Mistake #5 – Trying to be Too Precise (Paralysis by Analysis)

If you have aspirations for your business to be something greater than it is — larger, more profitable, higher market share, more impactful, of greater service to the world, etc. — then strategic planning should be one of your most important management tools. Because strategic planning is the process by which you put in motion projects and initiatives that will move your business from where you are today to where you want to be. It’s important — very important. Continue reading

Mistake #4 – Failing to Incorporate the “Voice of the Customer”

It’s surprising how frequently I have strategy-related conversations with business owners and CEOs and end up being the one to bring up their customers. You would think that when the conversation turns toward long-term aspirations, strategies for success, reaching the next level, being a market disruptor, etc. that customers would be top-of-mind. Often, that doesn’t seem to be the case. And I believe that’s a mistake. Continue reading

Mistake #3 – Failing to Connect “Strategy” to Day-to-Day Reality

When done well, strategic planning is all about achieving aspirations. It’s about how you define success 3 to 5 years in the future — your desired future state. It’s not about where you’ll arrive in the future if you keep doing what you’re doing now (that’s long-range planning). It’s about imagining what your business could become, how it might be disruptive in your industry space, and setting a course to achieve that result. It’s about having a dream that motivates and guides your entire team. Continue reading