NCHR Review - Spring/Summer 2016 - (Page 6)

FEaTURE TAKING THE MYSTERY OUT OF STRATEGIC PLANNING By Mark Larson, CPA Guidepost: A post next to a trail with a sign on it to direct travelers along their journey. Without a guidepost, travelers will likely struggle to find the way along the trail... if they find the trail at all. In business, a strategic plan should be viewed as your guidepost and your management team and stakeholders are the travelers. What is Strategic Planning? Strategic planning is a series of activities that are designed to establish priorities, direct management, employees and stakeholders toward common goals and assess and adjust in the face of a dynamic business environment. An effective strategic plan not only defines the direction an organization is heading, but also how it will know if it is successful. At Global Value Commerce, our strategic plan is not only the foundation of our operation, but it provides the benchmarks necessary to measure every function within our operation, while providing alternate strategic routes in the event of obstacles and roadblocks. So, if strategic planning is so critical, does every business do it? The answer is "no" and here are some reasons why: It's difficult: Are you working on your business or in your business? It's too easy 6 NCHRReview* Spring/Summer 2016 to fall into the traps of everyday work. Too often we are too busy working in our business to work on our business. You need to take the time to get your head out of trees and look at the forest. It takes time and discipline: Developing a good strategic plan takes more than a two-hour meeting or a one-day management retreat. It needs to be a coordinated effort with multiple participants with focus and discipline. It requires a careful combination of vision and execution and team members that understand their roles in the process. It's confusing and intimidating: There are innumerable methodologies for strategic planning. Google "strategic plan" and see what you get! The key is not to get lost in the terminology but to find a process that works well for you and your business. So, how do I do it? Most strategic planning processes will emphasize that planning is a continuous process and not linear. It should be viewed as a cycle with no beginning and no end. While this is true, if you have never done a strategic plan, you have to begin somewhere. Boiled down to the basics, there are certain key components of business strategic planning: * Where are we? - The beginning to the process should entail a thorough environmental scan. This should provide you with a landscape of the dynamics that will shape your strategic plan. This assessment involves reviewing the dynamics outside of your business. This includes your industry, the economy, domestic and international political issues, your customers, your business partners, your investors and other external factors that shape the environment in which your business operates. This scan also includes a good look in the mirror at your own business. Force your management team to perform an internal assessment of all functions and departments to evaluate their effectiveness and preparedness for the future. A SWOT analysis is often used to assist in this phase of strategic planning. * Where do we want to go? - Formulate your assessment of the environment and your business into mission, vision and core values statements. The mission is the purpose of your company. The vision is how you see success in implementing your mission. The core values are the cultural traits that you expect your employees to demonstrate as you go about executing on your mission and vision. * How will we get there? - With a clear mission and vision, you should next set about defining the strategic goals that you hope to achieve within your strategic plan timeline. We define our strategic timeline as three years; however,

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of NCHR Review - Spring/Summer 2016

2016 NCSHRM State Council
Message from the Director
NCSHRM State Council Awards and Scholarships
Taking the Mystery Out of Strategic Planning
2016 NCSHRM State Conference: Lead Differently
Great Reads: Leads Eat Last and Reinventing Organizations
Creating a Productivity Culture
Legal Update: Employment Law Update — It’s All About the Agencies
Four Tips to be an Authentic Rock Star Communicator
Chapter Chatter
Products & Services Guide
Index to Advertisers/Advertisers.com

NCHR Review - Spring/Summer 2016

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