Dave Taylor over at the Intuitive Business Life Blog has listed the “Ten Dangerous Myths About Strategic Planning.”
Two in particular really resonated with me:
Myth #2: Strategic planning can only be done at a resort.
Strategic planning is serious and shouldn’t be equated with a vacation. Everyone can play golf on their own time. All you need for a productive process is a meeting room at a local hotel or conference center.
Myth #3: “It interferes with our real jobs.”
Strategic planning is arguably the most important part of your job because it can determine the effectiveness of all the rest of your efforts.
That resort/retreat mindset (to my mind) is one of the biggest contributors to the negative reputation of strategic planning. People do what I call “drive-by strategic planning” – cramming a lot of great talking and ideas into a short space of time (and often paying high dollars to a facilitator and space). Then nothing ever gets implemented. Having done many such retreats in my past Corporate lives, I know they get really old, with the same ol’ stuff every time – chart papers, colored dots, “parking lots” and soothing voiced (often patronizing) facilitators that have never held a real job. Of course, meetings are imperative to a good plan, but it’s not a one-shot or one-time deal.
As for interfering with work – done right, a plan is part of and supportive of the work. Making everyone’s life easier and more productive.