Many companies have a difficult time with strategic planning and general planning for the future. Rarely do plans stretch far enough into the future, nor do they consider both the positive or negative eventualities. Companies need to plan effectively for both successes and for threats.


Strategic planning is based on these key principles

  • We have the power to shape our future.
  • There are things outside our control that we have to monitor.
  • Leaders move organizations through storytelling and future-tense verbs. Leaders must create a vision into which others want to be a part.
  • Fear is natural; it is also dangerous. When faced with fear, you have three options: fight, flight, or freeze. Anticipate fear and prepare for threats. Recognize the signs of fear when they appear.
  • You must envision where you want the organization to be in the future, then see past its achievement to see what comes after that.
  • You must simultaneously identify negative futures you want to avoid and what the possible early indicators might be. Prepare for possible negative outcomes before they arrive.
  • Stand in the future state of where you want the organization to be and imagine what steps got you there. Imagine what got you half way there, and then imagine halfway to the halfway mark. Spell out in detail the milestones and timing needed.
  • Identify what people will be needed to achieve the future-state organization.
  • Identify what tools will be needed.
  • Identify what experts and expertise will be required.

As you can see, Strategic Planning is more than making a plan. It is creating a future that others want to join, and then preparing for positive and negative outcomes that sit over the horizon.

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