Does Your Strategic Plan Extend Out Too Far?

Most organizations are still planning too far out.  In this day and age, realistically, how can we?  With so many changes to our markets, politics and competitive playing field, we need to be more agile in our approach to strategic planning.  Breakdown your long-range goals within the strategic plan in to short sprints – maybe 6 to 12 months.  Measure, re-evaluate and re-plan along the way.      


In truth, some strategic plans do go out many years.  They have to.   I was working for a hydro utility that had a 35-year plan.  They had to.   (They had a 3-year plan as well – a different product).

I had an 18-year plan many moons ago when I decided that I would launch my professional speaking career when I turned XX.  😊.  I am proud of that plan. It took that many years to execute and it worked!

But in today’s business world, reality suggests that even two years is a long time to plan out.

Mona Mitchell and I published our book “7 Elements of Strategy Execution” in mid-2019 as a response to many organizations’ struggle to bring strategy to reality. has been quoted to suggest that “over 60% of strategic plans fail in some way – and many of these never even get off the ground”.

Over the summer I am reviewing some of the Clear Signals That Your Strategic Plan Is Going to Fail. Our first three…

  1. Your Leaders cannot articulate the plan
  2. You do not have a scorecard for your plan
  3. You do not have a clear definition of what strategy success looks like.

And now: Your plan extends out more than 2 years.

This is a fast-moving world these days and we all have to be agile and adaptable.  Strategic planning is critical, but only if you are willing and able to adjust with the times.  Strategy set in stone will surely sink you.    

Strategies fail for many reasons:

  1. Your leaders cannot articulate the plan.
  2. You do not have a scorecard for your plan.
  3. You have not clearly defined success.
  4. Your plan extends out more than 2 years.

and more to come.    

Hoping you are having a lovely summer.


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