Over the years, I’ve collected seven reasons why strategic plans fail. Even with the best of intentions, and even committed prayer, the casualty rate for strategic plans is high. Here’s why:
#1. Event Thinking
Strategic planning is viewed as an event or a task, instead of a transformational ongoing process.
#2. Top-Down Ego
Strategic planning is created top-down and characterized by ego and arrogance, instead of humility and listening.
Strategic planning is seen as an “add-on” interruption to my “real work,” instead of becoming absolutely core to my role.
#4. Extra Expense
Strategic planning is allocated as an extra expense (that is often cut) instead of a critical core investment.
#5. Binder Syndrome
Strategic planning conjures up complex and time-consuming exercises and
3-ring binders, instead of being the servant to a simple and elegant plan that is grounded in the alignment between the mission, BHAG, and S.M.A.R.T. goals.
#6. Sacred Cows
Strategic planning “economizes” by involving fewer and “safer” stakeholders who honor tradition, dead horses and sacred cows, versus out-of-the-box dangerous ideas!
#7. Pseudo Prayer
Strategic planning, for the Christ-follower, gives a wink and a prayer to holy input, versus an extraordinary process of assembling spiritually discerning people together to hear from God—who then joyfully follow His plan.
#8. Verbal Fuzz
Strategic planning festers in a “verbal draft” purgatory, versus becoming a disciplined process that is both written and implemented. (Why is a written plan so important? In his book, Breakfast With Fred, Fred Smith Sr. confesses, “I learned to write to burn the fuzz off my thinking.")
Question: Proverb 16:3 says, “Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.” What might be the second reason your plans may not succeed?