Emerging trends and issues in strategic planning

  1. Globalization
  2. Quality and productivity or total quality management
  3. Ethics and social responsibility
  4. Technological development
  5. Work force diversity
  6. Multi cultural effects
  7. Empowerment of employees


  1. Managing people
  2. How to adapt planning cycles to the needs of each business
  3. Challenges in performance-management
  4. Integration of human-resources in the strategic plan

Coping with the challenges (Starting with the key issues)

Asking CEOs what they think strategic planning should involve and they will talk about anticipating big challenges and spotting important trends. At many companies, however, this noble purpose has taken a backseat to rigid, data- driven processes dominated by the production of budgets and financial forecasts.

Bringing together the right people

An issues-based approach won‘t do much good unless the most relevant people are involved in the debate. Employees satisfied with the strategic-planning process would rate it highly on dimensions such as including the most knowledgeable and influential participants, stimulating and challenging the participants‘ thinking, and having honest, open discussions about difficult issues.

Adapt planning cycles to the needs of each business

Managers are justifiably concerned about the resources and time required to implement an issues-based strategic-planning approach. One easy yet rarely adopted solution is to free business units from the need to conduct this rigorous process every single year. Managers need to focus on executing the last plan‘s major initiatives, many of which can take 18 to 36 months to implement fully.

Implementing a strategic-performance-management system

In the end, many companies fail to execute the chosen strategy. More than a quarter of our survey respondents said that their companies had plans but no execution path. Forty-five percent reported that planning processes failed to track the execution of strategic initiatives. All this suggests that putting in place a system to measure and monitor their progress can greatly enhance the impact of the planning process.

Integrating human-resources systems into the strategic plan

Simply monitoring the execution of strategic initiatives is not sufficient: their successful implementation also depends on how managers are evaluated and compensated.

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