Gartner: 7 Trends in Effective Strategic Planning Processes for Leaders – CRN


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While many long-term plans have been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, leaders must act now by implementing a strategic planning process for future revenue growth, according to Gartner, Inc.

Organizations must actively prepare to respond to future disruptions and anticipate change. Leaders should evaluate the use of technological, political, economic, social/cultural, trust/ethical, regulatory/legal, and environmental (TPESTRE) factors and analytics—what Gartner calls a “tapestry”—to identify accelerators and relevant inhibitors. .

“To succeed in a disruptive future, companies must continually analyze and respond to disruptions that will impact and/or threaten to protect the company’s place in the markets where they have chosen to compete. These disruptions can undo the digital transformation that companies have worked so hard to achieve,” said Marty Resnick, vice president and analyst at Gartner. “Leaders must assess a variety of trends, beyond technology, and their impact on strategic planning.”

Gartner segments top trends and disruptions into seven broad categories, so executives can begin crafting the most relevant planning assumptions for their strategic plans. Key trending areas to assess include:

  • Technological: The evolution, impact and disruption of technological change.
  • Politics: Attitudes, institutions and legislation change the political environment.
  • Economic: Factors in the local and global economic environment that influence businesses and governments.
  • Social and cultural: Attitudes, behaviors and lifestyles of individuals and social groups.
    Trust/Ethics: Ethical expectations, behaviors, duties and biases of people and companies towards each other and towards society.
  • Regulatory/Legal: Changes in laws and government policies and regulations to reward or punish particular behavior.
  • Environment : Technical, political, economic, cultural, ethical and legal changes supporting environmental protection and sustainability.

Resnick said organizations need to be deliberate about trend scouting by incorporating trend spotting, which is the acquisition and evaluation of trends that can impact the organization. A survey in February this year of 154 business and IT leaders found that only 38% of organizations conducting trend research had a defined or formal process. Most used an ad hoc approach.

“A deliberate approach ensures that leaders consider trends and disruptions that exist outside of their primary responsibilities, where emerging trends might be more familiar,” Resnick said. “Executives who don’t already detect enough trends are likely to miss critical elements in their strategic assumptions and planning. This leaves their organization exposed to blind spots and risks, limiting their ability to take advantage of these opportunities. »

Build a strategic plan by function

Leaders can leverage Gartner tools to build their own strategic plan. There are templates available for download for function-specific plans including audit, finance, human resources, information technology, marketing, sales, supply chain, and more.

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Louisa R. Loomis