You may be starting to think that strategic planning is a good use of your time, but you’re not quite sure what it all needs to be included. What makes a strategic plan…strategic?

There are four key components to a strategic plan.

The first is culture and strategy: Your organization’s culture is made up of people, processes, experiences, ideas, and attitudes. Your strategy is where your organization is headed, what path it takes, and how it gets there.

Secondly, there are Internal and external strategies: Strategy is internal through member surveys, board assessments, financial statements, to identify your organization’s strengths and weaknesses. Strategy is external by gathering information from your customers, competitors, industry, and environment to identify opportunities and threats.

Thirdly, a strategic plan needs a balanced approach: A balanced framework considers goals and objectives in four areas: financial, customers, internal business processes, and people.

And finally, customers and market focus is crucial: Growth comes from focusing on your customers and delivering superior value to them consistently year after year. Focus on making your current customers happy and finding new ones.

Strategic planning requires a balanced approach.

Keep these four components in mind: culture, strategy, balance, and customers.
This framework will help make the plan work. Too much focus in one area can create tension and confusion. Hey, and that’s what strategic planning is supposed to eliminate.