6 Steps to Make Your Strategic Plan Really Strategic – Summary
The article “6 Steps to Make Your Strategic Plan Really Strategic”, a real strategic planning article written by Graham Kenny, discusses the flows and six steps technique to make plan really strategic. The six steps for real strategic plan are:
- Recognize your dependencies
- Identify your “target customer”
- What your organization wants from each key stakeholder group
- What these stakeholder groups want from you
- Strategy design
- Continuous improvement
Kenny identified and shared his experience that mostly whenever managers come together to discuss with a plan or to devise a strategy; they bring some documents so-called plan or strategy. According to Kenny, these documents start with a statement of vision, discussing strategic themes (six in all) and finally (28) strategic goals. Kenny believes that managers mostly come up with useless documents to discuss and call it strategic plans.
Kenny introduced his six step technique how to device strategic planning which is purely developed by his professional experience.
Step One – Recognize Your Dependencies
Recognizing key stake holders or dependencies is the first step to take. Some people think it is very easy but it is not as much it seems. They can be customers, suppliers, employees, owners, but a complexity grows when managers’ aware employees are also owners. It shows that some stakeholders can carry more than one role, so the essential is to recognize the roles of each stakeholder. Once key roles are identified managers can move to next step.
Step Two – Identify Your Target Customer
Kenny emphasizes this step most essentially to follow to identify the real target-customer. Identification of true customers is necessary in all aspects including hiring correct staff to fulfill the needs of those customers, developing focus strategies, utilizing resources in right market etc.
Step Three – What Your Organization Wants from Each Key Stakeholder Group
Here manager is in position to find out what his organization wants from each group of key stakeholder group. If organization keeps satisfying the needs and wants of stakeholders then it would be wasting many opportunities and resources. In other case, it helps to increase productivity and bring innovation in company. Targets area also set accordingly. Measures shall be taken to device systems to monitor those targets.
Step Four – What these Stakeholder Groups Want from You
Now, it is time to find out what current stakeholders want from company. It is necessary at this stage because these would be key factors in decision-making procedures by those stakeholders who participate in developing business strategies. Managers can use different sources to find out the desires of these key stakeholders like conducting interviews in detail, giving valuable time to listen stories of stakeholders regarding own and competition, responses through complaint and suggestion systems, formal and informal conversions etc.
Step Five – Strategy Design
This is the time to design strategy according to information collected so far about key stakeholders. It follows objectives of organization and the current and future needs of key stakeholders. The famous sentence of Kenny is that “Stakeholders can be great strategists” comes true here because all strategy revolves around stakeholders.
Step Six – Continuous Improvement
Continues improvement is last and never ending step of real strategic plan. Change is the only constant element in this universe. No matter how perfectly all strategies have been designed and implemented, nothing stays forever. Continues improvement will be last things to over in organization. It also opens doors for innovation, change, and openness.
There is no chance to perform badly in the case of following these six step strategy designing approach. We have great examples of Toyota and McDonald’s, who are dealing this category. Systematic approach is very essential to get amazing results while focusing on stakeholders.