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Maturing Strategic Planning for High-Growth Businesses

On more than one occasion, we have had a portfolio company reach budget season and exhibit feelings ranging from reluctance to hostility as it relates to strategic planning: 'I've never 'planned,' and have made it this far in revenue. Why plan, when it's worked out for me so far?'

For a lot of companies in this situation, the question is somewhat understandable – if it ain't broke, don't fix it… right?

On the contrary, we find that effectiveness of strategic planning can ultimately make or break a business, particularly after it reaches a certain revenue threshold (commonly $20M+ revenue). Companies that know how to conduct this process well tend to be the most proactive, agile, focused, and effective.

Strong planning processes can yield great ROI – accelerating growth through improved performance across a range of areas including:

  • Including alignment across stakeholders/leadership, company functions, and board
  • Space for difficult conversations across critical tradeoffs
  • Improved agility and scenario planning
  • Better focus on 2-3 strategic priorities (vs. in-the-weeds tactical items or laundry list)

This piece will describe what a strategic planning process looks like for a growth company and will clarify the conditions that need to be met to increase effectiveness of strategic planning, as well as delineate the process.