Strategic Planning

Strategic Plans are Less Important than Strategic Planning

Business strategy, or strategic planning, must be developed and applied considering a much more fluid and unpredictable environment than travel plans or blueprints, for example. In this way, strategic plans should be considered continuous. Graham Kenny writes the for the Harvard Business Review the following tips to strategic planning (2016):

  • Think of the plan as a guidance tool
    • Avoid letting the strategic plan become a device for control, which stifles creativity and growth
  • Look for disagreements and toward the future
    • Ensuring that you’re on the same page as an organization and not disagreeing, along with keeping the future in mind will generate preparedness
  • Focus on the organization and key stakeholders, not individual actions
    • Business strategy operates at the corporate level while action functions at the individual level
  • Assume the plan is a work in progress
    • Circumstances rapidly change, making it a good reason to re-visit the plan regularly

Have One Hour? Create a Strategic Plan on a Page

The “plan on a page” process works for busy business owners or small teams by shortening the process of building a strategic plan. This method was a great way to approach my individual strategic plan. Although this seems contrary to the continuous cycle of planning as mentioned by Graham Kenny, this method serves as a good way to begin if facing some kind of obstacle upon starting. Sarah Beth Aubrey offers 4 parts to crafting a solid outline for a strategic plan (2016):

  • Core values
    • List what you value, jotting up to three ideals and context for them
  • Future vision
    • Consider core values and how they inform what you want for the future
  • SWOT (Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis
    • Aubrey suggests two independent items for each category and selecting items that are concrete
  • SMART goals
    • SMART stands for specific, measurable, ambitious, realistic, and timely – make sure goals can match the SMART criteria

Content Strategy and Strategic Planning

Content strategy tools support and help in strategic planning endeavors, both individually and for a business. Houssem Daoud of Kuno Creative published a list of actions to improve and maintain identity, a critical part of strategic planning (2013):

  • Identify your business goals
  • Identify your ideal customer
  • Choosing platforms and tools
  • Allocating budget and resources
  • Social branding
  • Designing a content strategy
  • Tracking, reporting and assessing

Four Bold Goals for the Future of UNT: University of North Texas Strategic Plan 2012 – 2017

In doing research for these projects, I was constantly looking for examples of strategic plans. For work, I had to analyze UNT’s strategic plan, and found it to be a great example for the purposes of this course. The plan includes:

  • Mission
  • Vission
  • UNT’s Promise
  • UNT’s Covenant
  • UNT’s Core Values
  • UNT’s Four Bold Goals

References (APA)

Aubrey, Sarah Beth. (2016, June 27). Have one hour? Create a strategic plan on a page. Forbes Coaches Council. Retrieved from

Daoud, Houssem. (2013, October 8). How to design the perfect social media marketing strategy. Inbound Marketing, Content, and Design. Retrieved from

Kenny, Graham. (2016, June 21). Strategic plans are less important than strategic planning. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from

Four Bold Goals for the Future of UNT. Retrieved from


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