Every now and then, I would be asked what strategic planning is all about. It never was an easy question to answer, to be honest. I always found it easier whenever there was a handy napkin and a pen around to explain what strategic planning is all about.
So I thought I'd take a stab at crafting an integrated visualization of what strategic planning is all about.
Having seen a lot of planning processes in my career - and having lived to see the rollout of at least five rolled-out, championed, and mandated processes in one company, I believe it all boils down to this one chart.
The drawback with this visualization is that it is static - whereas strategic planning, in the real world, is dynamic. Because the issues that strategic planners tackle are also dynamic and changing.
Until I find a way to dynamically visualize this diagram above, I will have to use words to come up with a description of the diagram above:
Strategic planning is the science (because it needs hard evidence and information) and the art (because the information and the evidences need to be processed in an integrative manner by a human being who has an opposable mind) of understanding the complex dynamics between brands, consumers, messages, and media platforms set against the constantly-changing social world (which is not just the digital-powered sites and services, but the real social world) and the constantly-shifting, risk- and opportunity-brimmed business environment. The purpose of strategic planning is ultimately to effect a shift in the business of the brand.
It is still is a mouthful, really.
Because it really is.
The output may be simple and elegant. It could be captured in a 1pager or in a 5-slide deck or in a 15minute presentation. But the process leading to the output is not so simple as the output.
I will try to elaborate more in the next few blog entries the dynamics of the diagram.