Strategic planning helps create one unified, forward focusing vision. It allows the company to know what is important, how to get there, and pitfalls to avoid. Moreover, a strategic plan helps align the company to its shareholders.
Why is strategic goal setting important?
In this article, we are focusing on the key steps to set measurable goals and create strategic priorities for your team.
How to set strategic goals:
1) Build an executive team
The first step in strategic planning is to build an executive team that is committed to understand and identify the issues, challenges and trends that you are trying to solve for.
2) Workshops and utilization of tools and techniques
Workshops are intended to gather the right information. The methods for collecting information or issues depend on the context of the work and who it is intended to serve. Issues are generally identified through research and/or through consultation with a number of key stakeholders. Utilization of tools and techniques such as surveys, Delphi method, cafe sessions are a few of many that may be implemented.
3) Condensing ideas into themes and word-smithing
Once the internal and externals inputs/ideas have been collected and analyzed, they will need to be condensed into themes and categories. This is then used to define the desired needs and wants and identify the services and the specific areas of focus.
4) Deciding on final goals
Once the desired needs and wants have been identified, the resulting objectives are placed into a strategy map and/or strategic plan. Opportunities to eliminate duplications and to simplify the resulting objectives should be done during this final step.
While strategic goals can be set by executive teams, there are many benefits to hiring a third-party to help create those goals.
Why a strategic consultant can help
1) A strategic consultant has the experience, thereby saving an organization time and money
Hiring an experience strategic consultant can make the strategic planning/goal setting process much faster! While they often charge more (i.e, higher hourly rate compared to your typical employee), their expertise will make the process go faster. Moreover, they will get it right the first time. They are definitely worth the investment.
Pro-tip: When finding a strategic consultant, it is helpful to ask probing questions and inquire about their past experience. Many consultants will offer some advice during the call pro-bono. This may help you determine if they are worth their salt.
2) A strategic consultant already has the tools ready-to-go
Similar to the point above, strategic consultant has the expertise. They have the tools and techniques ready to go. There is no training that is needed (which would otherwise be needed if you expected an inexperience staff member to create the plan). Organizations do not have to worry about training a staff member to do the facilitation, create surveys and/or activities, understand and implement the Delphi method etc. Most times it is just easier to hire the right person with the right expertise.
3) A strategic consultant offers a third party opinion
A key benefit of adding a third party is the objectivity and transparency they bring. Consultants are not privy to the background of the company. They will objectively look at problem and offer solutions. They often bring a new perspective, and hence they can help develop new ideas.
For more information, you may find our article on Strategic Consulting: What it is and why your business needs it helpful.
Why iota consultants?
Iota consultants has extensive experience in developing strategic plans. We also cater our workshops and tools/techniques to your organization (some plans need multiple workshops, others need one 2-3 hr session). We understand that each organization and each strategic plan will be different. Moreover, we offer the best service at the best price. Contact us for more information.