Strategic Futurists; Value Systems Specialists


It's Not You, It's Me - if Strategic Plans Could Talk

Thursday 7 April 2016

Contrary to a more popular belief, my experience working with organisations of all sizes and industry sectors is that most do in fact put in considerable effort to their Strategic Planning. The People Resources are usually adequate, time is stretched but sufficient, and for most, serious thinking has been undertaken. Given that starting position, why is it that the majority of those same organisations feel their Strategic Planning efforts produce unsatisfactory results? The answer is pretty straight forward - the model they use for putting the Strategic Plan together is literally, not worth the paper it is written on

So what can you do about it?

When TASPI first emerged in 2006 we looked at how most organisations were doing strategic planning. Many shared a similar approach - think about what you want to do, what you have to deal with, and how you will adress them. That approach was put into a formal model which, when given to organisations that did not have a consistent method, greatly improved their results.

For about 18 months.

And then the wheels fell off again! That was a shock to me. How was it that so many organisations used a similar approach and yet so many seemed to put up with mediocre results from all of that effort?

The end result was the model I developed for TASPI - the Organisational Evolution Model. If your Strategic Plan could talk to you it would likely say that 

  • You pay insufficient time and effort articulating specifically, where you want to be at the end of the process (Vision)
  • You fail almost entirely at identifying what specific resources are needed and are available to address the issues you have identified (Capabilities)
  • You don't adequately monitor your progress and underplay the need for holding someone accountable (Monitor/Accountability)
  • You don't seem to learn from what you have done (Learn)

The end result if most of the time and effort is dedicated to identifying the risks or opportunities in your sector and then putting a game plan together of actions you intend to take.

When undertaking a facilitation process the core challenge is Capabilities - the single biggest step missed by most organisations. That stage of the process is a back and forth discussion that, when done well, makes it very clear what is preferable and what is doable. That single step turns dysfunctional and mediocre Strategic Plans (no matter how well intentioned or how much effort has been put into them) into high performing organisational yard sticks that build both adaptability and alertness to ANY organisation.

It's not you. It's your model


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