NCHR Review - Spring/Summer 2016 - (Page 6)
TAKING THE MYSTERY OUT OF
By Mark Larson, CPA
Guidepost: A post next to a trail with
a sign on it to direct travelers along
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
So, if strategic planning is so
critical, does every business do it?
The answer is "no" and here are some
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
* 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
* 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
Products & Services Guide
Index to Advertisers/Advertisers.com
NCHR Review - Spring/Summer 2016