Chapter 3. Getting Set Up for Successful Planning

In This Chapter

  • Understanding the elements of a strategic plan

  • Going through the strategic planning process

  • Picking a team to plan with

  • Calling in help: Choosing a facilitator

  • Envisioning your company's future

Strategic planning can seem just as confusing as accounting, where debits and credits are exactly the opposite of their definitions. (Forgive me if you're a CPA.) Strategic planning doesn't need to be counterintuitive. What makes it less confusing is understanding how all the parts of a plan work together.

Planning doesn't have a set rule book, so no common language exists. People refer to objectives as goals and to goals as objectives. Mission gets confused with vision and no one seems to know where strategies actually fit in. Then you have indicators, measures, metrics, targets . . .

This chapter (or book for that matter) won't stop the debate between semantic differences. But in this chapter, you do look at the elements of a strategic plan, understand the planning process itself, assess if you're ready to begin, and discover how to spot the pitfalls inherent in the process.

The Elements of a Strategic Plan

Not to oversimplify the planning process, but by placing all the parts of a plan into three areas, you can clearly see how the pieces fit together. The three pieces of the puzzle are

  • Where are we now?

  • Where are we going?

  • How will we get there?

Each part has certain elements to show you how and where things fit it. For a visual on this ...

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