If you are the owner of a business, strategic planning is vital to your growth. You aren’t going to be able to go about your day-to-day operations without it and if you think you can live without it, one day your business will suffer. The purpose of this blog post is to give you some insight on the importance of it and how to become the strategic planner your company needs.

The following are six secrets to successful strategic planning:

1) Insight

Successful strategic planners are capable of having penetrating mental vision and the ability to see the underlying truth. It is vital to have an understanding of relationships that can scan shed light on or help solve a problem. Sometimes your insight can come from observing or asking others who share the same passion for your business. This is how you think outside of the box!

2) Critical Thinking

Critical thinkers can apply their skill sets to strategic planning by skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing and evaluating information gathered from either observation, experience or communication. Critical thinking is something you and your business will need to grow, succeed and to overcome obstacles along the way.

3) Comprehension

There is always a temptation to reach for a fast (and potentially wrong) solution. Sometimes the first solution you see and that makes sense is chosen before analyzing others.  A good strategic planner holds firm, analyzing information from numerous sources before developing a viewpoint or decision that is necessary. To get good at this, you have to source multiple data sets and encourage others to do the same. Unless you have a deadline for this, take your time finding the best solution for you and your business.

4) Resolution

Most successful leaders are strong at strategic planning and have a thought process that lends itself to selecting a logical choice from the available options. When trying to make a good decision, a person must weigh the positives and negatives of each option, and consider all the alternatives. For effective planning, a person must be able to forecast the outcome of each scenario and based on all the data, determine which option is the best for that particular situation and the company. However, at the end of the day, the leader of the company must take a stand even with incomplete information or amid diverse views. In the end, you must be comfortable with the decision you make.

5) Align

Having everyone agree is rare in a business setting or come to think of it even in a family setting as well. When driving a strategic plan, a leader of the organization must solicit open dialogue, build trust among others and engage key stakeholders, especially when views differ. The best strategic planners will link organizational goals with the employee’s personal goals. They will also link their decision to the vision and mission of the company. Do your best to get key people involved and take into account differences of opinions. Align the ones that are closely related and come up with a solid solution from those!

6) Learn

Strategic planners know that honest feedback is not always easy to come by. It is proven that continual feedback from organizational resources is critical in order to understand and learn if business activities or behaviors align with the strategic plan. Success or failure often depends on what the business learns and how it adapts to the continuous feedback loop. In the end, don’t be afraid to ask for feedback. This is only step one in the process because it’s what you do with it that can shape what changes need to be made if necessary!

Thanks for reading. I hope you found the article interesting. I’d really welcome your feedback on this article or let me know if there is a specific topic that you would like to discuss in the future!