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Top Misconceptions about Strategic Planning

The Most Com­mon Mis­con­cep­tions about Strate­gic Planning

 1.  I’ll go down the wrong path because I won’t have the facts to sup­port my decisions.

    • The Strate­gic plan­ning process is all based on research that you and your team eas­ily accomplish with the tools provided. You’ll make decisions through analyses based on solid knowledge.

2.     We can’t afford the time away from the business.

    • Advance work is lim­ited to a two-hour CEO inter­view and a sim­ple survey/questionnaire to be com­pleted by each team mem­ber and reviewed before the session.
      •  The team then spends ½ day in devel­op­ing the cur­rent state-of-the-organization assessment.
      •  Work­shops are gen­er­ally held over the next month depend­ing on the needs of your organization.
      •  Approx­i­mately 30 days later, a follow-up ses­sion is held to review the plan.

Over the course of the process, each team mem­ber will be required to com­plete read­ing assignments and other “homework.”

 3.     Strate­gic Plan­ning is too com­pli­cated; I don’t know where to begin; and an out­side con­sul­tant doesn’t know my busi­ness enough to write my plan.

    • We don’t write your plan and we don’t need to know your busi­ness because your team knows it inti­mately. In fact, because we are narrowly focused in any one indus­try, we are able to lead you through cre­ative thoughts that have worked within other indus­tries and could poten­tially work for you. Our goal is to be strate­gic process experts so you can focus on key busi­ness decisions.
    • We assist your team through a dis­ci­plined process, where there is a begin­ning and an end within 45 days. It’s based on analy­sis, where you arrive at some log­i­cal con­clu­sions and some out-of-the-box pos­si­bil­i­ties. The process spurs cre­ative think­ing, helps you focus on prof­itable mar­kets, and edu­cates your man­agers on plan­ning and how lead­ers are win­ning in busi­ness. It is sim­ple, and yes, even fun. We’re happy to share feed­back to elim­i­nate these mis­con­cep­tions, pro­vided by par­tic­i­pants after com­plet­ing their strate­gic plan.
    • There are seven com­mon steps in strate­gic plan devel­op­ment. We take recent best prac­tices and cus­tomize them for grow­ing small to mid-size orga­ni­za­tions. We guide your team through all of them:
      1. Deter­min­ing the plan­ning team
      2. Research and analysis
        • Com­pet­i­tive and Indus­try analysis
        • SWOT (Strengths, Weak­nesses, Oppor­tu­ni­ties, and Threat)
        • Busi­ness seg­ment analy­sis — Which prod­ucts to which mar­kets yield most of your profit? Which seg­ments are most attractive?
      3. Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of unique­ness — if you are not unique you are a commodity
      4. Devel­op­ment of core strate­gies and crit­i­cal suc­cess fac­tors with per­for­mance mea­sures Strate­gic Plan and Scorecard
      5. Detailed action plans and Strate­gic Budget
      6. Imple­men­ta­tion and Communication
      7. Assess­ment and Review


4.     It will become a “binder” on the shelf and we won’t implement.

    • Our imple­men­ta­tion and review process, which is part of our pro­grams, spurs you to exe­cute and makes your team account­able to the process and objectives.
    • We work with many of our clients for on-going ses­sions to keep imple­men­ta­tion at the fore­front. Some clients pre­fer strate­gic coach­ing on a monthly basis while oth­ers want quar­terly reviews. If you’d like an “out­sourced strat­egy guide.” Con­tact us to learn more.

5.     I already went through strate­gic plan­ning; I don’t need to go through it again.

    • Actu­ally you do! It is not an activ­ity but a process. We rec­om­mend quar­terly reviews, annual updates and every 3 years a more for­mal process again. The world around you is chang­ing and your strat­egy needs to keep you out in front.