We all have turning points in our lives, after which nothing is ever the same. When I was in my twenties, I stumbled across the subject of goals. Within thirty days my life had changed forever.
Over the years, I studied goals and learned how important they were for both business and personal success. One of the discoveries that astonished me was finding that less than 3 percent of people at all levels of business and industry have clear, specific, written, time-bounded goals for their lives that they are working toward on a daily basis.
As I began to implement goal setting in my own life and experience the remarkable changes that working toward clearly defined goals can bring about, I became interested in the subject of strategy, especially business strategy, which is really business goal setting. For many years, I have studied the leading military generals of history and how they used strategic thinking to achieve extraordinary victories, sometimes against overwhelming odds.
Over the last three decades, I have worked with more than 1,000 of the world’s largest corporations, and over 10,000 small and medium-size businesses. I became fascinated by the subject of strategic planning and the impact it can have on an organization of any size.
What I discovered was that most companies have no strategic plan at all. What they have is a budget. They have sales projections. They have operational plans. They have hopes, dreams, and aspirations, but in terms of crystallizing the future of the organization and deciding how they are going to get from where they are to where they want to go, very few companies have a genuine strategic plan.
Five Questions in Strategic Planning
Strategic planning is not a passive activity. Strategic planning is the process of thinking through the action steps that you are going to take to achieve your goals and objectives.
There are five key questions that you can ask and answer over and over in strategic planning. Follow this process: