Strategic planning models in business
Strategic planning models are needed to define actions to take right now in order to achieve future gains.
"The act of planning is consciously recognizing the futurity of present decisions."1
Peter Drucker defined planning as taking action today to achieve tomorrow's success. Planning is deciding what to do to prepare an organization for the future. Managers must work now to make the future happen. A plan which puts off a decision until next year is not a plan--it is procrastination.
Planning is not the latest fad pushed by consultants, and it is not a forecast. Forecasts look at trends that will continue into the future. Plans make the future. Forecasts can be inputs to the planning process, but do not eliminate the inherent risks of plan making. Good strategic planning models highlight risks and aim to minimize them.
"The alternative to planning is management by crisis."2
Planning gets you from "where you are" to "where you want to go." It makes possible for things that would not otherwise happen. Planning is intellectually demanding and the most basic of all managerial activities. It should always precede organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling; and provide direction for all group efforts.
Change is today's reality. Organizations must manage change through pragmatic planning. Strategic planning models provide a management framework supporting decisions that will have massive impact on the organization. Conscious systematization and managed evolution is better than "going with the flow" and haphazard evolution.
The basic planning model must allocate limited resources to furthering useful directions, better performance, increased understanding, spotting problems, and making effective decisions.
Long-range planning often extrapolates the present to get the job done. For example, imagine you are head of supermarket expansion at Tesco. Also imagine you have a plan to provide the stores to cities around Europe, If you decide to keep the same format found in UK stores you have a long-range plan that builds on success in the UK. If you plan to open very different stores, you not only take on the risks involved in changing your customers, but also for changing the company. That's probably too much risk to take on at once.
The history of strategic planning
Strategic planning began as a military discipline.
It expanded into the U.S. private sector in the mid-1950s through the General Electric Company.
By the end of the 1960s it had wide-spread acceptance in other private companies.
Strategic planning is a key leadership instrument and process for deciding what the company should do. It begins with by defining organizational aims and purposes, followed by formulating the means to achieve those purposes. Most importantly, it provides direction for implementation of operational and tactical planning.
Strategic planning models in business can simulate
situations requiring risk reduction or training inputs. It can also be a tool
for developing a consensus among the executive body. It can guide managers into decisions and actions
that have a consistent, rational affect on the organization in a way that
satisfies top management.
 Peter F. Drucker, Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices ( New York: Harper & Row, 1973), p. 125.
 James L. Mercer, Strategic Planning for Public Managers (New York: Quorum Books, 1991), p. 18