Part III – Dismiss unrealistic expectations 

This quarter, the Corona team is blogging about “what can go wrong”. The theme inspired me to write a five part series about the common hazards I’ve witnessed in the strategic planning process. In review, avoid self-sabotage  and side swipes. Lesson number three: I advise clients start the process with realistic expectations.

Strategic planning processes go wrong when they are expected to achieve Herculean feats that actually have nothing to do with the real work of setting strategy. Those feats are most often associated with the people side of the organization and its culture. The process of setting strategy must to be concerned with the external environment – most notably with market, customer, industry and macro conditions. Attending to the people side is important too, but don’t expect a strategic planning process to serve as the primary intervention for organizational change. If you need to align around a common vision and guiding principles then commit to doing that philosophical work. But please don’t confuse that with the work required to set a true strategy.

If you find yourself grasping for unrealistic expectations, you will likely face conundrum number four: the inability to say “no”. Stay tuned for part four (link) of my series.

Read the other blogs in my five part series.

The cautionary tale of 5 scary strategic planning mistakes.

Part I – Don’t self-sabotage

Part II – Avoid side swipes

Part IV – Be willing to say “no”

Part V – Don’t get too tuckered out