Craft a strategy for a new era

Many organizations are mediocre because they are still stuck in the traditional approach to strategic planning.The times have changed. You need a strategy for the new era.There are several developments in the 21st Century. We cannot continue doing things using the 19th Century models and frameworks.

The traditional approach to planning should be stopped; as it has lots of weakness, specifically:

a)Lack of context
b)Too abstract or theoretical. You get a strategic plan which is like a research paper.
c)Too much unnecessary analysis, with little benefit to the strategy.
d)Easy to be predicted by the competitors
e)Keeps the company in the ‘Red ocean’
f)Not ideal for companies in fast changing environments

a)Lack of Context. The traditional approach constrains people to only think how to succeed within the framework of a defined vision.

Most of the time, the ‘vision’ is wrong. How do you plan to succeed when the vision anchoring your strategic outlook is wrong?

The result is a strategy that is not in sync with the reality on ground.

You have seen organizational strategic plans with activities and projects to undertake without a clear plan or where the money will come from. That is what bad planning causes to a strategy, workplan, budget and structure that are not practical.

b)Too theoretical. The traditional approach gives a strategy plan document that is like a research paper. Get a copy of your current organizational strategy, or ask your CEO or Boss: What is the strategy in your strategic plan.

The entire document is full of uncoordinated write-ups that have nothing to do with strategy. For example, after vision (where do we want to be), mission (How do we get there), values (what behaviors will guide our conduct to get there), the company planners identify goals and objectives. They say things like, goals are NOT smart and objectives are SMART- (simple/ specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time bound), great!

But on what basis do they come up with the goals and objectives? It is like a legendary village folk who sleeps and dreams of owning an aero plane, and visiting those dream destinations even when their entire clan has never owned a bicycle! Dreaming big is good, but is it within context? Are you dreaming your life away?

When you dream while a sleep, the result is a big dream without any tangible progress towards it. That is what the old strategy approach delivers. You have seen strategic plans that are big and look like research papers. Each page you open contains theoretical analysis of the environmental factors without a clear link or connection to the business at hand.

To be continued

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