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Why do so many organizations fail to realize their goals? Because while they can put their vision and mission into words, they neglect to develop an effective strategy dedicated to achieving success.

Strategy development and execution do not happen overnight; it is a process that involves engaging all the people in your organization, generating input and gaining insight. For any strategy to be successful, you need to fully understand all the unique issues, challenges, and opportunities of your employees to ensure their buy-in in the execution of strategies.

Here are the four key drivers for successful strategy development:

1. Focus on What You Are Best At 

What is your core business? Does your vision statement revolve around your core business and give everyone in your organization a clear mental picture of what your company hopes to become? Before you can develop a strategic plan, you need to know where you’re headed.

Your mission statement should follow; it must explain why your company exists and describe the path you intend to take to achieve its vision. Only when you’ve identified what you’re best at should you turn your attention to any side businesses or other products.

2. Identify Your Goals 

Let’s say your strategy timeframe is three years. What are the one or two, at most three, things that you must successfully do to transform your mission into your vision within that time frame? The things you list down are your goals.

The CEO is accountable for delivering on these goals. Therefore, they’re responsible for delegating tasks throughout the organization that supports accomplishing those goals.

3. Agree on Priorities and Time Horizon

Ask yourself what you hope your business will look like at the end of three years. Take that vision and mission and develop a strategy with a 3-year planning period. Strategy planning is based on your long-term plan to achieve a specified purpose. Because while strategic planning focuses on your long-term goals, operational planning is short-term and requires achieving tactical objectives. Time horizon is vital because it differentiates the operational plan from the strategic plan.

Why is this important? It’s essential to distinguish strategic planning from operational planning to avoid confusion with day-to-day activities, budgeting, product planning, or project planning.

4. Create a Strategy That Is Not All-Inclusive

Your strategy is not a sponge. Your approach should force you to make choices so that you can focus on the critical things. Remember, a plan is as much about what you will not do, as it is about what you will do.

Remember that your strategic planning process involves identifying the key decisions your organization must get right to thrive over the years. Your set of statements should describe your organization’s purpose along with the specific strategies you’ve designed to achieve the targets set for each.

Remember that developing your strategy is one thing; the execution of it is another. You need to monitor the plan continuously. It involves measuring performances regularly, holding people accountable, and ensuring that the planned activities are happening as they should.

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