The idea of strategic planning and execution worries many leaders and managers within the organization. It seems so time consuming and laborious. But it doesn’t have to be! Strategic planning and execution are necessary management tools to run a successful business. Strategic planning and execution go hand-in-hand. Strategic planning is about setting priorities, making decisions and taking actions to meet goals. It is developing the plan that will guide the organization over a period of time with a focus on achieving long-term goals and a vision. Strategic planning provides a roadmap for success that outlines the steps the organization as a whole, a division, a department or a workgroup will take to achieve an overall goal or vision. Strategic management (or execution) is about executing against that plan. Strategic management focuses on making strategic choices for the future and managing the work that is done within the organization in alignment with the strategic plan. Strategic management skills enables managers and leaders to analyze internal and external environments in order to formulate strategies, enabling for competitive advances in their industry. In today’s competitive marketplace and ever-changing needs of customers, innovation in strategy is necessary to keep the business moving forward.