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Lawrence, NJ – Business Coach Discusses Common Strategic Planning Problems

SYNOPSIS: As a FocalPoint business coach based in Lawrence, NJ, I partner with many growing companies struggling to craft and execute strategic plans that deliver. In this piece, I leverage my experience to pro

Navigating Common Pitfalls of Strategic Planning

BY: Fred Ewig, FocalPoint Business Coaching of Lawrence, NJ

With expertise guiding businesses in Lawrence, NJ and nationwide as a FocalPoint coach, I’ve observed strategic planning trips up companies time and again. Why does an exercise meant to provide clarity and direction so commonly miss the mark?

In my work facilitating planning retreats, I’ve pinpointed recurring issues that undermine the process. Firstly, spending too much time analyzing present realities rather than envisioning the future landscape. Secondly, lack of specifics and governance on executing the plan. And thirdly, failing to dedicate the necessary resources upfront to enable success.

While each organization’s strategic journey faces unique twists, understanding the most widespread planning pitfalls provides a roadmap for sidestepping them. Let’s explore each problem area and solutions in more detail.

Getting Stuck In Today

With strategic planning, a forward-looking mindset is a prerequisite. Yet executives often focus excessive energy dissecting current metrics, market share percentages, and org charts. Now, present realities absolutely provide context to inform strategy development. But you can only refine what exists for so long before reaching the critical question: what’s next?

I guide leadership teams through various techniques to shift out of current-state fixation during planning. We analyze trends, brainstorm pending external issues, and use scenarios to imagine industry shifts the company may confront in coming years. I may ask questions like: As emerging technologies disrupt incumbents, how could we leverage them? If a new competitor arrives, how would we maintain advantage? Exploring change opportunities sidesteps status quo biases.

After future-focused idea generation, we translate possibilities into strategic priorities and multi-year roadmaps. Overall, devoting as much session time to examining the horizon and beyond as assessing current operations leads to more adaptable plans.

Lacking Accountability in Execution

After the exhilarating vision-building stage, the real work begins – executing the strategy. But without governance attaching clear ownership, timeframes and tracking to strategic aims, execution floats along without urgency until the next annual planning kickoff.

To instill accountability, I emphasize formalizing a strategic plan governance process before sessions wrap. For each major goal, we detail key actions, timing, success metrics, supporting initiatives (like training or system enhancements), and responsible parties. I advise teams to designate a strategy owner on the leadership squad to oversee progress. And I coach them to adopt regular plan reviews, not just annually.

Questions to focus leaders include: Who will mobilize resources or coordinate external partners to deliver this strategy component? How and how often will we gauge performance? What will we do if expected progress lags? Establishing governance upfront prevents follow-through gaps once daily distractions pile on.

Under-Resourcing Change

The crux underlying both fixation on the present and lack of execution often comes down to change management. In my experience, many organizations undergo intensive strategic planning but then fail to actually resource and lead the internal transformation required to activate the strategy.

Common resource gaps include finances, staffing, operational capacity, skills development, and leadership attention. I have executives determine upfront what modifications developing each strategic priority necessitates across: budget, talent, structure, business processes, technology capabilities, facilities, vendor partnerships, and more. We have candid conversations about trade-offs funding growth initiatives may require.

Questions for planning teams cover: If we aim to expand geographically, realistically when could current systems and staff handle a 20% uptick in volume? What additional expenses might our product innovation goals require? Does our budget allow for both investing in technology and new hires to improve analytics next year? Getting grounded on what resources executing strategic changes demands and mapping the gaps sharpens plans.

As a business coach based in Lawrence, NJ, I partner closely with companies to navigate all phases of strategic planning, especially mitigating the most common pitfalls. My hands-on approach facilitates not just crafting strategy, but galvanizing teams to own execution. Reach out if you need an objective expert to make your next planning cycle count towards actualizing your growth vision.

“Best Business Coach in Lawrence Township, NJ”

Top Rated Local Business Coach / Advisor / Consultant / Firm

Mercer County: Lawrence Township, Princeton, Trenton, West Windsor Township, Hopewell, NJ

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“Best Business Coach in Lawrence Township, NJ”

Top Rated Local Business Coach / Advisor / Consultant / Firm

Mercer County: Lawrence Township, Princeton, Trenton, West Windsor Township, Hopewell, NJ

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Fred Ewig

FocalPoint Business Coaching of Lawrence, NJ

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243 Fieldboro Drive,
Lawrence Township, NJ 08648, USA

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Lawrence, NJ – Business Coach Discusses Common Strategic Planning Problems