Strategic plans are used to shape long-term outcomes. They are the stuff by which organizational dreams become reality. But such plans can also be employed on a less-grand scale by divisions, departments, and even individuals. Futurist John Naisbitt advises, though, that “strategic plans are worthless unless there is first strategic vision.”

To some, the phrase “strategic planning” is an intimidating one, for many managers think of themselves as people who control and direct and supervise, but not as people who strategize. But when the strategizing process is broken down, it affords managers the opportunity to control and direct the operational events that will lead to long-term outcomes.

1. First, ask questions

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