Is there Gain without Pain in Strategic Planning?

We’re almost through the first month of 2020, and many of us may have already given up on the gym. But not all goals can be dropped so easily. Like getting (or keeping) your business in shape. That’s one you’re probably determined to stick to.

Like hitting the gym though, strategic planning has a reputation for being rather painful. There are sensitivities between departments. Competing priorities. Challenges building consensus. And baking buy-in into the plan is always easier said than done. All of these things can not only slow down the strategic planning process, they can grind it to a halt.

But the fear of pain is no reason to avoid tackling your plan head-on. Because let’s face it. With no plan at all, you’re just inviting a whole different dose of pain. So, what’s the solution?

The answer all comes down to approach. Having worked with everyone from small non-profits to some of Canada’s largest corporations, I can tell you that the pain aspect is largely self-inflicted. For organizations crafting a plan themselves, they often underestimate the internal roadblocks and the brute force required to get buy-in. At the end of the day, everyone just wants to be heard. Even if their thoughts and ideas don’t end up in the plan, they want to feel as though they were considered.

That’s where hiring professional facilitators can really speed things along. As facilitators, we design processes that ensure all voices are heard, and that yield very specific, tangible results against a very tight timeframe. Facilitators also have the ability to stick-handle tough conversations that may bubble up without any vested interest in the outcome.  

For those truly wishing to go it alone, there are many ways to make sure your planning session is productive and built to alleviate pain, not create it. In fact, you can get a step-by-step DIY playbook HERE. It’s fast and it’s free.

So, whatever route you choose – alone or with a facilitator - just know that pain doesn’t always have to be part of the experience if you plan ahead. With the right process, you can make your 2020 plan the best one yet. 

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