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Often, it can be challenging to interrupt day-to-day tasks to bring the bigger picture back into focus. However, the strategic planning outcomes make it worth the time you’ll spend doing things the right way – from analyzing how your organization differentiates itself from competitors, to seeking organization wide alignment on business goals, to prioritizing and understanding the right audiences.
Here are five strategic planning outcomes that help make your organization smarter and more successful:
1. Better allocation of resources
After taking time to engage in strategic planning, your organization will have a better idea of how to allocate resources to align with goals. Setting strategic priorities naturally filters budget and manpower to the goals and areas deemed most important to the health and success of your organization. Within divisions, such as human resources and training, it also improves decision-making when vetting potential employees and training programs.
2. More audience-focused
Another beneficial outcome from a strategic planning process is learning more about your audiences – or, in some cases, determining who your audiences are. Understanding and prioritizing your organization’s key audiences is an important step in determining how your organization can best meet their needs – and which audiences are most important to your success. This also helps you understand how to communicate with them effectively.
3. Aligning with goals
A strategic planning process gives you a great opportunity to help your team reach alignment on your organization’s goals. If your team disagrees on the these goals, you can run into challenges where departments run rogue or focus on their own agendas – which means no one can move the needle. It is important that all areas of the organization have a clear understanding and agreement of what the goals are so each area can work to help achieve them.
4. Defining success
Once your team has reached agreement on what your goals are, the next step is to determine how to measure your success. What exactly do you want to achieve, and by when? What metrics can you put in place to help show your progress towards these goals? Determining these benchmarks now makes it easier to track progress, and helps your organization recognize when it has successfully reached the goal.
5. The aha! moment
Somewhere in the process, your team will inevitably experience an aha! moment. These vary from organization to organization, but by taking time to step back, analyze goals and align strategy, you gain valuable insights that can further shape – or even change – your existing strategy. Some of these moments include (but are not limited to):
- Finding a new key audience that you hadn’t considered in the past
- Determining a previously unknown driver that influences what your audience wants from you
- Identifying unknown or unaddressed gaps in employee perceptions about the organization and your customers
- Identifying the need for a new goal or process based on an audience’s identified needs
All organizations, regardless of size or industry, benefit from a strategic planning process. Want to start your own strategic planning process, but don’t know where to start? Download Standing Partnership’s Competitive Analysis Template to see how your organization stacks up to your competition in several key areas.
Written by Alli Wentling, former Standing Partnership employee