Mastering Strategic Plans: How Boards Can Shape Their Company’s Future

From SWOT Analysis to Balanced Scorecards, discover the top strategic frameworks businesses use for planning and how a board’s involvement can be the key to success

Strategy and the Board

Mastering Strategic Plans: How Boards Can Shape Their Company’s Future
From SWOT Analysis to Balanced Scorecards, discover the top strategic frameworks businesses use for planning and how a board’s involvement can be the key to success.

Today, let’s talk about the board’s role in strategy, regardless of which strategic framework your management team uses. You see, many people think that strategic planning is solely the management team’s responsibility, but that’s just not the case. Instead, the board plays a critical role in shaping the company’s overall strategic direction. Every member needs to understand how they can contribute.

So, let’s start by defining what we mean by a strategic framework. A strategic framework is a set of tools, methodologies, and processes that guide a company’s strategic decision-making. Some common examples include SWOT analysis, the Balanced Scorecard, and the Blue Ocean Strategy. Each framework has its unique approach, but they all share the same goal: to help companies make informed decisions that will drive business success.

Here are the top 10 strategic frameworks that businesses use for strategic planning:

SWOT Analysis – A widely-used framework for identifying an organization’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.

Porter’s Five Forces – A framework for analyzing the competitive forces that shape an industry and influence the profitability of businesses within it.

PESTLE Analysis – A framework for assessing the external factors that can affect an organization’s success, including Political, Economic, Sociocultural, Technological, Legal, and Environmental factors.

BCG Matrix – A framework for assessing an organization’s product portfolio and determining which products to invest in, maintain, or divest.

Blue Ocean Strategy – A framework for creating new markets and uncontested market space by pursuing differentiation and low cost simultaneously.

Ansoff Matrix – A framework for assessing an organization’s growth opportunities by analyzing its product and market development options.

Balanced Scorecard – A framework for measuring and managing an organization’s performance across four key perspectives: Financial, Customer, Internal Processes, and Learning and Growth.

OKR – Objectives and Key Results – A framework for setting and tracking goals and objectives that aligns everyone in an organization.

Lean Canvas
– A one-page framework for visualizing and testing a business model, enabling rapid iteration and experimentation.

Scenario Planning – A framework for analyzing and planning for multiple future scenarios by identifying key uncertainties and trends.

Regardless of your management team’s framework, the board is ultimately responsible for the company’s strategic direction. The board’s primary role is to provide oversight and guidance to the management team, ensuring that they make decisions that align with the company’s overall goals and values. This means that the board needs to be intimately familiar with the company’s strategic plan and the framework used to develop it.

But the board’s role continues beyond there. In addition to providing guidance and oversight, the board also needs to be actively engaged in the strategic planning process. This means working closely with the management team to identify new opportunities, assess potential risks, and evaluate the effectiveness of existing strategies. The board should also regularly review the company’s performance against its strategic goals, making adjustments as necessary to stay on track.

So, whether your management team uses SWOT analysis, the Balanced Scorecard, or some other framework, it’s the board’s responsibility to ensure that the company is heading in the right direction. By staying actively involved in the strategic planning process and providing guidance and oversight to the management team, the board can help ensure the company’s long-term success. So, get involved, stay engaged, and keep driving your business forward!

Now, as you see, a strategic plan is a critical document that outlines the company’s vision, goals, and overall direction. So all board members must have access to this document and understand its contents. And that’s where the board portal, such as Board Director, comes in.

When you use a board portal to share the strategic plan, you can be sure that it’s secure and accessible to all authorized board members. Here’s how it works. First, you log into the board portal and navigate to the section where you can upload documents. This could be a folder dedicated to the strategic plan or a section of the board portal specifically for essential documents.

Once you’ve uploaded the strategic plan, the rest of the board will receive a notification that it’s available. Directors can then log into the board portal and access the document at their convenience. But it’s not just about sharing the document itself. You also want to ensure that all board members understand the plan and are on the same page.

Another way to use the board portal is to discuss the strategic plan. For example, you could create a forum or a chat room specifically for discussing the plan or use the board portal’s messaging system to reach out to individual board members. Using Board Director to facilitate discussion, you can ensure that all board members have a chance to share their thoughts and provide feedback on the plan.

Want to ensure that the whole board is aligned with the strategic plan. In that case, I recommend using a Board Director board management software. It’s secure, convenient, and can help facilitate discussion and collaboration among board members. And if you’re not already using a board portal, now’s the time to start! It’s an essential tool for modern boards, and it can make a big difference in your company’s success.

Sign up for a FREE trial today and start managing all of your important documents, including your strategic plan.

Thanks for tuning in, and until next time, keep crushing it!