The ability to develop a detailed strategic plan to achieve goals
WHAT IS IT?
Strategic Planning is a highly sought after skill for leaders. Strategic Planning guides an institution, idea, or effort by modeling the future. Leaders with strong strategic planning skills understand how to plan for the future and into the future. They outline different potential outcomes, forecast the likelihoods of different situations, construct ideal courses of action, and develop contingency plans.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
Projects and organizations live and die based on strategic planning. A leader’s ability to plan for the future and then adapt to change as that plan is executed can determine the ultimate outcome. Leaders need to cultivate strategic planning skills in order to increase the likelihood of success in spite of potential unforeseen obstacles. Advanced Strategic Planning skills can also increase the accuracy of of budget, time, and scope forecasts.
- Review Case Studies
Reading general business cases will give you a better understanding of how various organizations approach and plan for projects. History is full of examples of companies that have succeeded and companies that have failed. Review both types of cases to uncover how businesses have won and lost in the past and why. You will uncover the strengths and weaknesses of the initial plans that were put in place.
- Seek Leadership Opportunities
There are opportunities for leadership all around us. These could be anything from volunteering at your church to helping out with a youth sports team in your community. Find an opportunity where you can lead and thus practice forecasting and making decisions about the future, no matter how big or small the opportunity is.
- Create A Personal Strategic Plan
Consider writing a strategic plan for yourself. Map out where you want to be in a year, or five years, or ten years. Include ideal outcomes, potential obstacles, and contingency plans. This can be a good start for you if you do not currently have an opportunity to practice strategic planning within an organization. No matter your situation, having a clear direction for your life and career can be a productive exercise that defines personal goals and gives you the opportunity to practice strategic planning.