The primary purpose of every company is to serve their customers, and in so doing make money for their shareholders. To do so, a company also wants to create a positive image to their customers to win them over, transform one-time sales in repeat business, and thereby increase their revenues and profitability. This needs to be done on a sustained and sustainable basis over the medium and long term as well, and will thus require comprehensive and detailed corporate strategic planning.
In corporate strategic planning, you first need to decide where you want the company to go so in view of the changing future external environment. This gives direction and can create a sense of excitement and determination in the employees. Once the company has created its vision and decided its strategic goals and objectives, it is then time to proceed with the detailed corporate strategic plan. This means that you have to know your strengths and limitations with respect to the opportunities presented to you and the threats that you face. This requires the proper and intentional analysis of both the internal and external environments. You have to analyze what is going on in the external business environment, taking into consideration things like what your competition is doing and the macroeconomic factors, etc. Internally you have to understand the company’s culture, employee proficiency and engagement, resources available, core competencies, etc.
Once your employees have clarity on where the company is headed and what is expected of them collectively and individually vis-a-vis the company strategic goals, then they will have the clarity and motivation to carry out the required actions to implement the company strategies. The corporate strategic planning provides the structure for this and spans the essential areas of the business including marketing, business development, human resources, production and others. Involving all areas of the business is critical in ensuring a cross-functional collaboration and avoiding silo mentality; it becomes a conduit for success.
The fate of an organization is determined by the planning done by senior managers. So hire managers with the requisite strategic mindset, experience in corporate-level strategic planning and implementation, and who are able to partner in charting the direction of the company and achieving its strategic goals. The managers have to be able to apply a combination of inter-related strategies and adapt to industry changes. Bear in mind that managers have to continuously revisit their plans and strategies since the business environment is constantly changing.
Once the corporate strategic plan has been developed, together with the company business model, strategies and action plans, control systems will need to be put in place in order to measure an drive performance to achieve success. At a more advanced level of corporate strategic planning, alternative plausible scenarios of the external business environment need to be taken into consideration, and scenario plans with contingency-based actions created as well.