Strategic Planning: Be Ready for a Rollercoaster Ride

May 19, 2014
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Amusement parks have something for everyone. When it comes to planning your trip to your favorite theme park, though, that fact can be a gift and a curse. There’s a good chance folks will have fun, but the more people that you drag along with you, the harder it can be for everyone to do everything that they want to do.

The second you get through the gates and into the park, people get separated, heading off to do their own thing. A few people want to go to the water park, the kids can’t get enough of the bumper cars and you just want at least one ride on a roller coaster.

If you want to make everything possible, while still meeting for lunch and preparing for the inevitable skinned knee, you’ll need to do some significant planning. Getting home sound and satisfied after a long day at an amusement park isn’t quite as high stakes as achieving major business goals, but in a few important ways, the strategic planning process for a multi-team project is very similar.

Just as remembering the basics of the process can help you in the business world, there are lessons to be learned from the classic bumps in the road on a big family trip.

Whether you’re heading to Cedar Point this summer, or planning for a record-breaking third quarter, watch out for these snags.

Over Planning: The tendency may be to try to plan and control the minutiae when you’re facing a full day of fun at the park, especially if kids are involved. In the end, that ends up being stressful on the planner to get everything right, and isn’t much fun for everybody else.

The same is true of a large multi-team strategy. Taking on too many responsibilities yourself and holding your team members back from using their skills and expertise to make decisions can be a drag on morale and overall performance. 

Undefined Success: This should be fairly straight forward, but it is often the most overlooked detail when planning and executing a strategy. If you haven’t defined what the finish line looks like, your team will have a hard time know what they’re working towards or how to get there.

Too Many Voices: Hopefully your meetings don’t resemble a van packed full of ten-year-olds. Still, even the most well behaved teams can get bogged down when multiple people expect to be the final decision makers.

No Crisis Plan: No matter how much experience you have, your strategy is bound to run into unexpected surprises. Just as having an emergency pack handy with granola bars, band-aids and a park map helps you make sure your trip doesn’t miss a beat, you need to know how you’ll respond to any crisis, big or small, that threatens to slow down the progress of your plan.

Planning and executing a multi-team strategy is a massive undertaking, but following a simple framework can keep you on the right track. Download our guide and be prepared for a successful rollercoaster ride.


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