Strategic Planning Pitfalls

Strategic Planning Pitfalls

By Discovery Lean Six Sigma

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Strategic Planning Pitfalls

If you want your strategic plan to succeed, avoid these pitfalls at all costs.


You’ve determined the need for a strategic plan for your business, and you’re ready to begin the process. While strategic planning isn’t rocket science, there are things that can go wrong. While some of these problems are minor, others can derail your success.

I’ve partnered with several companies in a wide range of industries to help them develop a strategic plan for business growth. With my years of experience comes the knowledge of pitfalls in the process that can stop you cold. Here are a few of the more common ones you might encounter.

Major Pitfalls

  1. Having a broken business model. This is one of the big ones that can stop the planning process. You need to make sure you have a solid business model based on actionable and understandable workflows first. If you’re unsure about the status of your workflows, check out my article here.
  2. Ignoring the signs. Strategic planning is based on research and investigation to uncover where your business is currently and what you can currently expect from your staff and your processes. If you uncover signs off of a potential problem meeting future obligations and ignore those signs, you’re heading for disaster.
  3. Putting it on a shelf. The planning process involves a time commitment that’s hard for busy leaders to carve out. The worst thing you can do is spend the time to develop a stellar plan, and then put the binder on a shelf and forget about it.
  4. Not using a mediator. If the CEO is too heavy-handed in leading the process, the results will be skewed and you won’t reap the benefits of collaboration. Your strategic planning team will wonder why the CEO didn’t just write the plan up himself and save them time. Best to have an impartial mediator.

Minor Pitfalls

  1. Planning just because. If you’re planning just because you think it’s something you should do, you’re not likely to put together a great plan and then act on it. Planning for planning’s sake is a waste of your time and your staff’s.
  2. Stealing someone else’s plan. If you use the best practices of another company to create your own strategic plan, you’re missing the point. Each business is unique and has its own complexities to deal with. Don’t short-change your future success by trying to copy and paste someone else’s.
  3. Unrealistic expectations. Planning isn’t magic. It can’t fix your broken workflows or tighten up your production process. It takes time and effort to produce a solid strategic plan without any problems impeding your progress.
  4. Not saying “no.” Not everyone’s contribution to the strategic plan needs to be included. While it’s great to include all voices in your planning process, it doesn’t mean you need to accommodate every suggestion. That only dilutes your actions. Choose the best of the best and focus on those.

Final Thoughts

Strategic planning takes time and effort and more than a little emotional energy to create a plan. Then there’s the effort needed to implement it. When you do the work to avoid these pitfalls, you’re on a much better path towards a successful session and a great strategic plan.

If you’re ready for the next step, I have an excellent article on strategic planning tools available that will give you some ideas to get started. Or if you want some professional guidance, I’ve helped many of my clients create some amazing plans for growth. I’d be happy to meet with you to discuss how I can help you create the best strategic plan possible.

The post Strategic Planning Pitfalls appeared first on Nicole Munoz | SEO Consultant & Coach to Women Entrepreneurs.

By: Nicole Munoz
Posted: July 5, 2016, 7:57 pm

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