With 27 years of experience of strategic planning in mining, banking, retail and transport we have found that whilst strategic planning is endorsed in principal there is little thought in how it is invested into the business. We focus on the practical and commonsense ways of making strategic planning work effectively at all levels of the organisation.
What we would do if we had time
A fundamental failing of Strategic Planning is that it is time consuming and something we do when, or more the case, if we have time. We are all guilty of it.
It is like joining the gym to get fit. The majority of us only go a few times despite the intent, because it is out of the way, it takes up time and it is too easy to make excuses. The most effective exercise has been found to be that which is built into our day to day life. Cycle to work, use the stairs instead of the escalator, walk the few block to the next meeting. You are more likely to do it if it is part of your routine.
This is the approach that Dacono takes to Strategic Planning. Instead of being a big planning exercise every few months, make it part of every day decision making. Management then live and breath strategic planning rather than looking at it as an unpleasant periodical task.
Because planning is time consuming and we are rushed for time, planning can lose realism. How many of us have seen business plans where a straight line has been drawn over 12 months from where we are now to where we hope to be in 12 months with no explanation of how we will get there. The fact is that there is a divorce between a financial budget and what staff at the coal face understand of the market and what marketing is planning to do. They have become separate activities approached separately often with differing assumptions. It is critical to converge these activities into one activity and Dacono provides the tools to assist in this convergence.
Keeping strategic plans up to date
How often after completing a comprehensive strategic plan has that plan been put in the desk drawer and when reviewed 6 months later it is out of date to where the organisation is going. As outdated strategic plans are useless in supporting decision making all that work is now filed in the shredder.
It is a mammoth task to keep re-planning every month to keep the strategic plan up to date, hence the approach has to be changed. Dacono provides the tools and consulting to assist organisations in perpetual planning.