A strategic plan is a roadmap that describes where the company is, where it wants to go, and how it will get there. An important element in the strategic planning process that is often overlooked or avoided is completing an environmental scan of the business. This can be a big mistake as we have seen over the past two years, many organizations had not planned in any way for a big disruption in their businesses.
Most leaders and their organizations avoid change so they steer clear of planning for it, especially the exponential change that is happening now.
What is an environmental scan? An environmental scan looks at the internal and external factors that could impact the business in the future. Below are key questions to answer and various factors that must be considered.
• Are there changes in the competitive landscape?
• What is the impact on the economic climate?
• Are the demographics changing?
• How has technology changed, and will it become obsolete?
• What is the focus of the client, the operation, and community?
If this critical step in the strategic planning process is overlooked, or if leaders remain with the status quo in their ways of thinking, the outcome could be disastrous for the business.
This is completely preventable!
When businesses fail to look at an environmental scan, they lose their ability to respond to visible trends that would have been a key business decision. Ultimately, delivering a lag in profits, decline in production, and missing key opportunities.
Leaders must look ahead and see into the future. One that is changing faster than anyone is prepared for unless you are diligent with your planning. Businesses that are prepared can plan and adapt to external forces which will impact the performance of the business, gain a competitive advantage, and leverage the business in becoming an industry leader.
When was the last time an internal and external environmental scan was completed in your workplace?
We can help your company facilitate strategic planning and review the critical elements of the environment to drive your business forward, contact us today.