A strategy (or a strategy plan) is a communicable plan to maximize and sustain the most important outcomes. Strategy planning is simply the process through which an organization determines its strategy.
Because forming a strategy requires alignment across many stakeholders, it is impossible to arrive at a defensible, cohesive strategy without performing research, working sessions and analysis with relevant senior stakeholders. Often, there are 5 steps to strategy planning, occurring in roughly the following order:
- Defining outcomes
- Research and diagnosis
- Vetting and approval
These 5 steps are occurring, explicitly or implicitly, in every strategy planning process, even if they are occurring inside the head of a single leader.
Usually, these steps may occur in a cycle, for instance every year, in the case of annual strategy planning. Each of these steps may be a one or more working sessions, or several may be combined into a single workshop. For more information, check out our article on how to run strategy planning workshops for your organization.