Strategic planning encourages company leaders to envision the future desired situation, which is then documented.
Leaders set goals and routinely ask, “What needs to be done to get to the next milestone?”
Leaders are different from managers. Dr. Stephen R. Covey told an interesting story to illustrate the differences.
“Leadership is not management.
You can quickly grasp the important difference between the two if you envision a group of producers cutting their way through the jungle with machetes. They’re the producers, the problem solvers. They’re cutting through the undergrowth, clearing it out.
The managers are behind them, sharpening their machetes, writing policy and procedure manuals, holding muscle development programs, bringing in improved technologies and setting up working schedules and compensation programs for machete wielders.
The leader is the one who climbs the tallest tree, surveys the entire situation and yells, ‘Wrong jungle!’
But how do the busy, efficient producers and managers often respond? ‘Shut up! We’re making progress.’
As individuals, groups, and businesses, we’re often so busy cutting through the undergrowth we don’t even realize we’re in the wrong jungle.” (The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, p. 108.)
A leader’s role is to make sure the business is in the right jungle and have the courage to change course when needed.
The Start of Strategic Planning
Planning strategically is critical. Each business owner must assume there are competitors who are planning to take away their customers.
Once engaged by a client, we discover most business owners do not have time to plan strategically. They often are often too busy with day-to-day operations to take the time necessary to perform this critical function.
We understand this issue of an owner being too busy for strategic planning and have developed a process to help them called, Finders, Minders and Grinders™. The graph of our process is shown below.
Leaders are called “Finders” in our process. Finders of a business are the visionaries, the key relationship creators, the entrepreneurs and the catalysts for future change. Internally, our firm calls them the “geniuses of our society.”
Our goal is to help Finders create time for the things they do best. Finding time for planning strategically is an optimum first step.
Business owners might enjoy quickly learning our process by downloading a chapter from one of our proprietary books.