Edition, The Secrets to Masterful Meetings, and The Executive Guide to Facilitating Strategy. Leadership Strategies is a global leader in facilitation services, providing companies with dynamic professional facilitators who lead executive teams and task forces in areas like strategic planning, issue resolution, process improvement, and others. The company is also a leading provider of facilitation training in the United States.