Defining the Process and Benefits for Your Organization
Planning determines your direction and devises strategies to move you forward. Through planning, you clarify your values, test your mission, and articulate a vision—all powerful enough to engage the hearts and minds of all people within your organization. The process itself produces valuable dissonance, which forces individuals and groups to look into themselves. And those who are not engaged by the values, mission, and vision then leave.
The best strategic planning means systems thinking, individual and organization learning, and strategic action. To plan well, you see the whole and the interconnections of its parts. To survive, effective organizations learn. To progress, you act strategically. Again, look back at Chapter 3 for further discussion of systems thinking and learning organizations.
Good planning is both a process and a product, both an attitude and a behavior. The planning process is as important as the resulting plan, perhaps more important. The process informs the organization, builds investment, mobilizes participants, and leads change. The planning process must be sufficiently comprehensive while maintaining momentum to reach completion.
In this book, strategic, long-range, and business planning are synonymous. “Strategic” suggests the big picture and a flexibility and responsiveness to the environment. “Long-range” connotes a time frame of multiple years. “Business” outlines how the work will be implemented, ...