20 Key Facts relating to Strategic Planning
20 Key Facts relating to Strategic Planning
  1.  A Vision or Strategic Vision sets out the aspirations for the future of a creative business or cultural enterprise. This Vision (or ‘Strategic Vision’) is the ‘dream’ of the future, a picture painted in words, which is intended to inspire people by appealing to the heart as well as the head.
  2. Shared Vision. It is important that the Vision is shared by everyone in the organisation. This is especially the case for the top management, who may have very different and complementary skills but their Vision for the organisation must be the same.

  1. Leadership and Vision. One of the main roles of a leader is to articulate the Vision and inspire everyone in the enterprise to work towards the Vision.

  1. Success. Every person and organisation wants to be successful. However, ‘Success’ can be defined in many different ways, so it is vital that the enterprise clearly defines Success in its own terms.

  1. Internal Analysis. This is an objective assessment of the enterprise as it now is – a ‘reality check’.

  1. PRIMEFACT Checklist. This checklist helps to undertake a systematic Internal Analysis by looking at nine aspects of an enterprise:
    People; Reputation; Intellectual Property; Market Information; Ethos; Finances; Agility; Collaborators; and Talents.

  1. Strengths and Weaknesses. An Internal Analysis leads to an understanding of an organisation’s Strengths and Weaknesses. These are more usefully assessed in relation to competitors – see Competitive Advantage.

  1. Characteristics - rather than Strengths and Weaknesses. When undertaking an Internal Analysis, it can be more useful simply to identify ‘facts’ or ‘characteristics’ rather than immediately decide if various elements of an organisation are either ‘Strengths’ or .Weaknesses’. This is because a characteristic (eg ‘international’, ‘small size’, ‘strong finances’) might be a strength in one context but a weakness in another. The aim is to find markets and situations in which an organisation’s Characteristics become Strengths.

  1. External Analysis. This is an objective and comprehensive assessment of the changing world in which an organisation operates. This external environment includes forces and changes beyond the control of the organisation.

  1. PEST Analysis. This acronym suggests that we look in four dimensions when undertaking an External Analysis. Political, Economic, Social and Technological trends and forces should be assessed.

  1. ICEDRIPS Analysis. Designed especially for creative and cultural enterprises, this is more comprehensive than PEST Analysis. It suggests looking in eight dimensions when undertaking an External Analysis. Innovation, Competitors, Economics, Demographics, Regulations, Infrastructure, Partners and Social trends should be assessed

  1. Opportunities and Threats. An External Analysis using PEST or ICEDRIPS leads to the identification of particular Opportunities and Threats in the external environment that are relevant to each individual organisation.

  1. SWOT Analysis. This is an assessment of the internal Strengths and Weaknesses and the external Opportunities and Threats for an enterprise, derived from an Internal Analysis and an External Analysis.

  1. Strategic Planning focuses on combining an enterprise’s internal Strengths with external Opportunities.

  1. Competitive Advantage. Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats need to be assessed in the context of competitors. If an enterprise is strong in a particular characteristic but rivals are even stronger, then it is a relative weakness. Similarly, a Weakness can become a relative Strength if rivals are even weaker. Opportunities and Threats can be assessed in the same way. So we need to identify relative Strengths, relative Weaknesses, relative Opportunities and relative Threats.

  1. Strategic Marketing. In contrast to Operational Marketing (or Marketing Communications), Strategic Marketing looks first at the bigger picture of the markets around the enterprise. This leads to Strategic Marketing decisions about which markets to serve and which to deliberately avoid, based on the organisation’s Mission and Competitive Advantage.

  1. Business Strategy. This is the enterprise’s ‘masterplan’ to get it from where it is now to where it wants to be – its Vision. It should use information from the SWOT Analysis and must take into account its Competitive Advantage and Strategic Marketing decisions.

  1. Involvement. Ideally, everyone in the enterprise should be involved in some way in strategic planning. In this way everyone makes a contribution and has a sense of ‘ownership’ of the strategic plan.

  1. A Business Formula relates to the fundamental business model of a creative enterprise – how it achieves its Vision in a competitive environment by using its Competitive Advantage and by choosing (and avoiding) particular markets using Strategic Marketing. When a realistic Business Formula is devised, it can then be expanded into a full Business Plan.

  1. A Business Plan or Development Plan is the result of the strategic planning process, based on an enterprise’s Business Formula. The Business Plan is a document which sets out in detail exactly what the enterprise will do to achieve its goals and arrive at its Vision.

Share with friends