Strategic planning skills are the second-most important skill to have to ensure company success, according to a study by the Center for Creative Leadership. The study, The Leadership Gap, asked 2,200 leaders in the U.S., Singapore and India to rate the importance of 20 different leadership competencies according to how important each is for success in their organization.
Strategic planning skills ranked No. 2 on the top 5 list, second to “leading people” and followed by “managing change,” “inspiring commitment” and “resourcefulness.” Survey participants also indicated that these skills would become increasingly important in the future.
The study found a “leadership deficit” in the skills that were rated highest, including strategic planning: “The majority of the competencies rated important for organizational success are not the leadership skills at which their managers perform the best.”
The study offers the following advice for companies trying to bridge the strategic planning skills gap:
Share the strategy. Top management should communicate the company’s strategy, as well as factors influencing the strategy, with management groups and others.
Teach strategic skills. Arrange training in strategy development, change management and risk management.
Expose managers to needed skills. Rotate managers at regular intervals so that more managers are prepared for senior management positions.
Support learning. Provide necessary mentoring support and coaching.
Providing employees with industry-specific strategic planning resources, such Brent Grover’s new book, The Little Black Book of Strategic Planning for Distributors, is a great way to support learning and teach employees strategic skills. Order a copy for your team today.