Strategic planning is the PROCESS by which the GUIDING MEMBERS
of an organization ENVISION its future and develop the necessary PROCEDURES AND OPERATIONS
to achieve that future.
The planning process can be viewed as a somewhat circular flow of topics and action
steps, where the results from one step initiate study and action in the next step.
However, the process does not necessarily always flow in one direction. Issues that
arise in a particular step may cause the planning team to go back to an earlier step to do
additional work. If desired, the order of the steps can even be altered to suit the
particular needs of the planning team. The implementation step also does not end the
planning process. Analysis of results could easily result in additional analysis or
a change in strategic direction. Also, it is recommended that the plan be reviewed
on an annual basis to verify that all the base assumptions are still valid and that the
implementation plan is progressing according to expectations.
Areas of Influence
- Role map - who does what, identifying influential relationships, both formal and
Situation Analysis - identification of current issues
- Commitment to Change - Influence Plan
- Balanced Scorecard - document and communicate: strategy, objectives and measures
- Measure results
- Feedback System - take corrective action as needed; loop back to pevious steps as
- There are many aspects to preparing a business plan. Not all can be handled in-house,
even by the largest company. What are your "process" needs? And how will they be
- Who is on the Planning Team?
- What is the planning timetable? (need at least 5 to 7 2-day sessions over 6 months)
- Where and how often will the planning team meet?
- Who will do the research and business analysis?
- How will information be given to other stakeholders?
Planning to Plan - readiness determination
- A business impacts many, both outside as well as inside the organization. To varying
degrees these relationships must be recognized during the planning process, including the
communication of the plan.
Evaluation of Business Culture is Critical
- Personal values of the Planning team
- not to change, but to understand each other
- Values of Organization as a whole
- profit vs. growth
- to what extent is this to be a value added organization
- importance of being a good "corporate citizen"
- importance of being a "good" place to work
- Company's operating philosophy
- How work is done
- How conflict is managed
- Accounting procedures
- Impact of and on other stakeholders
Are the underlying assumptions valid and relevant?
For the future?
Guiding Principles - top-of-mind beliefs
and values that drive daily operations
Numerous internal, cultural factors determine the approach an organization will take to
the planning process and how the resulting plan will be implemented across the
organization. Some corporate soul searching will be required:
- Willingness to seriously engage in the strategic planning process
- Ability to confront itself in the performance audit and gap analysis phases
- Assumptions about the corporate mission
- Assumptions about communicating the strategic plan
[Models of Business Culture | Understanding Culture]
Explicit Knowledge is what is normally seen and thought
important. Drives efficiency.
- Contributes to efficiency
- Leads to competency
- Easy to replicate by others
Tacit Knowledge is hidden and not easily seen or recognized
as being important. Drives the competitive advantage.
- Personal Knowledge
- Know How
- Know Why
- Hard to articulate
- Hard to transfer
- Hard to copy elsewhere
- High competitive advantage
A strategic vision is usually thought to be solely future oriented. [
deeper understanding ]
- A vision provides an organization a forward looking, idealized image of
- Moves outside the usual assumptions.
- Concentrates on the end goal, not the means to reach the goal.
- Followers gain ownership by developing the means (action plan).
An alternate view from the field of organizational learning expands this to
shared vision, which also include a present component.
- Vision is not a destination, but an intangible structure that surrounds us
and guides our daily activities. From this perspective, a shared vision
is a form of self-identity.
Visioning Team - building
conversations around what we seek to create together [kick-off
The mission is the ultimate purpose for why the organization exists. [
deeper understanding ]
Building the vision/mission statements
- Macro - Raising prices, consumerism, employee attitudes toward work,
world & national economy, technological developments.
- Industry - Structure, marketing strategies, financing, governmental
Competetive Analysis - market
segmentation, competitor profiles
Does anyone (or can anyone) provide substitute goods or services to the same market
Early warning system to detect competitor's strategies.
- Differentiation (internal abilities)
- Market segmentation (customer driven)
- Cost efficiencies
- capital employed
- product cost
-expense (manufacturing, distribution, marketing, administration)
Understand competition and search for opportunities. But, do not let them dictate
your actions. If you are reacting to the actions of others, you are moving away from
the ability to create your own future.
- Identify Major Lines of Business (LOB).
- Establish Critical Success Indicators (CSI) for each Line of Business
to meet the Mission.
Strategy development requires a two step process:
- Identify Strategic Thrusts, and
- Determine what Culture is required to support the above strategies.
The basic strategy will fall into one of three focuses (only one of which is price
- Operational excellence - low price, efficient customer service
- Product leadership - product excellence and innovation
- Customer intimacy - emphasis on customer relationships within a specific segment
Assessment of Strategic Beg -
Strategy is a
choice that is made after careful reflection of environmental conditions,
internal capabilities, and expected return. To some extent, the company is
betting available resources on the success of a chosen strategy over alternate
- Most Detailed and time-consuming phase.
- Indicates ability to move toward ideal future.
Line of Business Analysis
- Which Lines of Business are most successful? Which are doing poorly?
- Are tracking systems adequate?
- Gap analysis - identifying the
difference between the current situation and what is desired
- Reality test (Face the facts)
- Compromise on both ends
- Scale vision back, or
- Work to bridge the gap.
- May be impossible to close all gaps simultaneously
- Prioritize efforts.
- Total organization agreement to full plan.
- Inter-function agreement to each other's plans
- Budget impact between units (may be difficult)
- Human capital planning - Importance of having
the right people in the right place at the right time with the right skills
- Enthusiastic announcement
- Tracking and course adjustments
- Using the Balanced Scorecard Concept for Planning Implementation
- analyzing the cause and effect of business processes needed to sucessfully implement
business strategy, with built-in measurements to track progress.
- Go to Implementation Topics for further information.
Transformative Networking – connecting change
leaders to enable self-organized grassroots change.
Next Steps – While still conceptual, transformative
networking offers the possibility of leading change through the networking of
those already interested or involved in similar initiatives, effectively tearing
down existing silos of practice that exist across disciplines and fields of
work. The next step is to develop a proof of concept built on the theoretical
underpinnings above, possibly using Google Wave as the collaboration platform.
Included will be identifying the minimal structure and governance required to
enable self-organization within the network while not constraining what might
emerge. Join this initiative and help create the future of organizing -
networking communities of interest.
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enTarga Phrases: strategic
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July 19, 2009