The hallmark of the best company leaders is a wide perspective in today’s fast-changing global and business environment. While getting distracted by short-term opportunities or chasing daily goals is easy, foregoing long-term objectives is not an option. In that regard, company leaders should spend considerable time, energy and effort toward fashioning short-term goals that serve the long-term plan.
Long-term business leaders always question how to develop goals and improve their strategic planning process to achieve corporate objectives. But is creating goals enough? Is that all that a genuine business strategy might comprise? According to a McKinsey survey, almost 70% of executives do not like their organisation’s strategy. The core reason for that might be having a static plan and being more concerned with reaching certain milestones than solving issues and clearing obstacles at an organisation. The value of good strategic planning comes from how comprehensive and multi-dimensional its goals are instead of just being a plan to achieve certain numbers.
So, how do company leaders work on creating such momentous planning seamlessly? What steps should any successful business strategist take to develop the ideal long and short-term goals that become the lynchpin of a sustainable business strategy? Let us find out.
Strategic Planning – What is It?
Strategic planning is a process used by company leaders to define and set long and short-term goals for their organisation. It is a critical part of any business that wants to be successful in the long run. Strategic planning aims to align the company’s resources, including its people, finances, and technology, to achieve its vision and mission.
Strategic planning should be a dynamic process involving all key stakeholders. As part of the strategy, the agenda for any goals should be to eliminate problems, solve issues and clear obstacles to progress.
Additionally, it is well known that the best company leaders think long-term. However, the definition of ‘long’ has also changed when it comes to strategic business planning. Most industries are transforming so fast that they completely change the market within 1-5 years. Given the pace of disruption and innovation in play, it is no longer reasonable to expect the market dynamics to display a linear rate of change over time. Hence, as a successful business strategist, you should focus on planning for three to five years in the future while also course-correcting it from time to time.
4 Steps to Take to Devise Long and Short-Term Goals for Your Strategic Planning
- Devise a value-driven organizational vision.
The first step in strategic planning is clearly defining your company’s vision. This is the long-term goal that you want your company to achieve. Remember, your business vision is your purpose. The core tenet will drive all your decisions, operations, opportunities, and plans. Ultimately, your vision is what you see and want your business to become down the line. The best company leaders often go for a people-centric, value-driven, and progress-oriented vision.
- Map the competition, the industry and the customers thoroughly
To be a successful business strategist, you must know your business inside and out. This means understanding your customers, your competition, and the industry trends shaping the market. This knowledge will be crucial in developing a strategy to help you achieve your company’s vision. The best way to go about it is through data analytics. Mining data and trends will help you get a head start with your strategic plan and figure out the most urgent areas that require action!
- Start progressing your strategy by accomplishing short-term objectives
Once you clearly understand your company’s vision and the data on what you need to troubleshoot to achieve your end objectives, you can start creating short-term goals. These are the tactics that you will use to achieve your long-term vision. They should follow the S.M.A.R.T. tactic, i.e., they should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and have a timeline for completion.
- Rope in all the key stakeholders and create a dynamic action-driven strategy
Draft a strategy that includes tactics, milestones, and metrics that will be used to measure success. It should include specific tasks, timelines, and resources needed to achieve your goals. But make sure to take the opinions and suggestions of all your key stakeholders. Their input will help you streamline the action plan and provide a viable blueprint for executing your strategy that has everyone’s buy-in.
Best Company Leaders in India Show the Way
The action points mentioned above regarding short- and long-term planning are evident in the rise of many prominent business visionaries in India, such as Sanjiv Bajaj and Mukesh Ambani.
For Sanjiv Bajaj, one of the best company leaders in India, one’s vision should define success with a long-term perspective. As the Chairman and Managing Director of Bajaj Finserv, he has always envisioned delivering superior returns when looking through a long-term lens. When it started out, Bajaj Finserv mainly dealt with auto finance – but what was their long-term vision? Under Sanjiv Bajaj, they set out to cater to the ever-changing needs of the Indian customer who not only desires financial protection to channelise one’s savings but also desires to spend more on valuable goods and services. This people-centric, nation-centric vision has translated into the company becoming one of India’s most trusted financial services providers.
Mukesh Ambani, the Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries Ltd., shows us the value of strategic planning using thorough data and competition analysis. His second coming into the telecom sector through Jio was painted to be a significantly risky move. But his organisation had done their research and foresaw the need for cheaper, more innovative and reliable mobile internet to be felt by India’s economy, younger generations and the industry. That led him to invest in upgrading telecom infrastructure and launch Jio, which has completely changed India’s digital empowerment game.
Strategic planning is an essential part of any business. It allows company leaders to define and set long-term and short-term goals, align their resources, and create plans to achieve their vision. Most importantly, any strategic plan must be supplemented by strong execution; otherwise, ideas will remain ideas for many company leaders.
It is also important to remember that strategic planning is not a one-time event. Rather, it is a continuous process that needs to be reviewed and updated regularly. Many business case studies show that successful long-term business leaders understand the importance of this process and make it a part of their daily routine.