Many reputable businesses all over the world, at some point, develop a strategic plan to increase revenue, decrease costs, improve efficiency, and innovate the way their business is run. Still, a surprising number of those strategic plans fail. Here at the Coraggio Group, we have found that the reason for this often is that strategic plans do not consider stakeholder input.
Despite having the best intentions, some strategic planning doesn’t give a holistic impression of what implementation may do to the people that the plan directly applies to. For example, a hospital may adopt a new strategic plan without the input of their doctors, which can lead to what, in theory, were great ideas but what in practice pulled doctors away from their patients.
Strategic plans go sideways much more than businesses want to admit, and when that happens, the following seven approaches are common but unsuccessful approaches to moving on.
Many businesses double down on the failing plan by appointing a project manager to oversee a quick course correction. However, quick fixes don’t work when a strategic plan is truly failing, and the stakeholders will still resist any suggested changes.
Sometimes the creators of strategic plans will seek stakeholder input when it’s already clear that the current plan isn’t working. This tends to move too quickly, and the results tend to be slapdash and ineffective.
Metrics are essential in any business, but adding reporting mechanisms can’t show you the buy-in from board members, employees, and other stakeholders.
Sometimes businesses think they can force a plan through by pushing the message even harder. Still, if stakeholders have any fundamental concerns about the project, no amount of propaganda is going to change their minds about it.
While it’s not an awful idea to bring in a new firm to start the plan from scratch, too often the new firms make the same mistakes the old firm made—like not including stakeholder input. Here at the Coraggio Group, we can determine whether a new plan is truly necessary or if the current plan just needs more time and direction to work properly.
Some companies will try to solve the problem by firing the strategy head, CEO, or COO for failing to execute the plan properly. The issue is that their replacements are going to face the same difficulties if the wrong plan is still in place when they take over.
Quietly abandoning a failed strategic plan may feel like the easy way out, but doing so without anyone noticing is near impossible. In business, the path of least resistance is rarely the right one.
If these strategies don’t work, what does? The Coraggio Group has a three-pronged plan of attack that serves not only as a strategic plan but also as a stakeholder engagement plan. The above strategies simply do not work, so we hope you’ll trust us to come up with something that will.
At their best, strategic plans can save a business, but at their worst (such as when the creators of the project don’t seek stakeholder input), they can be legitimately damaging. We hope to help ensure that doesn’t happen because your business deserves to grow and thrive.
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