Here are some common challenges which people often face when developing a new strategy, with a few tips to help you avoid or overcome them.

No time, no money

There’s no denying that an effective and useful strategy will take time and some money. But it needn’t take a lot of either. Planning your strategic planning will help.

Trickster tools

Although there are many tools available to help with strategic planning, don’t bank on finding a tool which will create the perfect strategy for you. Tools are just frameworks or exercises to help you structure and focus your thinking. The information you get out of them will depend on the quality of the discussion and analysis you put into using them. Consider adapting tools or creating your own ones to make sure you get what you need.

Deciding who to involve

Think carefully about who you need to involve in the creation of your strategy, as well as how and to what extent. You’ll probably need a small team to lead the strategy process and opportunities for others both inside and outside your organisation to contribute. Find out more about preparing for strategic planning.

Getting your team on board

Internal communications are crucial when creating a new strategy. You need to explain clearly to everyone in your organisation what you are doing and why. Otherwise, your strategy is unlikely to be understood - or used!

Losing your way

You can get lost in the creative elements of strategy and risk becoming so distracted with refining your vision or thinking up new ways to meet your mission, that you forget the rest of the process. Planning your strategic planning process will help keep you on track.

Running out of steam

Be wary of putting all your efforts into developing a strategic plan, only to find you’ve run out of steam before you implement it. Pace yourself and keep your plan for the strategy process always in mind.

Choosing the right time

If your organisation is in the midst of a financial or staffing crisis, it’s probably not a good time to tackle a new strategy. Equally, if a recent strategic planning process fell apart, you need to investigate what went wrong last time before trying again.

But don’t be put off too easily. You will rarely feel like you have all the time or skills you would like to have for strategic planning. If you spend a bit of time getting ready, you can create your strategy more quickly than you might think. Find out more about the strategic planning process or take our quick quiz to see how badly you need a new strategy.

You can find more tips on overcoming challenges with strategic planning in our guide Thinking Ahead: An introduction to strategic planning.

Last updated at 17:54 Mon 12/Apr/10.


How will this affect your organisation? Have you considered it during your strategic planning? Can you share any interesting relevant links?

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