I had the pleasure of speaking with Daily Herald business columnist Jim Kendall on the evolving role of strategic planning in today’s economic climate. Jim’s article entitled, “How to Develop a Strategic Plan, Then Make it Work,” focused on the challenges many of us face today when it comes to setting a course for our business.

Jim astutely pointed out that few companies are willing and able to both develop great strategy and then execute that strategy on a continual basis. The biggest obstacle cited is a lack of time. Many managers simply feel they don’t have time to step back from their flurry of activity to actually think about the business in a methodical and comprehensive way.

A good first step to overcome the issue of a lack of time is to begin adding strategy as an agenda item to the weekly/monthly staff meeting. Then build in a few strategic thinking tools and frameworks to those discussions to get people thinking in new and fresh ways about the business. Before you know it, people are thinking and acting strategically, and doing so more than the typical once-a-year at the offsite meeting. The sooner you transform strategy from a pilgrimage to a dialogue, the quicker you’ll get to profitable growth.

What tools and techniques have you found successful in developing and executing your strategic plan on a regular basis?

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