The bottom line is that strategy and planning are two different but equally important things.
What's the difference between strategy and planning? Many people use the two words interchangeably, but they actually have different meanings. Strategy is about making decisions that will achieve your desired outcome, while planning is about putting those strategies into action. We'll discuss the difference between strategy and planning, and why it matters for your business.
Starting with strategy, why do we start with strategy? Strategy is where your team builds on the vision for product or venture you are looking to tackle. This is the part of the process where you answer some big questions. What are we looking to achieve? How will we know if we are successful? What resources do we need? Who needs to be involved? Why does this product or venture matter? These types of questions help build out the strategy for how your team will approach your project.
This stage of strategy development is the most powerful when it draws out competing ideas and conflicting perceptions. Not because we want conflict, far from it; but because this is precisely the time to work through these thoughts from all areas of your talent pool. Diverse perspectives at this stage help to shape the strategy and make it stronger. The result is a team that has bought in from the start and feels invested in the outcome.
Within the process of strategy development you should seriously consider creative tools to help build alignment. High level mindmaps and scenario building help to focus on specific areas of business model, product development, operations, and positioning, focusing your team on a common discussion on each area of what you're building.
Next, we'll discuss planning and how it differs from strategy. Planning is the implementation of your strategy. This is where you take the decisions made in strategy and put them into action. Your plan will help you answer questions such as: Who needs to do what? When do they need to do it? How will they do it? And, importantly, how will we know if it's working?
A good plan will take into account all the moving parts of your business and ensure that everyone is aware of their role in achieving the desired outcome. It should also include contingency plans for when things don't go according to plan.
One common pitfall in planning is failing to account for the human element. Accuracy, ease of operation, speed of access to information they need to make good decisions, are all critical in 21st century global competition. Are you planning to provide decision automation, decision augmentation tools? Remember, strategy is about making the right decisions at the right time to achieve your desired outcome. If your team is going to execute your strategy, they're going to need solid decision-making systems behind them.
Planning also needs to be flexible. The world is constantly changing, and your business needs to be able to adapt to new circumstances. This means that your plan should be reviewed and updated regularly. Many businesses review and adjust quarterly keeping their team execution agile while still keeping order. Involve, communicate, and document your plan with all members of your team so that everyone is aware of the goals and knows what they need to do.
Collectively, strategy is important because it helps you make the right decisions to achieve your desired outcome. Planning is important because it helps you put those strategies into action and ensure that everyone on your team knows what they need to do. Both strategy and planning are essential for businesses of all sizes.
The bottom line is that strategy and planning are two different but equally important things. If you want your business to be successful, you need to make sure that you have a good strategy in place, and that you're constantly reviewing and updating your plan. Ignoring either of these two critical components is likely to lead to failure. So take the time to get them both right, and you'll be well on your way to achieving your business goals. Thanks for reading! #strategy #planning #business #goals
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