Ad Top Banner

How boards can review their strategic plan

 When was the last time you looked closely at your organisation's strategic plan?

If it's been more than a year, then it's time for a review. In a year, a lot can change, new challenges and opportunities arise, and your organisation's situation may be different than it was during the initial strategic planning stage. 

As the end of the year approaches, consider allocating about 3 hours of your board time to review your organisation's strategic plan to determine whether it still aligns with the company's vision and strategic objectives and is robust enough to withstand impending internal and external threats. It's also an opportunity to identify gaps or areas that require more attention.

Therefore, during the strategy review session, the board and management should ask the following questions:

What has changed in the past 12 months? And what have we missed?

Have a moment of reflection and think about whether, for example, there have been any recent changes in resource allocations across the company that would significantly impact your organisation's strategic direction. Discuss whether there have been any changes in the regulatory environment or changes in patterns of demand amongst your consumers and other stakeholders.

Discuss with management whether any signposts were missed, such as emerging risks, disruptive technologies, or surprises from competitors that could trigger a change in your strategy. The most significant risk to a board is not appreciating how fast the environment changes. Your board needs to be on high alert regarding any recent structural or operational changes requiring a strategic shift in how you do business.

What is working and what is not working?

Take each strategic objective and identify the ones that are still viable and worth retaining. Identify the ones that are not working and need to be removed, either because the objective has been achieved or perhaps you realised one of your objectives was unrealistic given the current macro-environment.

Some boards may decide to remove an objective due to human or financial resource constraints. Such action is justified; however, as board members, you should be future-focused and develop innovative ways to do more with fewer resources.

For example, a corporate training non-profit board dependent on membership fees should consider diversifying its revenue streams by offering members complimentary services or forming strategic partnerships with other corporate training institutions in its industry.

Being innovative involves seeking cheaper ways to deliver your products or services with the same value. Remember, you will often not get what you plan but only what gets resourced.

For this reason, it is imperative to have board members who can think strategically and guide the company's resource direction to areas of the business that will drive the organisation further towards achieving its short-term strategic goals and long-term vision.

How is our workplace culture?

Finally, your company's workplace culture will determine whether your strategic planning is being executed effectively.

Do you consider your employees as strategic assets? Do you engage them during strategic planning sessions, particularly those managing or working in key strategic departments? Do you treat them with respect and dignity? Do you provide them with skills development opportunities?

Do you value and see them as part of the team, not the company furniture? Do you provide room for them to be innovative and creative despite the risk of failure?

If people are not the centre of your strategy, from your employees to your stakeholders, you probably have a visionless strategy. Happy employees are always willing and able to go the extra mile to make the company successful.

Therefore, as the world slowly recovers from the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, one of the essential corporate lessons for boards is that a slow-paced strategy will no longer work in a post-covid world. Always ask the question, how can we disrupt? And how can we be disrupted?

By periodically reviewing and updating your strategic plan, you can trust that it will be relevant and responsive to the evolving business environment. This review process will help your board make better decisions and execute your strategy more effectively. 

*Chisom Obiudo is an admitted legal practitioner of the High Court of Namibia and a part-time Governance Consultant and board induction facilitator at Directed Governance Consultancy. She is currently a member of the Institute of Directors South Africa and serves as the Deputy Chairperson of the Governance Committee at Namibia Investment Fund. She holds an LLB degree and a Masters degree in commercial law with specialisation in corporate governance and certificates in compliance, non-executive directorship and legislative drafting.Reach her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Rate this item
(0 votes)
Last modified on Wednesday, 23 November 2022 22:51

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter all the required information, indicated by an asterisk (*). HTML code is not allowed.