Strategic thinking and planning should be a continuous activity. A habit. Unfortunately, for many, it’s viewed as a mandatory annual event (commanded by our boss or board) that distracts us from getting our jobs done.
To me, that equates to driving your car around aimlessly with no purpose, destination, and schedule. For some, this might be a form of therapy or fun.
However, most of us don’t get into our cars unless we have a good reason (purpose). That’s even more true for companies.
Think of your most recent car trip. Perhaps it was a weekend get-away, or a family visit, or a customer meeting. You had a clear purpose for this trip. A reason to make the effort to get into your car, drive for as much time as you did, and reach your destination.
Most likely, before you actually started your car you took the time to determine your destination and when you would like to reach it, search its location on Google Maps, decide what route to take, and estimate how much time (and money) it would take you to get there in order to know when you should leave your home.
In other words, you developed a plan. You would not think of driving without first having a clear plan. So, why would you start a project, or a new product, or a new business without a clear strategy (plan)?
In conclusion, to quote James Allen: “Every action is preceded by a thought”. And, in our case: Every endeavor is preceded by a plan.