Is communication key across the strategic planning process?


The vast majority of companies are aware of how a positive, progressive, forward-looking strategic plan could benefit their operations. However, that isn’t to say that all are getting the process right. Many are well experienced with the theory, and may even find it easy to come up with end goals and objectives.

However, coming up with strategic concepts and then actually leveraging them in practice are two very different things. All of the most successful planning efforts have one thing in common, though, communication.

Clearly verbalising objectives gives any company a better chance of meeting goals.

Opening the dialogue

Simply, those in charge of the strategic management of the enterprise need to have an understanding of what it takes to convey thoughts and ideas to their employees. In fact, Forbes contributor Holly Green explained that clearly verbalizing objectives not only gives the company a better chance of meeting its aims, but also creates an environment of trust.

Far too many organizations compartmentalize their strategic planning efforts, and different departments may be duplicating processes merely because they don’t have faith in one or another to get things done.

Consequently, companies that can break down barriers across internal working and bring in more people across the strategic planning process have a better chance of creating wide understanding of the direction the entity is headed.

Properly communicating strategic objectives across the enterprise can pave the way to success.Properly communicating strategic objectives across the enterprise can pave the way to success.

An inclusive environment

Building on that, Harvard Business Review contributors Boris Groysberg and Michael Slind suggested that open lines of communication create a culture for inclusion. In the case of strategic planning, this will essentially enable decision makers to get employees from across the company to buy into their efforts.

Of course, it helps if there’s something in it for them, but a workforce is far more likely to be able to meet strategic goals in the long term if it’s well-informed across the direction setting process to begin with.

Going horizontal

Creating a strong flow of information and insight is critical to the strategic planning process, but many enterprises choose the top-down approach. While there’s certainly value in doing this, it simply isn’t as effective as including the entire organization.

Specifically, breaking down those aforementioned barriers between departments is only possible thanks to horizontal communication. In essence, this practice creates a more relaxed environment where wider objectives can be shared freely.

Simply, organizations that develop widespread understanding around goals are more likely to meet them, and ultimately feel the positive affects in the long term.