Social Media Tools to Aid Mid-cycle Strategic Planning


Mintzberg’s article, the Fall and Rise of Strategic Planning in Harvard Business Review set off a lightbulb for me.  By clearly defining strategic thinking apart from strategic planning, Mintzberg explained the curiosity of companies that hold strategy meetings despite continued lack of success.(Mintzberg, 1994)  When this subtle difference between strategic thinking and strategic planning is not successfully imprinted on strategy meeting attendees, causing epic brain shutdown in the annual stretch between strategy meetings.

To be fair, it is difficult to change course in large companies.  Once a strategy is decided upon, everyone breathes a sigh of relief, plops the old train cart on the new train tracks, and once again chugs along with blinders on.  Bringing decision makers to the table again mid-year is just too much trouble.  But it needs to be done, because strategic thinking never stops.  Or at least it shouldn’t.  There needs to be ways to differentiate between strategic thinking that can be tabled for the next big meeting, and the ones that must be acted upon ASAP.  In addition, since Strategic Thinking = Systems Thinking, all functions of the company needs to engage in it.  But how do we engage so many people in a meaningful conversation outside of the planning cycle?  I believe social media can provide some answers.  Google Moderator can be a useful way to capture thoughts and garner support.  Can you think of other tools that can help with mid-cycle strategic thought capture and strategy planning?

References:
Hoskisson, R. E., Hitt, M. A., & Ireland, R. D. (2008). Competing for Advantage. Cengage Learning.
Mintzberg, H. (1994). The Fall and Rise of Strategic Planning. Harvard Business Review, 72(1), 107-114. doi:Article