The Future of Strategic Business Planning - Inspire11

Traditional business planning focus’ on what we know or what we can expect to a certain degree. Organizations are continuing to increase their level of comfort with the unknown as they look towards the next 12-months. The potential in this? Radical innovation if you harness the power of what’s possible.

Strategic business planning has been around since the early 1920s. Yet this process in a post-2020 world couldn’t feel more unknown. 

Organizations are continuing to increase their level of comfort with the unknown as they look toward the next 12 months. The potential in this? Radical innovation if you harness the power of what’s possible. 

Five ways to plan for “what’s possible” this year:

Abide by your “Why”. Your Why and the pillars that support it should never waver no matter what disruptions are encountered. How you go about achieving your purpose will undoubtedly evolve as you test and learn—this is a good thing! The continual evolution and data-driven insights are key to achieving what’s possible and will help lead you to your destination rather than steer you off-course. 

Facilitate hindsight to gain an edge on your foresight. Look back at the big unknowns and disruptions from prior years to gain insight into how you would respond differently if faced with the same challenge. Your plans should expand on hindsight, gain an edge through insight, and anchor on foresight.

The focus of free flow ideation (not a roll-over plan). There’s beauty in a blank canvas, especially when it comes to business planning. Leverage platforms like Miro to generate new ideas that bring your Why into reality and help you achieve your future state vision. Then connect new ideas to what’s been built and is already working to identify strategic themes and initiatives. This helps ensure you are constantly producing new ideas that leverage existing momentum and aren’t rolling over last year’s unfinished business. 

Apply adaptive enablement features. Strategic planning is a continual process, not an annual deliverable. It’s key to weave adaptive enablement features into your planning process that guide you to continually act, test, iterate, and measure. This can include applying Agile and design-thinking practices like MVP strategy, sprints, and human-centered ideation to help you respond quickly to events as they happen. 

Build a culture of risk-taking. What’s possible thinking opens opportunity and with that comes risk-taking. Organizations that embrace risk and agility are more likely to gain a competitive advantage in a world of unknowns. In a culture of risk-taking, team members and leaders must operate in a way that doesn’t “let the perfect be the enemy of the good”, and celebrate failures paired with learnings along the way to achievement.

Find the opportunity and potential in the world of the unknown. 

We’d love to brainstorm with you on how to apply a what’s possible mindset and agile approach to your strategic business planning.