Have You Chosen Your Strategic Planning Team Wisely?
Consider the different people that could contribute to your organization’s strategic planning efforts. Those closest to the front line possess the greatest number of datapoints about customers, market conditions, and day-to-day trends. Operational management brings a functional point of view combined with how each function is interconnected across the enterprise. Senior management brings yet another perspective that is likely more strategic and focused on both industry and market trends. Board members and outsiders, such as trusted vendors, strategic partners and industry thought leaders, can each make meaningful contributions.
Successful CEOs look to leverage the different strengths and perspectives by assuring that all points of view are represented during the strategic planning process. A good rule of thumb is to include key stakeholders in the process, whether insiders or trusted outsiders.
From your staff, we recommend that you include functional management above a specified level, to assure that you obtain the buy-in from those who will likely be tasked with the implementation of projects resulting from the planning process. They, in turn, should capture the perspectives of both customer-facing and front-line staff. In addition, senior management should also participate to ensure proper leadership, direction, and focus.
You’ll want to carefully select a limited number of board members and trusted outsiders, weighing the pros and cons of including them in the planning event.
Finally, choose a group that is sized right for your organization. Too many and the group becomes unwieldy; too few, and it lacks input and buy-in from those tasked with implementation. Groups of twelve to twenty-four seem to work best, with groups in excess of thirty providing logistical challenges.
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