Strategic planning is critical to the success of every organization and often involves introducing multiple scenarios for effective planning.  Try connecting strategic planning to a home purchase process.  The strategic planning process are the steps you go through as an organization to determine goals, vision, and your mission.  This is where goals come in to play and their importance:  Your financial goals dictate “how much” house you can afford to buy, similarly to the financial future of an organization. Second.  How you effectively measure your needs and guide your strategy to get to where you want to be, is your vision.  The same is true with a home purchase.  You envision yourself in a home you can afford, but large enough to grow in to. And finally, what is your organization’s mission?  What do you want to accomplish and for whom?

Like a home purchase, many organizations dread the process of strategic planning because they’ve found it tedious and even unproductive in the past.  As in contracting with a great realtor, organizations enlist a neutral third- party facilitator with expertise in effective planning, to help the organization move forward. This forward motion enables you to gain experience, expertise and energy. In other words, strategic planning should be productive, not tedious.  As the real estate world is constantly changing, so are organizations.  So being ready to act quickly can be key to successfully pivoting, adapting and continuing to move an organization forward.

There are many ways to create a strategic plan, and some may be more efficient than others. Don’t lose site that a strategic plan is your plan. The efforts of your third-party facilitator are to bring out in discussions what you know – not in telling you what they know. Guiding conversations and making sure you achieve your desired outcomes equals success.  Enlisting a strategic partner helps guide your vision, mission and goals while helping you achieve excellence.

It is important to understand why strategic planning is done in the first place.  It is valuable for your employees, your organization’s leadership, and your stakeholders to know where you’re going and why you’re going there. Here are some examples of how strategic planning works:

  • To get your team on the same page and aligned with your organizations vision, mission and goals
  • To maximize your organization’s resources to avoid wasting time and money on projects or activities that are not important
  • To understand industry trends and scenarios that could impact your organization in the coming years
  • To identify and evaluate the best way to accomplish your goals
  • To develop an implementation plan to keep you and your team on track and accountable for deliverables

Strategy is about choices; knowing what to do as much as knowing what not to do. A strategic planning process should include key stakeholders and implementers. In doing this, you help ensure everyone is working off the same blueprint. There is a shared vision and a shared plan on how to reach this vision. And finally, a strategic plan that is well communicated, gives greater productivity, a better culture, empowerment, and overall effectiveness

The Align Team has an extensive background in strategic planning and development. Email us at  and let us put a strategic plan together for your organization or business today.

Cathy Drzal for the Align Team