Before we dive into why strategic plans fail, I have to ask, “Does your organization even have a strategic plan?” Knowing many strategic plans fail is probably why so many organizations put off developing a plan. They hear the horror stories and decide strategic planning isn’t worth the investment.
The stats that scare leaders.
- 95% of employees do not understand the strategic plan
- 30% of leaders spend 8 or more hours reviewing the plan each month
- 33% of leaders rate their implementation as poor or very poor
Think about it. You invest time and resources to align the team on organization goals. Then, only a handful of leaders reference it consistently, fewer still understand it, and when tasks are implemented, they are not done effectively or not aligned with the goals.
Learning from others’ mistakes.
The data above can help you connect the dots and see where the landmines exist so you can avoid them. It’s important to understand that while the plan itself is vital, the process can be improved.
Failure #1: The strategic plan is outdated immediately.
Most strategic plans take months, even years to develop. If you take one year to finalize a plan, most of the data you collected and used to make decisions is old and irrelevant.
Once the plan is finalized, it often sits on a shelf collecting dust. It might be referenced occasionally, but again, you are referencing data that doesn’t reflect current trends.
Overcome failure #1: Your plan should never be stagnant, but rather a dynamic, living document that is referenced weekly and updated quarterly to enable the organization to pivot quickly as variables change.
Failure #2: The plan is long, confusing, and difficult to understand.
Average strategic plans are anywhere between 40 and 200 pages. With attention spans today, that is simply too long. Is anyone really reading every detail? There is no denying that there is useful information somewhere in that binder, but can you find what you need when you need it?
Overcome failure #2: Target the length of your plan to be 8-15 pages including any mission, vision, and value statements. In this case, LESS IS MORE. Provide clear, concise materials to ensure that all the important information is read, understood, and easily referenced.
Failure #3: The plan is not communicated to the entire team.
Unfortunately, senior leadership often develops this plan but never shares it with all members of the team. The result is disconnection, misalignment, confusion, and so much more. Obviously, if most teammates don’t have access to the plan, it’s no wonder that 95% don’t understand the plan.
Overcome failure #3: In addition to sharing the plan with all team members, it is imperative the plan always be in front of your team and is communicated in weekly meetings. Continuing the communication helps everyone understand why they are important and the tasks they complete are important.
Act now to have your strategic plan this month.
The POISED Strategic Planning process helps you avoid these and other failures while developing the tools and resources to successfully implement a plan that is embraced by your team. You will see immediate and positive differences. Join others who have implemented these changes in their organization and get ready to hear your team ask why you didn’t do this sooner!
Access POISED Resources.
Do you want a sneak peek into some of the resources that the POISED Strategic Plan provides? Visit our on-demand events page to access topics, including:
- Running better meetings with the Fuel Meeting Agenda
- Aligning sales and strategic planning
- Good board governance
Find your strategic partner.
Ready to take the next step to learn how we can guide your team to greater success? Contact us to get your questions answered and take the first step.