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I think everyone will agree that planning what direction a company will take for the next few years takes a bit of effort.

Executive Summary

Following up on an earlier article in which she presented a strategic planning framework for developing corporate goals, Carol Williams, a risk management and strategy consultant for P/C insurers, advises that establishing the "what" of strategic plans and annual initiatives is not the end of the road. Here, she delves into the "how-to" part of the process, drawing on the work of Donald Sull and others involved in the Strategic Agility Project at MIT to explain the main causes of strategic execution failures. One, which is particularly relevant in the P/C insurance world, is presence of siloed cultures.

After all the workshops, one-on-one meetings, risk and data analysis, and good old-fashioned brainstorming, it may be tempting to think the journey is complete and take your foot off the gas. It’s precisely at this juncture when companies need to settle in for the long haul—to go the distance needed to actually achieve the goals that were prioritized.

The third-quarter edition of Carrier Management contained an outline of what the ideal strategic planning process should look like. I want to emphasize the word what because this is where you and other company leaders determine what you want the company to accomplish over the next three to five years. The timing of this topic coincided with when most companies develop their strategic plans.

Now that we’re getting close to the start of the new year, this process should hopefully be complete for your company, and there is a clear idea of what you and other executives would like to accomplish in the years ahead.

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