Is Strategic Planning Still Relevant?

In March 2010, Fast Company ran a piece entitled “Strategic Planning is Dead, Long Live Strategy Execution,” a few weeks earlier the Wall Street Journal declared that “Strategic Plans Lose Favor.” So is strategic planning another victim of the economic tsunami that has washed over the world?

It is easy to jump on the bandwagon and declare that in today’s volatile and uncertain world strategic planning is irrelevant. Amidst all the talk of flexibility, agility, speed and responsiveness, strategic planning seems oddly out of place. After all how useful can a long-term view of future be when our predictive ability is so poor?

However, before we discard strategy lets back up, maybe the problem is not strategic planning itself but the way in which we apply the technique. As Michael Porter author of numerous books that are essentials in the library of any strategic planner commented: “Strategy is a word that gets used in so many ways with so many meanings that it can end up being meaningless.”

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About the Author

David Axson, author of The Management Mythbuster, is President of the Sonax Group, a business advisory firm. He is a former head of corporate planning at Bank of America and was a co-founder of The Hackett Group. He is a sought-after speaker and writer on business strategy and management and is widely regarded as a thought leader in the industry. To read David’s complete biography, click here.