Our collective COVID experience has turned some people off to creating a strategy.
“Why plan,” they say.
While I appreciate the huge challenges that COVID has given us these past two years, strategic planning is still vitally important. You need be clear on where you want to go and how to get there. Here are some important things you can do to make sure that your strategy is as adaptive as possible:
*Identify and Review Your Strategic Assumptions. By the end of your strategic planning process, you should have identified the key assumptions guiding you as you move forward. If your current plan does not have these, go back and add them. Then review the assumptions at least annually. If things have changed, update your strategy.
*Remember the “T” in SWOT. Assign someone to keep track of the Threats you identified during your strategy process. This is like asking someone to keep an eye on the radar if you are a ship at sea. You need to keep track of the Threats that could derail you. If there is a storm coming, you may need to change course.
*Use Scenario Planning. If there are events in the future which you know could impact your strategy, then identify them and plan your response – far ahead of time. For example, if an election or Supreme Court ruling will impact your strategy, then plan for it now – while you are clear-headed – so you don’t respond with panic.
*Build Organizational Resilience. COVID made a lot of people wish that they had built up more reserves and had good self-care practices (see this link for self-care ideas) that could help them navigate the challenge. Do what you can now to build the resilience of your organization and the individuals on your team.
No one can predict the future, but we can use tools to manage change and we can prepare ourselves for inevitable changes in the environment. Look to the future with an adaptive mindset and be prepared to pivot as necessary.