Any business leader who’s ever participated in the strategic planning process has experienced “white binder syndrome.” This disorder is characterized by (a) a lengthy strategy consulting process, followed by (b) recommendations by consultants for long-range strategic goals, concluding with (c) a polished, multi-page presentation (complete with PowerPoint slides and graphs) packaged in a slick white binder.
What happens next?
Time after time, the white binder gets placed on a shelf where—despite everyone’s best intentions—it remains untouched for another six months to a year. Then someone suggests it’s time to re-visit the organization’s strategic plan and only those with a long memory can recall exactly where the white binder resides.
With white binder syndrome, too many resources are spent putting together a strategic plan that’s either out of alignment with an organization’s key processes—people, finances, processes—or too complicated and hard to understand for those charged with implementing it. One way or another, nothing changes and the exercise in futility goes on and on.
Strategic direction is the single most important issue a company must deal with. It defines both how the business must act in order to grow — which markets to enter, which customers to serve, etc. – and how to go about making it happen. But first the CEO and his or her executive team must ask themselves some hard questions:
- Are our systems of measurement aligned with our company’s vision and strategy?
- If the answer is no, why aren’t they?
- How can we measure our business growth if we don’t know what to measure?
- Can we honestly say that the strategic planning process we have in place is truly effective for implementing against our strategy and vision?
- If not, what are we going to do about it?
CNC Strategy Cloud Solutions offers a cloud-based diagnostic tool that measures how well your vision aligns with the realities in your organization. The questionnaire measures five critical areas: vision, strategy, business process, organizational structure and messaging/meeting. The results uncover what you’re currently doing well and what needs to change in order to drive revenue and profitability in the future.
These diagnostic “snapshots” are simple, easy-to-understand and available in real-time—a sure-fire cure for white binder syndrome.