It is all very well for a company to devise a strategic plan, but that does not guarantee positive results. Still, many companies find that how they conceive of strategy and their approach to strategic planning has a major impact on the usefulness of what results from the process. The authors of this paper argue that strategic planning that guides discussion among managers at different levels can play an important role in stimulating the collective process for shaping the development of common goals and priorities, acting as a strong glue to align the organisation around a chief purpose. This paper describes how translating strategy into managerial action requires common understanding of strategy and its underlying logic. It examines how the planning process of Reial Automobil Club de Catalunya (Royal Automobile Club of Catalonia) served to establish a common understanding and commitment to strategy among the firm’s managers over time, yet, in the process, that strategic planning changed both in methodology and in purpose. The study therefore sheds light on the debate of the emergent versus the planned approaches to strategic planning as it suggests that RACC used both a formal and an emergent strategy. The analysis of the case also sheds light on the relationship among distinct components of a planning system and how their interdependencies change as strategic planning is transformed to meet different purposes. In particular, it demonstrates that a firm’s approach to strategic planning influences the prospects for its successful implementation.