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Strategic Planning Principles

Adhering to certain key principles will facilitate the planning process itself and lead to a more robust and creative plan. Below we briefly review some of the more common and important planning principles For more detailed explanation of planning principles and pitfalls, see our article, “Our Thoughts About Planning“:

  • Planning is a process not an event, and the process is more important than the outcome.


      • “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.“
        – Dwight D. Eisenhower


  • Planning never really ends. We are constantly planning and constantly adapting the plan.


      • “The majority of men meet with failure because of their lack of persistence in creating new plans to take the place of those which fail.”
        – Napoleon Hill


  • Strategic planning must never impede strategic thinking and strategic thinking must never hinder strategic action.


      • “Have a bias toward action – let’s see something happen now. You can break that big plan into small steps and take the first step right away.”
        – Indira Gandhi


  • Planning is about being poised for opportunity – opportunity, by definition is something better than that for which we planned or hoped . Without plans we would not be able to recognize and seize opportunity.


      • “…chance favors only the prepared mind.”
        – Louis Pasteur


  • Planning demands hard choices among good opportunities – The possible destinations of an organization are limitless. Therefore, in essence, strategic planning is about making tough choices about what we do and do not do as an organization


      • “Life is the sum of all your choices.”
        – Albert Camus


  • Planning can be no better than your assumptions and your willingness to put them on trial for their lives


      • “You must stick to your conviction, but be ready to abandon your assumptions.”
        – Denis Waitley


  • We really should see it as strategic “thinking” versus strategic planning.


      • “We always plan too much and always think too little.“
        – Joseph Schumper