When I was a college student, my New Venture Studies class had the opportunity to advise a local resident starting his own coffee shop. As an aspiring entrepreneur, I was excited to be involved – that is, until I realized the capital came from an inheritance. I was further perturbed when one of his first initiatives was to purchase a brand new Honda Element to cover with advertising before his shop was even finished. Our client didn’t need a new vehicle. He needed a strategic plan.
You’ve probably heard the adage, “if you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail.” Strategic planning initiatives give organizational and departmental leaders the chance to define strategy, set direction and make key decisions. It breathes life into the vision and gives the existing motivation a track to run on. But a plan doesn’t inherently ensure success.
I recently spoke with my friend John Maloney of ASJ Consulting about why strategic planning fails. Whether you’re a one-man shop or a large organization, here are some of the main reasons we identified.