Strategic Planning: Agility Is a Competitive Advantage - dummies

Strategic Planning: Agility Is a Competitive Advantage

By Erica Olsen

Is being agile on your strategic plan’s list of competitive advantages? Can your business react and change its game plan based on either customer feedback or shifts in market, all while keeping that end vision in focus? A successful business has the ability to assess any given situation and decide how to proceed based on the findings.

The ability to adapt quickly is the name of the game in today’s business climate. When everyone on your team is on the same page and is pulling in the same direction, you can easily absorb shifts, make changes, and innovate on the fly. If you don’t have a clear direction in your strategic plan, your team may not know how and what to adapt to.

We’ve all been around long enough to know that markets shift and things don’t always stay the same. A business leader’s responsibility is to anticipate change. So as you work through your strategic management process, take note. Although you’re preparing a five-year plan, remember that you’ll need to change things up a bit as you travel down that road to success.

You’ll likely come across a lot of forks in the road, and you’ll be a more sustainable organization if you’re better equipped to take the necessary turns to get to Point B. Keep this point in mind: Good businesses don’t change strategies every month; they change the tactics to execute a strategy.

Many firms underestimate the buy-in needed to make change happen. Change initiatives need approximately 75 percent of recognizable support from key leaders and managers. If at least a majority of the staff and stakeholders are on board with the strategic management process, then getting everyone else on the same page when the tactics to get to your vision need to shift will be much easier.

Identifying what will change, what will stay the same, and why the change is important helps this process along and helps alleviate any fears your staff may have of what may happen as a result of the change.