Strategy is more than simple planning. It requires the strategist to constantly evaluate and modify the plan’s elements and move them around to reach her goals. And, it requires her to be mindful of all the contributing factors that could spell failure or success, whether directly or indirectly with an attack from the peripheral.
Strategic planning is an art and science. To think strategically there are four key characteristics that the strategist has to master to be successful.
Instead of simply evaluating the elements of the plan to decide what worked, try to envision the impact to each element of your plan as it progresses. In doing so, you are able to determine how the impact of new and unforeseen forces impact your plan as well as predict the possible result as it relates to how successful your plan can be.
In order to look ahead, you will need to be very aware of what is happening in your environment. This means you will have to constantly be up to date on each factor that impacts your plan. Constant monitoring of these factors will allow you to know when it is safe to continue with your current plan’s elements or whether change is needed.
Understand ‘The Domino Effect’
Changes to your strategic plan create a domino effect. If you have truly created an integrated plan you will know that all the plan’s pieces work together for the common goal. One change can mean an immediate impact on the other elements. It is the strategist’s job to understand what the impact will be, mitigate any negatives and leverage any positives.
Get Acquainted With The Full picture
While the ultimate goal should be the strategist’s focus, how you get there is just as important. Knowing the general tactics also help you to understand what is going on in the peripheral so that you can mitigate any negative impact to your plan. Knowing whether certain tactics help or hinder is useful in the evaluation of the plans elements and determining when to make changes.
We all know that execution is the biggest culprit in a disastrous outcome to a plan. Learning to master these four characteristics helps lessen the chance of failing at your strategic plans.