The Big Lie of Strategic Planning

Strategy and planning are two very different things requiring two very different mindsets.

D. Brown Management Profile Picture
Share

Calling it “Strategic Planning” is the first place that can send teams down the wrong path as Roger Martin describes in this great webinar from Harvard Business Review.

Reading List: The Big Lie of Strategic Planning. Harvard Business Review. Roger Martin: Asking the Right Questions.

Strategic decisions have always been the most highly leveraged decisions that leaders of contracting businesses make.  These decisions are becoming even more complex and critical as the industry is being rapidly transformed by major industry trends including project delivery, technology and talent.  

Strategy is about asking what game should we really be playing.  Planning is about figuring out how to play that game effectively.  This is not a linear process but rather an iterative process going back and forth between strategic vision, alignment of the team, planning within resource constraints.  Teams that try to rush through this process as if it were a project usually end up with a simple plan resource-based plan.  

We see this frequently with contractors because project planning is 100% about planning with known means, methods and resource constraints.  The very skills that make contractors effective builders become a hindrance to true strategic planning.  

An experienced 3rd party facilitator is worth their weight in gold during this process.  They can keep you on-track truly assessing your capabilities as they compare to the industry.  They can broaden your thinking by bringing in outside industry information. They can align your team through structured exercises. 

Learn more




Growth and Opportunity
Contractors that are growing profitably, have great reputations with their customers, and have a good culture are able to attract and retain the best talent even with the talent shortages the construction industry will face in the next 10+ years.
Lean Principle - Understanding Lean Construciton
Lean is a body of knowledge dating back hundreds of years focused on sustainably growing an organization. During the last 20 years the construction industry has been rapidly adopting some of these tools to improve productivity.
Our Principles
“As to methods, there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble.” - Harrington Emmerson