The Vice President for Strategic Planning – Why You Shouldn’t Have One

by Bob Mason
(Albuquerque, US)

The ad’s text said the company needed a Vice President for Strategic Planning. To me, the ad conveyed a different message. It said that this company did not understand strategic planning. Reading the ad, I envisioned an organization with a CEO who is very busy doing things that may or may not really relate to the company’s mission and wants someone to do the work necessary to create a big, complicated plan that includes all the latest buzz words. Experience tells me that whoever takes this job will find himself in an office with little support. In spite of a lot of platitudes, this person will find they are always number two on the priority list; behind everyone else. This person needs to keep their resume polished because when the company falls on hard times, they will be one of the first to go, hearing words like, “A luxury we just can’t afford right now you see.”

Why such a negative view you ask? After all, isn’t it good that this company wants to bring strategic planning into the C-suite? Yes, that’s terrific. The problem is, by creating a separate office the company is missing the key point of planning. It is the foundation upon which everything in the organization is based. A large company will probably have several vice presidents. There will be one for operations, marketing, maybe human resources. All of these executives should be working toward goals to accomplish a mission that is laid out in the plan. The strategic plan is not co-equal with the marketing plan, or the operations plan. It is the basis for those plans.

Well, if there shouldn’t be an executive position for strategic planning, then who is responsible for it? If there isn’t a vice president, then the only other place for the responsibility to fall is the CEO! That’s exactly where the responsibility should be. This is one of the most important jobs for a senior executive. A good strategic plan provides the basis for everything else by defining why the organization exists, what it does, and how it does it. The plan spells out the goals that will make the organization successful. It tells everyone what is important to that success. Is that really something a leader wants to leave to a subordinate?

Senior leaders should ask themselves two very important questions:

1. Why don’t I have time to be the strategic planning officer in my organization? What am I doing that’s more important than planning the future of the company, then seeing it through?

2. Who in this organization is better suited than I to be in charge of the plan that is the foundation for the organization’s future? If there is someone, should they have my job?

A bit harsh perhaps, but that’s how important this is.

Bob Mason is a speaker, trainer, and author of “Planning to Excel: Strategic Planning That Works.” After 30 years of leadership experience he founded RLM Planning and Leadership to transform leadership by developing great leaders. Bob works with organizations that want to excel by training managers to lead and creating great strategic plans to keep leaders focused. See what he can do for you at

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Comments for The Vice President for Strategic Planning – Why You Shouldn’t Have One

Nov 03, 2015
The Vice President for Strategic Planning
by: Custom Essay Company

I have Associate in Nursing forthcoming communication in class, the text book we have a tendency to square measure victimization is Koestler and Keller’s promoting Management. i can not distinguish between the 2 (plans), will somebody facilitate.

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