Don’t Keep Your Strategic Plan a Secret!

Having been involved in corporate communications and public relations for a number of years I’m well aware of the concerns that organizations often have about too much information being shared with too many audiences. Transparency, I believe, is under-rated! While there are obviously “trade secrets” or “inside insights” that organizations wisely protect, too often information that does not really present any real risk is kept close hindering the ability of the organization to actually achieve its goals.

One big example of this is with the strategic planning process. I always find it interesting that the two things I hear most often from my clients about their strategic planing efforts are:

1) they struggle with implementation–the planning part is relatively easy; the implementation part is where many struggle

2) they’re concerned about confidentiality so they’re hesitant to share the plan with staff and others

 

Hence the problem. Organizations desperately need the involvement and commitment of their employees to ensure that the plan will actually be implemented.

 

There’s a bit of fuzzy thinking involved here, I think. If organizations feel challenged in the implementation of their own plans, what makes them believe that their competitors will be any more effective if they somehow had access to that plan? It’s not going to happen, for a variety of reasons, but the biggest reason is that they are not you–the unique strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that you possess are what should drive the creation and implementation of your plan. It is highly unlikely that any of your competitors would have the same, or even similar, SWOTs.

 

The biggest issue I’ve found related to strategic planning in my research and my work with clients is implementation–too many plans simply sit on the shelf or, today, in the cloud. While there are a number of contributors to this, one of the biggest–in my opinion–is the failure to share information about the planning process and planning outcomes with employees, the people who will actually implement the plan.

 

My advice: share and share freely. The success of your plan depends upon it.

 

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