Saturday, June 25, 2011


When I hear the phrase, "strategic planning," my eyes glaze over. It's not because I hate planning, it's because I hate useless work. And most strategic planning results in a binder stuffed full of typed pages that goes on a shelf to be pointed to when someone asks if you have a plan. No one ever looks at it and no one ever uses it. This is a complete waste of time for everyone involved.

My other complaint about strategic planning is that it's generally viewed as a means unto itself. There is a mission statement that's the jumping off point, but there's no connection beyond that. There's no vision, which I think is a far more critical part of the whole process. If you can't dream something amazing, you're probably not going to accomplish it, regardless of how many pages you write about it. Few people can dream. At all. Much less big.

I make plans all the time. I can't say they're "strategic," but they function. My plans are much more basic, and don't require a three ring binder.
My plans are about:
WHAT will I do
WHO will help
WHEN will it get done
WHAT will be accomplished

I'm not sure this process requires a whole team of people, headed by a consultant, to generate 233 pages. It just requires a little thought and some scratch paper. You can do all the planning you want, but if you can't communicate your vision - your passion - to people, it's a waste of time.