by Lauren Capotosto

Employees Want Formal Strategic Planning Process

Dec 01, 20062 mins
IT Leadership

Strategic planning is vital to an organization’s ongoing success, but many executives aren’t happy with their company’s approach to the strategic planning process. In an online survey of 800 executives conducted by The McKinsey Group consultancy, fewer than half of respondents reported satisfaction with their company’s development of strategic planning.

“We discovered that people tended to be significantly more satisfied if their companies did have a strategic process,” says Ren¿Dye, a senior practice expert in strategy in McKinsey’s Atlanta office. Of those who reported that their company implemented a formal strategic process, 79 percent were satisfied with strategy execution.

Another pain point: Only 23 percent of respondents said that a formal strategic process drives important decision making at their company. The majority, at 52 percent, credited small senior groups with making critical strategic decisions.

Notably, there’s a strong correlation between monitoring of strategic plans and executive approval of those plans, according to the study. Satisfied respondents were twice as likely to say their board checks the company’s progress against the strategic plan. Still, only 56 percent of respondents overall reported that their company monitors its strategic initiatives.

Here’s where CIOs have an opportunity to improve their company’s strategic process, and subsequently, heighten executive satisfaction, says Dye. “Almost nobody reported that they did track the process. That’s where I think the CIO could play a tremendously important role.

“CIOs could help establish the appropriate performance monitoring systems,” once strategic metrics are agreed upon, she says.

Dye’s other advice for C-level executives: Communicate the strategic plans better. “We are not convinced that companies do a good job of articulating that they know what they want to achieve,” she says.