Every business must specify exactly what it hopes to achieve in the future by formulating a set of strategic objectives. These objectives must form an integral part of a ‘Strategic Business Plan’ and should be used to guide and measure those organisational activities or projects that will ensure sustainability for the future including a return on investment for all key stake holders.
The formulation of these strategic objectives should flow naturally from experience and historic data including the capabilities of the organisation. Capabilities and technology which sets the business apart from competition.
Formulating objectives is the initial step in the strategic management process that clearly defines actions, account-abilities and time frames which will underpin the achievement of all objectives.
Critical to the success of this process is the involvement and input from all levels of the organisation whereby there is ownership and a clear delineation of responsibilities both individually and corporately.
I would certainly warn against the ‘edict’ type of approach to establishing a ‘Strategic Business Plan’. The number of times I have seen the best laid plans fail simply because they have been tumbled down from above without effective participation by lower management and/or those at the coal-face.
It is therefore not surprising that those who are excluded by this critical exercise fail to be motivated by a plan that was not drawn up with their input.
My experience also tells me that unless a CEO owns each strategic objective and knows how to get the involvement at every level of the organisation, commitment to their achievement is unlikely to be strong or effective.
For an organisation to grow on a sustainable basis, it needs to exploit every opportunity confronting it and to counteract market and environmental threats. It needs to be aware of both national and international economic movements, State and Federal Government policies, and utilise any representative bodies which are able to add value to the strategic intent of the business.