Effective Ways to Encourage Formal Strategic Planning

How do you encourage executives to adopt formal strategic planning?

I recently received this question in a strategic community forum from a woman executive who works in HR for a very well known global company. As her question reiterates some common responses of executives to utilize formal strategic planning processes, I thought the question and my response was one worthy of mention.

An effective response to this question is one that addresses current decision making processes and understanding the success rate of historical change initiatives.

*Please note for purposes of data privacy and confidentiality, the name of the individual has not been specified.



It would be helpful to me as a board director to find effective ways to encourage management to use formal strategic planning/management training.

I am often faced with responses such as “We don’t know which system to choose”; “We’re doing ok on our own”; “It’s too expensive, takes too much management time, etc.”

Do you have some advice? Thank you.




My first question to you is in regards to your governance structure. How have decisions been made in the past by the Board of Directors and the Leadership Team?

Secondly, what has been the rate and acceptance of change within your organization as the company has grown and spread into new markets, evolved processes and looked at new systems?

If investment and change initiatives are not aligned with the vision and objectives of the organization, and proper planning and feasibility assessments conducted to develop business cases with defined benefits realization, then more often than not you will be faced with similar responses. This comes down to the maturity of your project management processes or within the context of the Strategy Management Framework – Initiative Management.

Some management training topics you might want to explore include: Taking Ownership, Managing Organization and Personal Change, Fundamentals of Leadership, and Influence and Project Management.

Additional information you may want to explore is Prosci ADKAR’s Change Management Methodology which will help to you to manage stakeholder expectations and develop communication and change management plans for each level of the organization to address resistance and these types of responses.  Also reference “Creating the Case for Change and Change Management” within the XPP Process for Leading Change.

Hope this helps and best of luck.

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