Strategic plans aren’t dead, just different

Today’s business environment demands agility and multiple antennae to pick up signals from myriad sources. Short-term initiatives have replaced unyielding 10-year overviews.

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The strategic plan, military in origin, has been part of business since World War II.

Although strategic planning has led to great success for many businesses, some question its usefulness. The future is no longer reasonably predictable, and the pace of change continues to rise with new technology and constant communication, but that doesn’t mean strategic plans are dead. It just means they have become different.

Rigid three-, five- and 10-year strategic business plans have been replaced with shorter-term plans—some as short as 12 months. They strike the right balance of strategy and adaptability. Some focus on a direction with supporting short-term initiatives versus what results will be achieved at the end of a five-year timeframe. They allow for experimentation.

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So, is your strategic communications plan really strategic? Does your company strategic business plan serve as an input to it? Does it have flexibility and opportunities for modification built into it? Given today’s pace of change, there is no time to waste.

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