Circle Strategies

Strategic Planning

Building a strategic plan that supports the organization’s vision and mission statements is a difficult and long process. Strategic plans generally provide the broad, long-term picture for the organization including finances, operations and the external environment to project future actions. Tactical plans, which is a process focused on courses of action to achieve short-term goals—usually within a year or less, outline what each department needs to achieve, how it must do so and who has the responsibility for implementation.

Strategic planning has been characterized as a process that:


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  • Provides a road map for managing continuous change and securing an enduring future for an organization.

  • Determines where an organization is going so all organizational efforts can be pointed in that direction.

  • Involves long-term planning for periods generally ranging from three years up to two decades.

  • Involves major decisions, long-term commitments and a large number of resources.

  • Avoids costly and disruptive surprises that prevent goals from being achieved and deals with issues in a timelier fashion to avoid crises. 

Nearly all HR leaders are involved in strategic decision-making and participate on the organization’s strategy team in some capacity. Whether it is preparing reports on the employees, HR finances or retention statistics, HR is a key player in the organization’s strategic planning process. Regardless of where strategic planning begins, the actions of the HR department are integral to the success of the strategic plan. Thus, HR professionals must take care to align the HR function with every aspect of the strategic plan, even if the strategic plan does not explicitly address HR issues.

The HR alignment process is often driven by workforce composition issues. Although every organization’s particular strategic plan is unique, the demographics and other characteristics of the available workforce have a major effect on the way businesses are staffed. And the way organizations are staffed has a significant impact on the execution of the organization’s strategy. This is where companies rely on Circle Strategies to provide the expert experience to support the HR function as part of the organizations strategy team.

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