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Why Do the Best Companies in the World Use Strategic Planning?

By Anthony Taylor - January 08, 2016

We at SME Strategy know why strategic planning is so important. We see the results in the companies we work with, we see the focused energy on specific areas, and we see improved alignment on their teams, resulting in increased productivity.

Though we work with small and mid-sized organizations around the world, we wanted to dive into how the biggest companies in the world use strategic planning within their organizations. 

If you're looking for a strategic planning facilitator to align your team and help develop your strategy, view our facilitation options and contact us for a consultation:

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Evernote, Groove HQ, and Derek Halpern at Social Triggers are three examples of large organizations who are acting strategically:

1) Evernote and other tech companies.

This venture beat article shares the story of Evernote and several other tech companies that create features for their products that move away from their core business purpose. In the process of creating all these other features, they spread their resources too thin, ultimately affecting their profitability and long term success.

The new CEO is introducing a strategy to better align their service offerings to remain competitive and add value to their core customer. Our bet is that a better planning process with a focus on the vision of the company is in their future.

2) Groove HQ

In their newest blog instalment, the CEO of Groove HQ explains how they hired a business coach to help them with a strategic offsite meeting to assist with improving team alignment and their overall business strategy. 

The groove HQ team is remote, so it's even harder to get the whole team on the same page because they don't see the same things every day. There aren't any team visions or values posted on the wall, and there are no reminders of where they are going on a day to day basis (Although they do publicly share their journey to 250k per month).

Their vision is probably much grander than that, plus there are all the strategic pieces that go into making that happen.


The CEO admits that he has hesitant to hiring a business coach to help them with their strategy:

"I’ll admit that I was skeptical about hiring a business coach at first, mostly because I didn’t know what to expect. 

I pictured Alec Baldwin from Glengarry Glen Ross subjecting us to hours of sports clichés and motivational quotes, and I was nervous. But what we got was hugely valuable. It helped us look at our business in a way that we had never done before.

And it gave us direction and accountability for our future growth.

If you’re on the fence about hiring a business coach, I’d urge you to give it a try.

You can find coaches at all price ranges. Some are better than others, but focus on finding someone who can hold you accountable (not hard) and help you develop a playbook for success (harder).

If your experience is like ours, you’ll be glad you did."

I've found that the best value that we offer companies is giving them the time and space to all contribute to the discussion on the future of the business. It's taking the time to think of problems of tomorrow and what needs to be done to solve them.

3) Derek Halpern and side-preneurism

In one of Derek's most recent blogs, he shares that most entrepreneurs have multiple projects, but only make small progress on each. He explains that by doing that, you don't make real progress on anything.  His way of planning involves doing one thing and then finishing it, making the year much more productive and fulfilling.

Strategic planning does that by helping you focus on the most important projects, and making significant progress in one area (Ideally progress towards your vision). 

So there you have it: three organizations that use strategic planning to increase their focus, get more done, save money, align their team to make a better work environment, and ultimately increase their profitability.

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