So you think you can plan?
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So you think you can plan?

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Slides from a webinar on moving strategic planning beyond the constrained and less than useful processes we use at the moment.

Slides from a webinar on moving strategic planning beyond the constrained and less than useful processes we use at the moment.

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  • Hello everyone. Good morning.This is Maree Conway, owner of Thinking Futures, and welcome to this webinar on So you think you can plan? Strategic Planning: what it is and how to do it.The webinar today will explore the place of planning in the context of strategy development, and how to go about writing and implementing plans.The slides and a recording of the webinar will be available in a couple of days and I’ll email you when they’re ready to download.The presentation goes for about 40 minutes, and we’ll have time for questions at the end. If you do have any questions as we go through the session, please type them in the Questions pane in your control panel as they occur to you.  
  • Today, we’ll spend a little time talking about the context in which your plan is written, and then we’ll move through writing and implementing the plan.We’ll talk about how to connect the present where you plan, with the future which is what you are planning for.
  • This webinar in total only lasts an hour, and so the presentation provides only a rapid overview of strategic planning.It’s about the process of planning rather than any specific contexts. Some of you in the responses to the question in the registration form wanted to explore issues like water and climate, and foresight and public policy, but that’s beyond the scope of today. I am very happy for you to contact me afterwards if you have any questions or would like some more information, and I provide my contact details at the end of the webinar.
  • Throughout the webinar are a series of checkpoints.They are provided as a sort of self-check for you to use when looking at your current planning processes.
  • Today, we’ll spend a little time talking about the context in which your plan is written, and then we’ll move through writing and implementing the plan.We’ll talk about how to connect the present where you plan, with the future which is what you are planning for.
  • First up….we can’t afford not to have a strategic approach today – without it, we risk wasting time and resources, and worst of all, we risk our time and energy, two things that are under constant pressure in organisations today.
  • There are lots of words and jargon associated with strategy and strategic planning today. But rarely in those words do we see the term future. It’s probably considered to be implicit, but it’s my view that consideration of the future needs to be overt in our strategy work. Right now though, a future focus is usually buried under the jargon.
  • And that’s dangerous, because we need to make a clear distinction between the two.Strategy is developed to move an organisation to some desired or preferred future end point. Planning is the process where you agree to action to implement the strategy, write those actions in a document, and then take the action.
  • Planning is only one step in the strategy process – it’s not the whole game.
  • So what is strategy?
  • This checkpoint is about whether your strategy is focused on the present, and more of the same, or whether it is focused on moving your organisation into the future.
  • Today, we’ll spend a little time talking about the context in which your plan is written, and then we’ll move through writing and implementing the plan.We’ll talk about how to connect the present where you plan, with the future which is what you are planning for.
  • Because current strategy processes tend to focus on producing a plan as the end product, rather than on the process that creates that preferred future – the strategic destination.
  • These sorts of diagrams abound when we look at strategic planning.
  • They look great – and I did the one on the left – but more energy goes into these diagrams and plans than goes into the thinking that informs them. My issues with current planning processes are:
  • Often lack the flexibility to deal with unexpected changes in the external environment.
  • Usually don’t include any processes for systematically exploring the long term future of the organisation – they develop plans for 3-5 years out – that’s not long term.
  • Tend to rely heavily on quantitative data, suggesting a single outcome, and dismiss validity of qualitative data.
  • Miss potential innovation and strategic options because they don’t challenge organisational assumptions and ideologies about doing business now and into the future.Ignore the opportunity to spend some time in the future to test whether what they do today will be relevant in that future.
  • And, they usually don’t include any systematic processes for listening to the views of staff, before a plan is written.
  • We are trying to avoid this situation.Current planning processes often seem like busy work and the conventional view of planning tends to result in more of the same rather than an innovative plan focused on dealing with the future.We have to remember that:No plan survives contact with the future...unless the future drives the plan.
  • So let’s talk about how to plan in a futures context.
  • Planning is an industry now – there are books, videos, CDs, podcasts, websites, software and countless consultants who try to tell you how to plan.It’s become far too complex.And it’s often not terribly meaningful.
  • Remember…
  • If you think the plan is the beginning and end of the strategy development process, then you are taking part in a compliance exercise.So, if your planning process feels like you are just ticking all the boxes, then you are in compliance mode.
  • This book will help you write a strategic plan in 60 minutes – 2 stages, 12 steps, 300 words…..greaaattttt!Get it done as quickly as possible, don’t think to much about it, just get it done – the people who use this approach shouldn’t be surprised when their plan falls over.
  • This checkpoint is about your current planning process. Do you include a step where you can think strategically about plausible future operating environments before you write your plan?
  • Today, we’ll spend a little time talking about the context in which your plan is written, and then we’ll move through writing and implementing the plan.We’ll talk about how to connect the present where you plan, with the future which is what you are planning for.
  • Define environmental scanning, sometimes called Horizon Scanning.Lots o definitions and in a futures sense, lots of superficial and shallow approaches.
  • You can’t know the detail of the future, but there are enough signals and signs about today that, when you add in lessons from hindsight, will give you a powerful platform to begin building your preferred future for you or for your organisation.But, you need to be alert to these signals. You need to be open to seeing them.
  • Why scan? Because it’s about moving beyond busy. It’s about making the time to be proactive, and to confront your organisation’s environment – it’s about being ready.
  • Start out there, and bring it in here to focus scanning needs.
  • So, how do we get started with ES?
  • Big – do you understand how you connect and interact with other organisations and the external environment? Do you think in systems or silos?The big picture view is critical if you are going to improve the quality of your information about the external environment.Escape the confines and constraints of day-to-day thinking to take a much more holistic view of what is going on. Think systems.
  • Thinking deep is about understanding your worldview, your way of seeing the world, your assumptions about how business happens, Are you operating from your interpretation of the past or your anticipation of the future – and are your assumptions today valid into the future?
  • Challenging assumptions is critical.Our minds are habitual, pattern recognition machines, and we make decisions based on our assumptions about how the world operates. But what our assumptions often do is encase us in the past, and prevent us from seeing the need to change, and from seeing new options available to us.You need to be aware of what assumptions underpins your thinking, and perhaps more importantly, you need to work to understand the assumptions underpinning the thinking of the people who will read your scanning reports.
  • You need to understand your worldview, so that you can challenge your assumptions.
  • Long – how far into the future are we looking? Do we understand the shape of alternative futures for our organisation?Are you just assuming that the future will be more of the present?Have you engaged with the complexity and uncertainty that surrounds the future, or are you trying to ignore it?
  • This and the next couple of slides demonstrate the importance of thinking ‘long’.Our usual planning timeframe is 3-5 years. We look at trends and then plan for what is called a linear future – the one we assume to be true, based on how we view the world today.
  • Thinking long lets us recognise the range of possible futures to explore – when we think beyond three to five years, we recognise that trends have may possible outcomes and assuming a linear trajectory is a flawed approach.
  • And, we must always remember wildcards.Low probability, high impact events that have the potential to change the world overnight.They can totally dis-rail trend trajectories.It’s worth building in wildcards to your ES system so that you have explored potential discontinuities to your organisation and its work.I've been following this discussion at a distance, and am surprised that no-one's mentioned ElinaHitunen's hypothesis that a wild card is actually about the speed of change that it provokes. This is a section from her JFS article, ("Was It a Wild Card or Just Our Blindness to Gradual Change?"), which reviewed the wild card literature::"The key issue, when considering wild cards and other changes, is the rapidity ofthe changes and, according to that, the time to react to them. In order to take thesedynamics into account, changes can be divided into two categories: wild card type ofchanges and gradual changes. Both of these types are similar to S-curve type ofchanges that for example Molitor (2003) and Dator (1996, 2005) have discussed earlierin connection with emerging issues. The difference of these two types of changes isthe speed of the change (i.e. the slope of the S-curve).In the case of wild cards there is only little time to react to the change before ittakes place. In contrast to gradual changes, it is possible to anticipate them well inadvance. It is understood that this division much resembles the division of discontinuitiesinto categories of abrupt and gradual discontinuities described by van Notten etal. (2005). Although these authors do not use the term wild card in this sense, Iassume that their "abrupt discontinuity" is very similar to wild cards while "gradualdiscontinuity" (or transition as they also refer to it) has some elements of the termgradual change that I use."Whole article here: http://www.jfs.tku.edu.tw/11-2/4wildcard-hiltunen.pdf
  • I just wanted to quickly tell you about Shaping Tomorrow – I think most of you will know about, or be members of ST already, but it is a great resource to organise and report your scanning. I spent a long time trying to find a way to store my scanning hits, and retrieve them when I needed to, and ST provides all that functionality, and more. You can use it as your personal database, or share your scanning hits or insights as ST calls them for free.If you don’t know about Shaping Tomorrow, the website address is here, and I encourage you to have a look. If you have any questions, please do get in touch with me, and I’ll help you out.
  • This checkpoint is about your scanning and how you use your scanning output. I run more detailed webinars on environmental scanning and strategic thinking so I’ve not dealt with them in any detail here. Downloads of those webinars are available at my website (www.thinkingfutures.net).
  • You probably use and hear these words often when you are having a conversation about strategic planning. Well, perhaps the first cluster more than the second – meaningful and useful don’t often enter the conversation, yet unless staff and stakeholders see the plans as meaningful and useful in their context, empowerment, ownership and buy-in are unlikely to happen.
  • Your staff and stakeholders aren’t homogenous, and they don’t share your worldview. So if you are the person responsible for strategy in your organisation, you owe it to yourself to get a wide range of views to inform your strategic thinking about what matters, and what will make a difference - before you write your plan.
  • This slide shows ways for different groups of stakeholders to get involved in strategy and planning. It’s not rocket science, but authentic staff and stakeholder involvement takes time, and is another step in the process. But it is worth it if you want the plan to be executed successfully.
  • These are the sorts of questions to ask when working out how to involve stakeholders in your planning process.
  • Importantly, involving stakeholders and staff has a few pre-requisite – you need:CEOs who are comfortable with listening to a diversity of alternative views to inform their thinking – before they decide, the absence of a command and control management approach,resources to commit to the process, andtime to commit to the process
  • It’s really important to involve staff at the beginning because they ultimately implement your strategy.They can do this successfully if they are involved in the process from the beginning……or they can resist implementation – either consciously or unconsciously
  • How do you do it? Lots of different ways are available – it’s about what suits your organisation.
  • This checklist asks you to reflect on how you involve your staff and stakeholders in your planning process.
  • Okay, pick up your pen now!
  • When writing a plan…Basic rule is to keep it simple -don’t over-complicate it.It’s a myth that strategy needs to be ‘big’.It needs to Focus on the 3-5 things that will help you achieve your preferred future.
  • These are the four main types of planning documents that move from broad and long term to narrow and short term.
  • A word about budgets – the folk lore says the budget follows the plan, but in reality, it’s an iterative approach, and published plans should be funded plans – otherwise people will not embrace them. There’s no point including projects and actions in plans if they aren’t going to be funded.
  • So now, the elements of a plan. Vision: This is the description of your preferred future. It needs to be describe your organisation in 10 or 20 years time, not today.
  • We often pay lip service to values in plans.I work with an association who decided they wanted values in their strategy statement, and asked me to draft some. I asked them what they thought the values should be, but they couldn’t answer the question. So I drafted something and gave it to them, and they published it – no questions asked. They were what I thought their values should be and not what was meaningful for them or their members. This is not the way to identify values.Spend some time talking to your staff about what values matter to them – align the values before you align the plan across the organisation.
  • Then describe your goals – the 3 to 5 things that will make a difference. If you achieve these you will have moved your organisation from the present to your preferred future.
  • Actions are the detail – who does what, by when and how. Actions are the steps you take to achieve your goals.Limit actions too, or you will overwhelm yourself.700 + story
  • You need to space out implementation of your goals, so you need to set targets, and you need to set measures – both of these will help you know when you have achieved your goals.I have a separate, more detailed presentation on developing measures, targets and KPIs, so again, I’m not going to go into any details today, but please let me know if you’d like a copy of that presentation.
  • In my mind, to avoid undue complexity and overlap, we need to be clear about where each of these elements fits in the organisation.
  • And importantly, not everything that everyone does goes into a strategic plan – that’s what operational plans are for. Strategic plans are strategic – they are about moving your organisation into the future.
  • Here’s an example of a worked strategy. It’s simplified but you’ll get the idea.
  • This checkpoint asks you to think about the content of your plans.
  • Today, we’ll spend a little time talking about the context in which your plan is written, and then we’ll move through writing and implementing the plan.We’ll talk about how to connect the present where you plan, with the future which is what you are planning for.
  • Probably the most important thing to remember is that it’s only a plan.Keep the plans simple.Make it flexible, easy to change and update – if you have a suite of ‘top-level’ plans that total more than 20-25 pages, you probably have too much written down.I actually think more and more that we should move away from the glossy hard copy plan, to a plan that is designed to be iterative, and updated as the environment changes.I don’t agree with every element of unplanning – but its core tenets are ones to remember: it’s more important to launch and test ideas in the institution and the market rather than get stuck on producing the perfect plan with pretty charts and gloss. Key element is don’t be afraid to change a decision or a strategy if something doesn’t work or the environment changes.
  • And importantly, in implementation, trust your staff to do it well.Norstrom had this statement for their staff, and it applies well in most organisations.
  • The steps in implementation are broadlyCommunicatingAligningReviewing and reportingAdapting
  • The best example of this that I’ve seen was at Swinburne Uni.A single documentA powerpointA ‘message’ guideto allow customisation at the unit levelA briefing for executive managersAnd a clear message from the Vice-Chancellor that underpinned it allEveryone knew the strategy – and they all had a consistent interpretation of it. They may not have agreed with it, but they knew what was supposed to be guiding their work and decisions.
  • Aligning is about ensuring that all the plans connect with each rather than exist in parallel universes.
  • Remember thatPlans are actions an organisation has agreed to take to respond to the external environment.The external environment changes often, so the plan may need to change often as well.
  • Adapting is about moving to a more dynamic implementation process for your plan.Remember unplanning – it’s more important to launch and test ideas in the institution and the market rather than get stuck on producing the perfect plan with pretty charts and gloss. Key element is don’t be afraid to change a decision or a strategy if something doesn’t work or the environment changes.Test an action to see if it works, rather than waiting until you are 100% it will work. Accept that some things won’t work, and try something else. The current literature on design thinking is useful here.
  • These are some of the implementation challenges you will face – I’m pretty sure you will have already encountered these if you do planning now.
  • Final checkpoint focusing on implementation.
  • When you go back to work after the webinar, what will you take with you?
  • Keep an eye on your external environment, otherwise you will miss changes.
  • Explore the shape of possible and alternative futures for your organisation
  • Before you write your plan
  • You will need to find the time to do this sort of three level process, but it will be time well spent.
  • And the aim, to take action today based on your understanding of the long term context into which you are moving.
  • That’s almost the end of the webinar – I just wanted to let you know about some resources and future webinars.If you need help, please get in touch. Training can be tailored and provided in a variety of ways, no matter where you live.
  • There are two more being finished – one on strategic thinking and one on strategic planning.
  • Okay, let’s check out the questions.
  • Here are my contact details.I am very happy for you to get in touch after today if you have any questions – email is probably the best way.
  • Finally, a favour please: I’d be very grateful if you can complete the satisfaction survey that will appear when you exit.Thank you very much for attending – that’s the end of the webinar. So, when you are ready, you can close the webinar at your end.Till next time.Bye for now.

So you think you can plan? So you think you can plan? Presentation Transcript

  • So you think you can plan?Strategic Planning: what it is and how to do it Webinar: 17 September 2010 Maree Conway
  • ….using futures approaches tointegrate strategic thinking intostrategy development and planning
  • Today…• Planning in a strategy context• Understanding your plan‟s context• Elements of a good strategic plan• Implementing the plan
  • Checkpoints• Throughout the webinar are a series of checkpoints.• Questions to help your review your current strategy and planning processes.• Won‟t spend time on them today, but I‟ll send you a document with them when I email you about the webinar download.
  • Today…• Planning in a strategy context• Understanding your plan‟s context• Elements of a good strategic plan• Implementing the plan
  • Strategy: Why Bother?• Many organisations cant consistently describe their strategy – strategy needs to be translated into operational terms.• 60% of typical organisations do not link their strategic priorities to their budget (how do key strategic initiatives get funded?)• Two-thirds of HR and IT units develop plans that are not linked to the organisations strategy. This is extraordinary.• 70% of middle managers and more than 90% of front-line employees have compensation that is not linked to the strategy.• 95% of employees in most organisations do not understand their organisations strategy. Robert Kaplan and David Norton, The Office of Strategy Management, Harvard Business Review, October 2005
  • • Strategy is developed to move an organisation into the future while…• …planning is about agreeing on action to be taken now to implement that strategy.
  • So…• Planning is one step in the broader process of strategy development and implementation.
  • What is “Strategy”?an entity confronting its environment soas to ensure its continuing development Adapted from: several sources
  • Organisation and Environment Social Environment Driving Forces Industry Environment Factors / Trends Issues / Forces Stakeholders Suppliers Social Organisation Technological Economic Customers Ecological Clients Political … Members of Competitors Wider Society Driving Forces Adapted from K. van der Heijden
  • Foresight and StrategyRecall that…• Strategy includes “confronting” the environment with both cognitive and active processes.Well …• Foresight is part of the cognitive aspect of “confronting” the environment.• Planning is the “acting” part.
  • So…• An organisational foresight capacity is required to build robust strategy.
  • Foresight is the capacity to understand future uncertainty and use that understanding in organisationally useful ways today
  • Checkpoint 1• How future focused is your strategy?• Do you use futures approaches to develop alternative futures for your organisation?• Does your current strategy assume that the future will be business-as-usual?
  • Today…• Planning in a strategy context• Understanding your plan‟s context• Elements of a good strategic plan• Implementing the plan
  • • Current strategy processes tend to focus on the plan as the major outcome, rather than a shared understanding of your organisation‟s preferred future to inform action today.
  • Making VU 2016: Current until A Statement of 2016 Purpose Internal & External Planning Strategic vision Inputs and objectives Ongoing environmental scanning •Educational & societal trends •Government policy drivers University •Legislation Priorities •University cross-sectoral Reviewed each 2008-2010 Outcomes & strategies year in first half Strategies to •Other University Plans (eg of year implement OHS, Disability, Staff Equity etc) Unit Strategic Plans University Budget Process 2008-2010 Iterative process to align Reviewed and Faculties, Schools budgets and plans updated in & Service areas Budget sign-off at endAugust/September; Implementation of University September finalised following Priority strategies Quarterly Budget ReviewsQIRs in November Department Plans Improvement action identified/changes to plans identified SPDP: individual Staff Plans QIR Inputs Organisational Unit QIR Quality Improvement Reviews Portfolios Held in (QIRs) Approval of operational plans Faculty Review Outcomes November each Review of current year’s Annual Course Reporting year performance Course Review Subject Evaluation Outcomes AQTF outcomes AUQA Follow up
  • Think tomorrowis going to bemore of today
  • Can’t copewith theunexpected
  • Usually don’t explorelong term alternative futures
  • Prefer quantitativeover qualitativeinformation
  • Don’tchallengeassumptions
  • Downplay or dismiss staff beliefs,hopes and fears about the future
  • When you are involved in a strategic planning exercise…• Do you jump for joy?• Sigh?• Groan?• Wipe the dust of last year‟s plan and read it for the first time?• Just do it…as quickly as possible?
  • What is a strategic plan?• A strategic plan is a document that records the action you have agreed to take to implement a strategy.• It allows you to clarify, assign accountabilities, monitor implementation and report on the achievement of that action.
  • • Writing and implementing the plan comes at the end of the strategy development process, not the beginning.
  • • You can‟t write a strategic plan unless you have first explored the shape and form of your future operating environment.
  • • Because…decisions about your strategic direction must be based on an assessment of plausible future alternative strategies for your organisation…
  • • …not strategies based on an assumed linear extrapolation of the present and past.
  • • If you assume that tomorrow‟s business environment is going to be more of today, then you are „betting the farm‟.
  • Checkpoint 2• Think about the way you write your strategic plans – what‟s good, what could improve?• Are the plans informed by an agreed view of the future, or by what you know today?
  • Today…• Planning in a strategy context• Understanding your plan‟s context• Elements of a good strategic plan• Implementing the plan
  • Before you pick up the pen… what informs your plan? Scanning
  • ES is the art of systematically exploring and interpretingthe external environment to better understand thenature of trends and drivers of change and their likelyfuture impact on your organisation.
  • • What will be the shape of the future?• What will be important?• What will be peripheral?• What does it mean for us?
  • Why scan?• Beyond the short-term• Beyond busy• “We want to be proactive…”• But how can you be proactive if you have little idea about what‟s coming?
  • • Unless you scan, you WILL always be reacting/in crisis management modes/putting out bushfires.
  • Aim of ES• The aim of scanning work is to provide robust information (trends and emerging issues) to inform your strategic thinking,• to enable you to build a long term context for your strategic planning today.
  • So how do weget started withenvironmentalscanning?
  • BIG
  • DEEP
  • Ourassumptionsencase us inthe past.
  • Your Worldview• The network of ideas, beliefs, biases, prejudices, social and cultural embedded-ness, and taken- for-granted assumptions through which you interpret and interact with the world, other people and yourself. – Constrains what you see in the world, and the way the world is organised and operates. – Shapes the way in which you see the world and what you notice, and the way the world is organised and operates. Erhard and Jenson, Being a Leader and the Effective Exercise of Leadership, Harvard Business School, Research Paper 09-022, April 2010.
  • LONG
  • UNCERTAINTY High Usual Planning Timeframe (3-5 years) The linear future is the one we believe to be true, usually based on untested assumptions Trend Linear Future Low Today TIME Future
  • UNCERTAINTY High Usual Planning Timeframe (3-5 years) Possible Futures Trend Linear Future Low Today TIME Future
  • UNCERTAINTY High Usual Planning Timeframe (3-5 years) Possible Futures Trend Linear Future Low Today TIME Future
  • Shaping Tomorrow• Store your scanning hits• Develop trend reports• Scan the database being build daily by people around the globe• Test your organisation‟s future readinesshttp://www.shapingtomorrow.com
  • Checkpoint 3: Looking Out• What trends are relevant to your organisation? Why?• Think about some alternative outcomes for those trends – in 3, 5, 10 years.• What do you need to know to be able to respond to those possible outcomes?• Scan for that.
  • Checkpoint 3: Looking Out • Spend time thinking about what you are finding means for your strategy – how would you respond? • This is what goes into your plan.
  • Before you pick up the pen… what informs your plan?Crowdsourcing Stakeholders
  • • Empower• Ownership • Buy-in• Meaningful • Useful
  • Activity Stakeholders HowPossible Futures Wide range of stakeholders Workshops, discussion,THINKING within & external to conversations, resource material organisationStrategic Options Board, CEO and senior Workshops to review and assessANALYSING managers possible strategy and associated risksDecisions Board and CEO Board meetingsSETTING GOALSPlanning All staff Opportunity to have input intoVISION & MISSION drafting of the vision & missionPlanning All staff Unit level activities to set actionsACTION to respond to goals
  • Questions to Ask• Who will be involved • Who will add value to – staff and the process? stakeholders? • Who has open minds?• How will you involve • Who will bring new them? perspectives to the• How will you manage process? expectations? • Who is our biggest• How will you report critic? on how their input has been used?
  • • Opening the planning process to your staff and stakeholders requires: – CEOs who are comfortable with listening to a diversity of alternative views to inform their thinking – before they decide, – the absence of a command and control management approach, – resources to commit to the process, and – time to commit to the process.
  • Staff as Stakeholders• Staff ultimately implement your strategy on the ground.• They can do this successfully if they are involved in the process from the beginning…• …or they can resist implementation – either consciously or unconsciously.
  • Gathering Views• Workshops• Focus Groups• Online networks and social media• Surveys• Delphi• …
  • Checkpoint 4: Open and Inclusive• What stakeholder groups do you need to involve in your planning? Why?• At what stage?• How will you involve them?• What will you do with their input (manage expectations)?
  • Writing the Plan 2…okay pick up the pen now
  • • Basic rule is to keep it simple -don‟t over- complicate it.• It‟s a myth that strategy needs to be „big‟.• Focus on the 3-5 things that will help you achieve your preferred future.
  • Types of Planning Documents• Organisational strategy – short and sweet, sets the future direction, 10-15 years out.• Functional plans – organisational wide approaches to core business, 5 years out.• Unit plans – how individual units will contribute to achievement of goals – annual, within 5 year cycle.• Staff plans – how individual staff will contribute to achievement of goals – annual.
  • Planning and the Budget• The budget follows the plan?• In reality, the plan needs to recognise budgetary limitations.• Planning and budgeting are a connected, interdependent, iterative process.• Published plans should be funded plans.
  • Vision• Vision – what do we want to be? – A coherent description of a preferred future.
  • Mission• Mission – What do we do today? – Defines the organisational role – Describes the activities it takes to achieve your vision
  • Values• What drives our behaviour?
  • Goals• What 3-5 changes will make a difference?• Link the present with the future, and establish desired outcomes.
  • Actions• Who will do what, by when?• Limit the number of actions associated with a goal.
  • Measures and KPIs• Measures: how we will know when the action has been completed.
  • • The organisation has a vision and mission.• The organisation defines the values.• The goals and KPIs apply across the organisation.• Actions and measures are set by units.
  • • Not everything that is done goes into a strategic plan.• Operational plans can be developed to help plan and manage day-to-day activities.
  • Plan Element ExampleStrategy To move to the top 10% of research universitiesGoal Increase publications by 10% by 2020Actions 1. Implement a publications reward scheme 2. Develop workshops for new researchersMeasure Publication RateTarget 1% increase in publications each year to 2020
  • Checkpoint 5: Review your Plan• Think about your current strategic plans. – Are they too complex or just right? – Do you have too many levels (ie more than goals and actions)? – Are your vision, mission, values and goals clearly articulated? How do you know? – Are actions in your unit plans linked to the organisational strategic plan? – Do you have the right measures?
  • Today…• Planning in a strategy context• Understanding your plan‟s context• Elements of a good strategic plan• Implementing the plan
  • It’s only a plan…• Avoid investing too much in the written document.• If it‟s a „living document‟ then it can be changed, tossed out, and re-written.• Unplanning…
  • Trust your staff…• Nordstrom – Trust your own best judgement• Trust your staff to add value to the strategy by deciding how they can implement it – each unit will be different.
  • Implementation• Communicating the plan and accountabilities• Aligning action – and the budget• Reviewing and reporting• Adapting the plan• …and give it time.
  • Communicating• A single message• A common resource package• Translate the strategy into operational terms for staff so they can answer the question – how do I contribute?• Role of CEO and senior managers is critical to ensure consistent message.
  • Aligning• Actions at unit level all respond to organisational strategy – an external focus. – Not all units will have actions for every strategy.• Action from each unit can then be consolidated under each organisational goal.
  • Review and Report• Regular reviews – at board meetings, staff meetings…• Use the review to identify changes needed.• Make it regular.• Feed reviews into annual reporting process.
  • Review and Report: The Annual Report• Measures• Success stories• What did we do this year to contribute to the achievement of organisational goals?• Needs ability to synthesise and connect the reports at the organisational level. – Not as easy as it sounds.
  • Adapting• Plans are actions an organisation has agreed to take to respond to the external environment.• The external environment changes often, so the plan may need to change often as well.
  • Adapting• Strategic agility: – the capacity to be flexible in the face of ever changing conditions and to respond to those conditions in a resilient and productive manner when change is required.
  • Adapting• Testing of ideas early (design thinking)• Accepting failure• Learning from experience• Remember unplanning…
  • Implementation Challenges• Implementation can mean change, and change is hard – expect resistance.• Internal focus – silo operations.• Lack of awareness of external environment and how to respond.• Urgent versus important work.• Mismatch between strategy and organisational capability.
  • Checkpoint 6: Execution• Think about how you communicate, align, review and adapt your plans now.• Can you improve anything?• Does your plan drive decision making?• Are you afraid to change your plan when the environment changes?
  • Back at Work
  • • Scan often, scan well
  • • Invest more time in doing this…
  • • …before you do this.
  • Think long term, act today …and act often
  • Need Help?• Training can be tailored to meet your needs: scanning, planning, strategic thinking.• Workshops, presentations, mentoring.
  • • Download Building Strategic Futures Guides: – Getting Started with Futures – Environmental Scanning http://www.thinkingfutures.net/guides1
  • Contact Details Maree Conway http://www.thinkingfutures.netmaree.conway@thinkingfutures.net Tel: 03 9016 9506 Mobile: 0425 770 181 Skype: mkconway1
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