Red Flags: How To Determine If Your Strategic Plan Is Ineffective


In 1982, notable business journalist Walter Kiechel III estimated that upwards of 90 per cent of organizations were failing to execute their business strategies effectively. It was an alarming statistic, one that encouraged many organizations to take action and ensure they were not falling into this familiar trap.

The good news is that this trend has improved dramatically over the last three decades – a greater majority of businesses now understand and appreciate the value of executing a successful strategic plan effectively.

However, a significant percentage continue to implement strategic planning initiatives in an ineffective or short-sighted manner. If you are concerned that your business may be going about its strategic planning processes the wrong way, now is the time to step back and assess how you are positioned.

With that in mind, here are a few red flags that might suggest your current strategic planning initiative is ineffective.

You’re being reactive, rather than proactive

While it is definitely important to look to the past when undertaking strategic planning, businesses that fail to also look towards the future are setting themselves up for failure.

A good strategic plan doesn’t just focus on correcting and capitalizing on past results and trends. Your planning initiative must also think in terms of future opportunities, with the objective of determining what action needs to be taken today in order to achieve optimal results further down the line.

You’re using outdated technology

If you’re not utilizing the latest technology offerings designed to make strategic planning more effective, you’re sacrificing a significant competitive advantage.

Outdated and inefficient strategic planning tools are error-prone and unproductive. An innovative strategic planning solution that allows all relevant stakeholders to view and manage key data, KPIs and business objectives can ensure that your strategic plan is on track for success.

You’re not communicating the plan effectively

It’s one thing to have a strategic plan, it’s another to communicate that plan to all the various team members who stand to benefit from having a strong understanding of the direction of the company.

Again, technology can help in this regard, but business leaders can also assist by ensuring they are championing the strategic plan and educating staff as to how this initiative benefits both the company and the employees themselves.