Businesses of all sizes -from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies – need to have a plan in place. Without a well-articulated vision, the organization will be as ineffective as a sports team without a game plan. However, a poorly formulated plan will cause an organization to not allocate its resources properly and ultimately fail to reach its goals. When an organization sees its plan is not working, it is time to go back to the drawing board with a process called strategic planning. This could entail enlisting the help of a strategic planning facilitator. Since it is inefficient for the company to keep rebooting its strategy, the company knows bringing in a skilled professional is the best way to create a plan that leads to long-term success. The information below will discuss the process of strategic planning, and how facilitator services allow an organization to complete this process effectively.

Strategic planning refers to the process an organization uses to define its direction or strategy, and the decisions the organization makes about how to allocate resources to achieve this strategy. When strategic planning is completed properly, the organization benefits by aligning available resources with defined objectives. Therefore, the company gets back far more than it invests when it hires a top-quality strategic planning facilitator. These professionals complete the process of strategic planning by completing some or all of the below procedures.

SWOT Analysis

A SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis is used by organizational leaders to get a snapshot of the organization. Using this information, decision makers will be able to create a vision, set goals, and delegate responsibilities across organizational departments. A strategic planning facilitator helps with this process because he or she forces the organization to ask the tough questions. When a SWOT analysis is completed internally, individuals might list strengths and weaknesses, but will be afraid to speak up about opportunities and threats because they fear rejection or ridicule. An individual providing facilitator services acts as an impartial observer who makes group members feel more comfortable sharing ideas.

Create a Vision

A vision or vision statement describes what the organization wants to be and how it wants to operate within the marketplace. Another good way to think about the vision is to use it to describe what success looks like for the organization. A strategic planning facilitator will sit down with executives and other decision makers to create or revisit the vision statement. Using input from each person in the room, he or she will guide the group to a consensus.

Set Goals and Objectives

After evaluating or redoing the vision statement, the individual offering facilitator services will help the group set goals and objectives. These goals will be used to judge how close the business is to reaching its vision, setting measurable goals such as a number of sales or percentage of market share. Once these goals are in place, it will be easier to delegate responsibilities to individual departments.