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​Few companies have a strong strategic planning process that is well-supported across the organization. Yet more than 60% of the executives we surveyed said they are satisfied with the very processes that lead to such mediocre strategy. Why? Some executives may have a different conception of what a good strategy looks like, but most have simply lowered their expectations. They either believe their strategic planning process is as good as it’s ever going to get, or they feel that fixing it would mean devoting even more time and effort to a difficult and tedious process—the last thing they want to do.


There is no one-size-fits-all approach. But we find that world-class strategic planning incorporates five key principles.

     Principle 1: Strategic planning and budgeting are both essential, but they aren’t the same thing

     Principle 2: Strategy amplifies the voices of the front line and customers

     Principle 3: Resource allocation is purposely undemocratic

     Principle 4: Don’t let the earth’s rotation around the sun determine when you make decisions

     Principle 5: Leaders focus on the most important decisions and simplify the rest

This article appeared on the Bain & Company website. 

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