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Welcome to Innovate Africa With Dotun Adeoye

Infinite, sustainable growth ideas and examples for strategic thinking executives every Sunday

THE BLOG

Innovate Africa With Dotun Adeoye Every Sunday

Infinite, sustainable growth ideas and examples for strategic thinking executives every Sunday

Strategic Planning Dotun Adeoye

Crafting a strategic plan: the path to long-term success

There are many reasons companies fail to achieve their goals in the business world. And it’s not always because they need more talent or resources; sometimes, it’s just because they need the plan to get where they need to be.

A strategic plan is one of the most effective tools we have at our disposal as leaders, but too often, that plan is nothing more than an empty vessel into which we pour our hopes and dreams – then promptly forget about them after leaving the office for the day.

But if you want your company to thrive long-term, that can’t happen! So instead, you must take a proactive approach and ensure you’ve all the components necessary for success before putting pen to paper (or entering text into your computer).

What is a strategic plan?

A strategic plan is a document that helps you set goals and priorities for the future, like a roadmap that shows how you will get from where you are to where you want to be. It’s also a guide that helps you make decisions by providing context and direction based on your organisation’s mission and vision. As such, it should be updated regularly as circumstances change or new opportunities arise–which is why I recommend creating one at least once per year (or more often if necessary).

In addition to defining what success looks like for your business today and beyond, this document should contain clear goals for each department or function within your organisation, so everyone knows what they need to do in order achieve those larger objectives: whether it’s marketing aligning with sales in order increase lead generation; HR working closely with finance so employees can receive benefits packages explicitly tailored toward their needs; IT working closely with legal so privacy laws are followed at all times…the possibilities are endless!

What are the critical elements of a strategic plan?

Strategic planning is a roadmap for the future. It’s a priority list with your company’s goals and objectives at its core. And it’s also a vision–a picture of what you want your business to become in the long term.

Strategic planning isn’t just about setting goals; it’s also about developing action plans to help you achieve them. These action items can include hiring new employees or purchasing equipment to change processes more efficiently or streamlined.

Conduct discovery

The first step in the planning process is discovery. The goal of discovery is to find out what’s going on and make sense of it. This involves collecting data from various sources, analysing it, and learning from it.

Discovery is an ongoing process; you’ll want to conduct discovery throughout your strategic plan–not just at the beginning. It helps you evaluate progress and identify opportunities for improvement along the way so that you can adjust course accordingly if necessary (or even abandon ship altogether).

Set goals and objectives.

Setting goals and objectives is an integral part of a strategic plan. Goals should be specific, measurable and achievable. Objectives are steps you can take to achieve your goal.

For example:

  • Goal: Reduce costs by 20% in the next year by reducing waste and improving efficiency in our manufacturing processes.
  • Objective 1: Implement an automated inventory system that will reduce the manual labour required for tracking raw materials usage on-site at our manufacturing facility by 50%.
  • Objective 2: Offer incentives for employees who contribute ideas or suggestions for waste reduction in their departments (up to $5 per hour saved).

Get buy-in from senior leaders, stakeholders and everyone affected by the plan.

  • Get buy-in from senior leaders, stakeholders and everyone affected by the plan.
  • Get the right people in the room. While having all of your key stakeholders at the table is essential, it’s equally important not to overwhelm your team with too many attendees. You also want to ensure that you have people on board who can help move things forward if anything arises during discussions or after they leave their meeting with you.
  • Be prepared to answer questions: You may have an idea of what you want out of this meeting–but don’t assume everyone else does as well! Make sure there are no surprises when presenting your plan by preparing answers for common questions or concerns about strategy implementation and success metrics (e.g., “How do we measure success?”).

Break down your plan’s goals into action items.

Now that you have a strategic plan, it’s time to start working on your goals. The first step is defining the problem. This may sound like an obvious statement, but many people skip this step because they want to dive right into solutions without thinking through all potential obstacles. When setting fitness goals, it’s essential not only to define the problems (e.g., “I want to lose weight”) but also to how those problems can be solved (e.g., by eating healthier foods).

The next step is breaking down each goal into actionable items: what needs doing and when? For example, if you want to lose weight over six months, what steps do you need to take each week? Make sure each item is achievable within a reasonable timeframe; if something seems too complicated or overwhelming at first glance (like losing 20 pounds), break it down until each piece feels manageable again–then write them down!

Develop your strategy (or strategies).

A strategy is a plan for achieving a goal. It’s not the same thing as tactics, which are the specific steps you take to complete your design.

(For example: “We will use social media to promote our product” is a tactic; “We will partner with influencers who have large followings on Instagram and Twitter” is another tactic.)

The strategy must be adaptable to change as conditions change (e.g., if you find yourself facing new competitors or changing consumer preferences). Plans should also be flexible enough that they don’t limit your ability to take advantage of opportunities if they arise (e.g., if someone offers you free office space). Your vision gives you direction for where you want to go over time, but if it were set in stone–no matter how ambitious or inspiring–it would stifle everyone involved’s ability to execute those plans to respond quickly when opportunities arise, or challenges occur unexpectedly.”

Prioritise and sequence action items.

Once you have your action items, it’s time to prioritise and sequence them. Prioritising means deciding which things are most important and should be done first. Sequencing means ordering the remaining items so that everything is completed optimally by its due date (or sooner). There are several different ways of doing this:

  • Priority based on importance: If two tasks are equally important, but one requires more time, then give preference to that one–but make sure you have time left over for other things!
  • Sequence by dependencies: If one task depends on another being completed before it can start, then sequence these tasks together so they’re done in order with no gaps between them during execution.
  • Sequence by the time needed: If there’s not enough time available for all your projects, prioritise them based on how long each will take (and maybe even break some down into smaller chunks). This method works well when combined with another approach, such as sequencing by dependency; if a project has multiple dependencies across multiple teams/departments within an organisation, then those teams may want some flexibility around how long certain parts take versus others depending on their own needs at any given moment during execution.”

Develop metrics to evaluate success.

When defining your strategic plan, it’s essential to identify what success looks like. To do this, you need to develop metrics that will measure the progress of your business and help you understand where improvements can be made.

Metrics are simply measurements that show how well something is doing. For example, suppose a company wants to improve its marketing efforts. In that case, it might create a metric for how many new customers were acquired through Facebook advertising or Google Adwords campaigns over time–this provides insight into which channels work best for them and gives them evidence of their success with those channels in future campaigns (or if they should use different ones).

There are many types of metrics: financials such as revenue growth rates; product usage rates like retention rate; customer satisfaction surveys; employee retention rates; etc., but whatever type of measurement tool works best for your company should be used here so long as it helps clarify how successful each initiative has been thus far in achieving its goals.

A strategic plan isn’t just a fancy list of goals you’ll get around to someday; it’s a set of priorities that helps you deploy your resources to help you achieve what you want – now.

A strategic plan is a roadmap for the future. It’s a tool that helps you deploy your resources to help you achieve what you want to achieve — now. A good strategic plan considers what an organisation wants to achieve and how it can best use its resources (people, money and technology) to reach those goals.

A successful strategic plan is based on three key things:

  • First, what are your organisation’s unique strengths?
  • What factors make up its competitive environment? 
  • How does the organisation plan on using those assets in the future

Bottom Line

Suppose you’ve read this far; congratulations! You now have all the tools you need to develop a strategic plan to propel your organisation forward. The next step is simple: get started. We know it can be daunting to think about all the work involved in creating a strategic plan, but it becomes much more manageable once you start and begin breaking down your goals into action items. And remember–we’re here for you every step of the way!

Who am I?

I am Dotun Adeoye, a Business Growth Strategist & Author of the 5 Pillars of Business Growth.

I’ve built up my experience via serial entrepreneurship, consulting leadership roles in business growth, business development and product innovation in large companies worldwide in the last 30 years.

Today, I consult with large businesses on how to sustainably grow their businesses, sustain infinite growth, and ensure business continuity irrespective of the business climate.

Hire Dotun Adeoye to Speak Virtually or In – Person at your company’s event to cover this or other topics. You can also get in touch via +44 203 097 1718 or dotun at dotunadeoye.com.

 

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