During a strategic planning meeting, we asked each member of the planning team: “What have we learned about strategic planning?” The company’s president observed that she had always operated from a plan. The difference now was that the plan was no longer locked in her mind, a virtual secret to the rest of the team.
The power of a team-derived strategic plan was not that it was better than the plans she had produced by herself in the past. (Although sometimes they were.) The power was that the entire team shared the plan and they could judge their daily actions against that plan. A plan that the implementation team was vested in produced better results than the most brilliant plan developed in isolation by the CEO or an industry expert consultant.
For more insights on making sure your strategic plan gets executed, take a look at the article I wrote for the Business Strategy Series.