The Strategic Plan: Part 1 – A Holistic View


There is information everywhere about the importance of developing a business strategy, whether it be in books or in online articles. It goes without saying, the strategy or plan gives direction and purpose within the business.

While strategy is crucial for a business, is not the be all and end all of what the business needs to do.  To use the old cliche, it is important not to throw the baby out with the bath water. That is, in the context of strategy, when in the process of setting the direction and purpose of the business, it is important to ensure;
  1. the strategy, the resources, the capability and the market are in check
  2. the operational performance is on track 

Many parameters need to be considered and metrics used to ensure the direction, investment and efforts taken are what is needed for the business. A strategy is not something which is established and then left to itself to be implemented. It needs constant monitoring to ensure its intent and the outcomes remain beneficial to the business. However, when faced with difficult times, the temptation to be reactive in the short term needs, requires careful consideration on the impact to the long term benefits.

This concept was explored at an MBS discussion breakfast at the Haymarket Hotel in London on 27 September 2013, which explored “addressing the importance that can be placed in setting grand plans over and above short and long term operational performance. This can be coupled with an over-willingness to renege on plans that go temporarily awry, in favour of a short-term solution” It was also stated “Companies refuse to stick to their guns when their backs are against the wall”. (1) 

The strategy is developed based on the best information at the time during the planing phase. The trap here is to blindly implement it with little consideration to variable parameters (both internally and externally). The implementation or execution phase requires constant monitoring and risk management to validate the benefits to the business. If required, adjustments need to be made to the plans to ensure their relevance for the business in the medium to long term.

In essence, the strategy execution needs to be holistic.

What do you think?
What is Strategy Execution? 
This will be discussed in another post: The Strategic Plan: Part 2- What is required to successfully execute it?

(1) Is strategy overrated? 27 September 2013.


Andrew Baldacchino
Director - ANBA Pty Ltd

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