|What is the difference between strategy and planning?
Many people don't appreciate the difference between strategy and planning. Planning is the process of
allocating limited resources across a selected set of priorities. Planning is an attempt to anticipate
current and future needs and make efficient use of available resources. Strategy is about redefining the
rules of the game. Rather than play the same game as every other competitor, strategy looks for new
ways to gain and sustain an advantage. Many organizations are good at planning but their plans contain little
strategy. These plans are developed with almost no consideration of how they impact the competition.
|Who should be involved in the planning process?
Our bias is to be inclusive. People are more likely to support the outcomes if they are involved in the
decision-making process. Planning is easy compared to implementation. By addressing the implementation
challenges early in the process, the chances of success are improved. This participation can take several forms.
Some employees are asked to provide their input through a confidential strategy questionnaire. Others are asked
to participate in facilitated discussions about the organization's current strengths and weaknesses. The organization's
leaders are asked to be members of the planning team and participate in the planning retreat. In most cases this
is a group of 12 to 18 key managers who spend one or more intensive days developing the plan for the organization to be
implemented over the next 3 to 5 years.
|How should the customers' input be included?
Preparation for the planning retreat usually includes lots of input from employees in the form of surveys, focus groups
and one-on-one interviews. In recent years, more organizations are getting input from customers or clients.
We have recently begun conducting customer interviews as a way to gain an external perspective and triangulate
with what we hear from managers and employees. This type of feedback allows us to challenge or validate some of
|The planning window (timeframe).
The difference between Vision and Mission.
|The poll question last quarter asked people to assess the state of the Alabama economy for 2006. The majority
(78%) believe the economy will improve slightly in 2006. Here are the actual results:
|18%||Stay the same|
|Our poll question this quarter is: The greatest challenge currently facing our organization is:
Communication (primarily internal)
Hiring, training and retaining employees
|Click here to participate in our poll.
You may return to the Poll Page to monitor the results as often as you like.
However, you should respond to the poll question only once.
|The Balanced Scorecard concept is based on the idea that every organization has to balance competing issues.
Typically, these competing issues fall into three categories along important constituent groups. They are:
|Owners or investors
|A well designed balanced scorecard will define quantifiable objectives in each of these areas. The organization then
tracks and regularly reports the organization's performance relative to those objectives. This becomes a powerful accountability
tool for management to use to monitor the progress to specific objectives. The more sophisticated organizations link
the scorecard results to individual and group incentives. Performance is widely communicated throughout the organization.
Each employee understands how his or her efforts contribute to the organizations overall success.