Creating strategy

An organisational strategy is usually created through a process of strategic planning.

The strategic planning journey

There are several stages involved in strategic planning, which are usually dealt with step-by-step. The stages include:

  • planning how you will tackle the process
  • revisiting your organisation’s core purpose; its mission, vision and values
  • assessing how your organisation is currently doing
  • gathering information about what is happening outside your organisation
  • analysing the information you have collected, looking at options for your organisation and making decisions
  • communicating your new strategy
  • deciding how you will implement and evaluate your strategy.

A strategy cycle

Generally, organisations renew their strategy every three to five years. But as your circumstances change, you may find that you need to revisit some aspects of your strategy or re-do particular exercises to keep the strategy up-to-date. Or you could feel that your current strategy just isn’t working and needs to be totally rethought. 

Emergent strategy

Another approach to organisational strategy is to allow it to emerge over time, without any planning at all. New ideas or ways of doing things can evolve in any part of the organisation. Some ideas take root and spread throughout the organisation because they seem sensible and useful. Unsuccessful ideas are simply left to disappear.

Some organisations have deliberately moved away from any sort of formal strategic planning process, in favour of emergent strategy. Other organisations opt for a mix of planned and flexible elements within their strategy.

Allowing room for change

Flexibility can be particularly helpful for areas of your organisation or its environment that are very uncertain. Deciding when to say yes to new ideas which may not fit within an existing strategic plan is one example of the skill of being strategic.

Do you actually need a new strategy? Take our quick quiz to help you decide.

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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