Strategic Planning

Planning Process

Planning Process

Habit 2 in Steven Covey’s book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People is Begin with the End in Mind. Leaders must set clear direction for their organizations. If I asked you to close your eyes and point north….where would you be pointing? If I stopped a few employees in the hallway and asked about the most important priorities, would they all be pointing in the same direction or would they be all over the board?

This blog post describes strategic planning and goal setting within organizations. As you can see from the diagram, the mission and vision is at the top of the funnel. The mission defines the box or business that we are in. The vision describes the noble aspiration of the organization or “what the organization wants to be”.

How would you answer the following questions?

Do you have a written vision for your organization?
Do all employees share a similar vision of the organization’s future?
Does your vision statement motivate all employees to do their very best?
Does everyone know what role they play (or can play) in helping your organization achieve its’ vision?
Does the vision statement promote a sense of “oh wow?” every time someone reads it?
Can everyone visualize how their personal life will be different as the organization comes closer to reaching its vision?

Strategic planning requires an environmental scan which may involve

1. Markets (customers)
2. Competition
3. Technology
4. Supplier markets
5. Labor markets
6. The economy
7. The regulatory environment

A SWOT analysis examines the organizations strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. We must capitalize on our strengths, compensate for our weaknesses, take advantage of our opportunities, and minimize our threats.

A balanced scorecard is like a company report card that examines how we will measure ourselves.

Departmental objectives are created which set direction. Finally MBO’s or management by objectives create individual direction and help determine compensation rewards. The greatest management principle is That which gets rewarded gets done. Here is a link to a description of strategic planning in Wikipedia.

Here are several YouTube videos by Erica Olsen. She does a really good job describing several aspects of strategic planning. I’ve created a playlist. Here’s a list of the videos in the playlist with times. The total time is around 33 minutes. Enjoy!

1. Overview of the Strategic Planning Process 4:47
2. How to Write a Vision Statement 5:36
3. What is Strategic Planning Really? 3:59
4. Strategic Planning Retreat 3:51
5. SWOT 5:22
6. Balanced Scorecard 4:39
7. Action Plans 4:33

Here is an strategic planning Apple case study. Applecasestudy

Here is some more up to date information on Apple.

Take a look at it. Apple releases earnings tomorrow. Will they meet, beat, or miss earnings? What do you think?

Ok, it’s now 1/24/2013 and Apple met their earnings but Wallstreet didn’t like their forecast for next quarters earnings. Apple is down another 10% at the open.

Here is a SWOT analysis that was done on Apple.

apple swot

So is Apple still a good investment? Here’s what they are saying at Motley Fool.