Strategy & Planning

Why Have Strategy & Planning Processes Become Increasingly More Popular in the Public Sector?

Public sector leaders are increasingly developing strategic planning processes for setting up long-term goals or objectives for their organisations. With strategic planning, managers are able to anticipate and manage change skillfully, and effectively tackle new issues that are likely to emerge in a climate of uncertainty, such as preparing for rapid changes in society, politics and the economy

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What is Strategic Planning?

Effective strategic planning sets priorities, focus, and resources and ensures that employees and stakeholders work towards a common goal; this is to eventually come to an agreement around an initial result.

There are different reasons organisations create strategic plans, such as understanding the priorities and achievements within an organisation to create a real impact.

What is Horizon Scanning?

Horizon Scanning is a strategic, systematic process created to aid the early detection and assessment of any important developments through an examination of potential threats and opportunities, with an emphasis on new technology and its effects on the issue at hand.

It is a data-driven approach where information and evidence is collected and the findings are interpreted and validated in order to make informed decisions and policies for the organisation.

What are the benefits of Horizon Scanning?

  • Gives your organisation a holistic view of future trends (what is coming, what changes will benefit you, and what changes will be negative)
  • Helps assess whether your organisation is prepared for future changes/threats
  • Can assist in policy making by identifying important needs or gaps
  • An effective tool for bringing experts from across different fields together to develop a viable solution for a common error

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Why is Strategy and Planning so important in the public sector?

It is through strategic planning and execution that organisations develop and implement their strategies; whether for growth or responding to eventualities. Some organisations fail to value strategy and excel at strategic planning in order to execute a project. If this is the case, organisations struggle to change their behaviour and progress with their important outcomes.

Four critical areas in strategic planning that will help you deliver impact and enhance the entire process:

  1. Culture
  2. Purpose
  3. Operating Model
  4. Execution

Read our full blog: How important is Strong Strategic Planning for Your Organisation?

The Four Key Qualities of an Effective Strategic Thinker

  1. Have a creative mindset – used to come up with ‘out-of-the-box’ solutions or suggestions others may not have thought of
  2. Willing to take calculated risks
  3. Able to embrace new possibilities and challenges
  4. Have a flexible attitude

5 Top Tips to be an Effective Strategic Thinker

1. Always think ahead

If you’re looking to be as effective as possible in your career, it’s always essential to think long-term. Having a long-term vision and effective strategic thinking goes hand in hand to prepare for any stressful situations within the workplace.

2. Save time to focus

One of the biggest challenges in any organisation is not dedicating enough time to strategically progress. It’s easier to focus on the day-to-day tasks instead of focusing on strategic direction.

3. Open your ears

Every member of your team is invaluable and should be heard. Developing your listening skills will encourage others to share thoughts whilst also creating a comfortable environment where everyone can contribute strategically as a team. Make sure to have an open mind and be open to feedback from all job levels.

4. Watch out for trends

In order to become strategic, it’s vital to gain a solid understanding of current trends. Schedule time to explore the internal trends that are raised day-to-day multiple times and incorporate the common obstacles that colleagues might be currently facing. Noting internal trends will allow you to implement a new strategic process.

5. Acknowledge, appreciate and award

Always acknowledge and publicly appreciate strategic thinking and actions. Remember to award members of staff who quickly create several solutions to a problem and establish the solution with the greatest long-term outcome.

Read our full blog: 5 Top Tips to be an Effective Strategic Thinker