Effective strategic planning keeps key players in the loop

by: Shazia Manus

In an article I recently wrote for Credit Union Business, I examined the challenges and changes occurring in the realm of strategic planning. In the article, I highlight the characteristics I believe are key for an effective strategic planner to possess.

In my last blog post,  I took a closer look at Trait #2: Get Oriented to the Future. The excerpt below covers the third trait.

Trait #3: Open the Door Wider
Consider including, or at a minimum consulting with, those key employees who will have a hand in achieving the financial institution’s (FI’s) desired goals. Once those goals are firmly in place, be sure the premise for each goal is communicated alongside the expectation for what success looks like. When people understand the context of a new tactic, they are more inclined to buy into the strategic vision of the FI. Change is difficult for many people. Yet when they can see the potential impact of that change and understand their role in it, they are more open to making the necessary adjustments.

Any potential confusion that may come from a strategic plan’s goals can be eliminated with specificity. When you draft the plan, be clear. Avoid ambiguity in language, outcomes and processes. Plans that provide clarity facilitate accountability, providing a hard link between planning and execution.

It is important to remember plan execution happens at the day-by-day task level. Building the proper governance to support, monitor and control the outcomes of the strategic plan is critical. As they say in leadership circles, inspect what you expect.


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