It's January and if your organization's fiscal year-end was Dec. 31st, you have likely just completed a strategy cycle and might be working on refining your annual roadmap and priorities. It's a good time to reflect on how strategy is developed, what and who is included, and what a finished strategy looks like.
I think the future of strategy will be distributed, iterative, evolving, and done by many more people than have been included traditionally. The lengthy and expensive process of research, interviews, development, and rollout will fade away in large part because formal research cycles can't keep up - customer communities can provide much more accurate, real-time insight into evolving customer needs.
Strategy will be more integrated into daily work and senior executives will be primarily responsible for defining and ensuring alignment around mission, purpose, and principles. This is already happening in practice if not yet in intent and there are some significant challenges. Many executives don't want to give up control or extend trust to a wider group of employees. Most employees have little experience in balancing short- and long-term goals. A lot of people are being stretched in ways they never expected and for some, it is exhilarating while it increases anxiety for others.
This leads to my Question of the Month:
What about your strategic planning process would you change? Why?
Please share your thoughts in the comments!