Strategic Planning is dead. Long live strategic planning…
An interesting conundrum; we know that strategic planning is valuable. Intuitively. Yet, we seldom march lockstep behind that big blue binder when it’s complete.
Why is that??
I have an opinion (surprise!). During a recent strategy session, the client’s chief executive stated that he doesn’t even consider it strategic planning at all. He doesn’t even like the term.
He uses Strategic Discernment.
I hate doing this, but I visited dictionary.com for the definitive definition of discern/discernment…
1. to perceive by the sight or some other sense or by the intellect; see,
recognize, or apprehend: They discerned a sail on the horizon.
2. to distinguish mentally; recognize as distinct or different; discriminate: He is
incapable of discerning right from wrong. –verb (used without object)
3. to distinguish or discriminate.
Now this is something we can get our arms around. It’s not the strategy, stupid, it’s the planning (or in this case, the discernment). It’s the act of discriminating among choices; of choosing one path, direction, or vision over another.
It’s to recognize something distinct or different. Remember, strategy has never been simple trending of current results — that’s simply forecasting, and can be done via Excel spreadsheet.
No, real strategy is creating our future among the myriad possibilities; it’s determining in advance what we intend to be, who we intend to be, and what will matter to us. Then, making that happen.
Instead of simply watching in awe as things happen around us.
We make it happen.
I can get into this Strategic Discernment thing.