Strategic Planning is the first step to creating a clearer picture of all the actions you will need to take to scale your business. It is crucial to get a cohesive roadmap of how your company can achieve growth at a consistent pace.
When it comes to company origin stories, we’ve all heard our fair share.
They can be fascinating, often appearing unique at first glance. Yet, upon closer examination, most of these tales fall into two distinct categories.
The Innovators: In this bucket, we find the stories of those who stumbled upon a brilliant idea for something entirely new. Brimming with passion, the founder dove headfirst into the venture, and their business thrived simply because nothing like it had ever existed.
The Gap Fillers: Here, we encounter the narratives of those who identified an intriguing void in the market. Armed with a well-crafted business plan and a strategic roadmap to bridge that gap, they embarked on their journey towards success.
Regardless of which category a business belongs to, they achieve some degree of success in their endeavours. However, a common thread we often hear is that those with a well-defined business strategy from the outset happen to scale faster.
On the other hand, those who neglected this process faced a hurdle: they had to backtrack and formulate a plan to extend beyond their initial launch.
Today, scaling companies have learnt to approach strategic planning as an ongoing, dynamic process rather than a one-time event.
By aligning your plan with execution rhythms, your company can create a living process that ensures your strategy remains relevant amidst growth and changing times.
It’s not uncommon for many founders to be fully engrossed in the day-to-day operations of launching and running a company, unaware that they’re neglecting the development of a robust strategy. The reasons behind this oversight may vary, but some common explanations include:
- Lack of time
- Feeling overwhelmed by the task
- Uncertainty about how to build a strategy
We understand the validity of these objections and delays. Time is invaluable when managing a business, and dedicating it to planning can feel daunting.
Looking ahead and crafting a strategy requires embracing uncertainty, as it compels you to make decisions that may seem restrictive or risky, especially without all the necessary facts.
In this post, we will delve into the importance of strategic planning, the role of regular communication rhythms, and the benefits it brings to CEOs and their organisations, according to “Strategic Planning: The Key To Scaling A Business”, a conversation hosted by Scaling Up coaches Ross Shott and Phil Rose at The Scaling Up Coaches Club on Clubhouse.
7 Ideas to Embrace Strategic Planning
1 – The Need for a Modern Methodology:
Scaling Up Coach Ross Shott highlights the rapid pace of modern business, stating that relying on outdated planning methods is simply fooling oneself.
Putting a plan on paper and shelving it away for a year is no longer viable.
Instead, businesses require a modern methodology that involves constant review and minor adjustments. Strategic plans should be living documents, responsive to the ever-changing business landscape.
2 – Communication Rhythms and Cadence:
According to Scaling Up Coach Phil Rose, establishing effective communication rhythms is crucial for organisational success.
Daily, weekly, and monthly huddles create a cadence that allows stakeholders and teams to understand the business plan and its evolution.
It’s important to recognise that strategic plans are not set in stone but require regular monitoring and course correction. This consistent communication rhythm ensures alignment and adaptability throughout the organisation.
3 – Differentiating Strategy and Tactics:
To effectively implement a strategic plan, it’s essential to understand the distinction between strategy and tactics.
Ross explains that strategy encompasses the why and how, while tactics focus on the day-to-day execution. A well-defined strategy guides decision-making by answering the fundamental questions of why and how, while tactics address the what, when, and who.
Aligning strategy with tactical execution is vital for achieving desired outcomes.
4 – The Power of Putting Strategy on Paper:
While entrepreneurs may have an understanding of their business strategy in their heads, it’s crucial to translate those thoughts into a strategic plan.
Putting strategy on paper transforms it into a tangible roadmap that can be refined, expanded, and adjusted over time. This process uncovers new opportunities, enables proactive problem-solving, and encourages strategic thinking.
5 – Formalising the Strategy:
Ross highlights the fact that many businesses lack a formal strategy.
Instead, they operate with default strategies that vary from individual to individual. Without a written roadmap that is revisited regularly, these strategies may not be formalised or cohesive across the organisation.
By formalising the strategy and establishing a consistent review process, businesses can enhance their clarity, alignment, and overall performance.
6 – The Benefits of Strategic Planning:
Having a strategic plan in place and consistently revisiting it allows for targeted adjustments and redirection of efforts.
It provides a deep understanding of the strategy and facilitates feedback on its effectiveness. This process empowers CEOs to transition from working in the business to working on the business.
By freeing up time and energy, strategic planning enables CEOs to focus on growth activities such as market analysis, trend identification, partnership building, alliance formation, and talent acquisition.
7 – Elevating to the Black Zone:
Phil emphasises the importance of elevating from what he calls “the blue and red time”, which focuses on activities such as generating revenue and managing operations, to “the black zone”.
The black zone encompasses vision, product offerings, positioning, and channels – factors that build long-term equity.
To ensure sustainable growth, CEOs need to prioritize the black zone, dedicating time and attention to strategic activities that shape the future of their organisations.
Traditional strategic planning methods are outdated. Today, your business needs a modern methodology that involves continuous review and adjustment.
Strategic planning, when accompanied by effective communication rhythms, provides your organisation with the clarity, alignment, and adaptability necessary for success.
By formalising the strategy and consistently revisiting it, you can redirect the efforts in your business, understand your market better, and allocate resources more effectively.
These are all achievable goals once you understand how to implement processes and turn strategies into actionable tasks.
Book a Call with our Certified Scaling Up coach, Glenn Marvin, if you are interested in learning more about the methodology and the tools you can deploy in your business to achieve growth and success within the next 3 – 5 years.