Strategic planning: what is it and how does it work

Strategic planning

Strategic planning is the set of decisions a company makes to achieve the goals it has set for itself. As the name suggests, it refers to a vision for the future, developed in an organized manner and made explicit in the form of a timetable, expected results, working methods, and evaluation indicators. 

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When elaborating strategic planning, it is essential to take into account the company’s current situation. 

For example, if there is an economic crisis, which strategic guidelines are being followed by direct and indirect competitors, what interests and needs have been expressed by the different stakeholders, what is the level of relevance of certain decisions at this time, how to combine the strategy for the future with the company culture that is conveyed to the company’s internal customers… Of course, we must not forget to properly assess the resources that the organization currently has and those it expects to have in the future. 

A strategy is not a one-off action, but a complex process that takes place over time, even over the long term. Therefore, the strategic planning a company is designed to achieve has to manage time in a panoramic way. This will help measure the level of ambition it intends to invest in its work, avoid falling short but also make the most of its assets: economic strength, human resources available, and so on. 

Strategic planning

4 decisions involved in strategic planning

1. What we want to do

Like any person, every company is fueled not only by its capabilities or its needs but, by its desires. Whether it is more or less developed, it has a mission statement, a statement of principles about what it is today and what it wants to become in the future. 

This mission goes beyond achieving a specific income statement at the end of the coming year: it refers to the overall impact the company wants to have on the world. Therefore, when it comes to specifying that purpose, the company must be clear about what it wants to achieve and then prioritize the actions that will bring it as close as possible to that objective.

2. What we can do

We all know that sometimes we have to strive for the best and sometimes we simply have to lower our expectations according to our capabilities. It is not the end of the world. 

All strategic planning is based on the idea that achievements take time, and that today’s losses, defeats, or inhibitions can be the best basis for tomorrow’s leaps, successes, and growth. Otherwise, what would be the point of the strategy concept? 

Therefore, corporate decision-making must be accompanied by the most accurate possible measurement of the capacities and resources available to the company to meet its objectives. 

3. What we should do

The important thing is to be somewhat clear about what we have to do since we can’t always get what we want. It is a matter of understanding what is most convenient in the medium and long term, seen from the current situation of the company, regardless of whether it coincides with what we want to do or can do in the short term.

Here lies one of the fundamentals of strategic planning: a good strategist has a panoramic view of time and does not focus only on the conveniences of today, but also on the company’s future, managing its forces properly so that ambition or pressure does not cause the company to suffer.

4. What we need to do

To design a good strategic plan, we must ask ourselves what is needed at this precise moment in our evolution as a company, expressed in abstract terms (grow, wait, accelerate, invest, save…) We must also know what we need to do to achieve what we want and express it in concrete actions (hire a certain number of people, sell a certain amount of assets, partner with one company or the other, cut down hours, change suppliers…). 

Strategic planning

Creating the best strategic plan for your company at this time is not an easy task and can create a lot of stress for decision-makers. To make it easier, ifeel has created an emotional well-being program for companies, designed by its team of leading psychologists. It aims to help companies get to know themselves better and make the most of their resources, taking into account their employees’ psychological health as a fundamental tool to boost productivity sustainably. 

Thanks to this partnership, HR managers can receive personalized, data-driven advice on how to best plan their actions based on their mission statement, producing the best possible strategic plan for the challenges ahead.  

In addition, ifeel’s emotional well-being program for companies offers employees a mental health care service structured at different levels depending on individual needs. This way, employees can access various mental health care tools with ifeel’s app. On level two, they can receive emotional support through a chat with one of our platform’s licensed psychologists. If additional support is needed, they can access the third level of the program: online psychological therapy with a psychologist specialized in cases such as theirs. 

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