Most strategic plans fail because everything hinges on a workshop.
Strategic planning for many companies involves taking the board or management team off-site for a two day retreat with a facilitator. Such facilitators usually have Post-it Notes and butchers paper but rarely have strategy expertise. Although the facilitator may be adept at chairing the workshop, this process does not usually produce sound strategy because:
- Most facilitators don’t understand strategy
- Most facilitators draw on theoretical frameworks rather than commercial insights
- The strategy document becomes simply a summary of the workshop
- Few managers have the perspective of more than one industry
- Ideas tend to be introspective and are not challenged
- The same old ‘corporate myths’ surface each year
- Every organisation believes it is at the cutting edge and is invincible and the facilitators do not have the experience (or guts) to challenge the internal beliefs.