Archive for the ‘Strategic Planning’ Category

In 100 Words: Old Trends, New Lines

Friday, May 1st, 2020 by Troy Schrock

Some trends move slowly and then, BANG, a significant event radically shifts the arc of the curve. A “new” reality emerges as people quickly adjust their decision and behavior paths in response to the major event. Surprisingly, it is easy to get caught off guard with the accelerated trend shift even when the underlying change was happening for years. We became comfortable with the “old” rate of change and assumed it in our plans. Now we must assume the old change rate is gone. Are you examining existing trends for accelerated shifts to help your organization adjust to the new?

“The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence – it is to act with yesterday’s logic.”
Peter Drucker

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In 100 Words: Why We Plan

Friday, January 31st, 2020 by Troy Schrock

It’s wonderful to begin a new year with a fresh plan! We enjoy the feeling of getting our organizational and personal goals identified. But,… the process is work. We must understand the market, research opportunities, and then debate which objectives should be priority.

Why do we go to this effort? The answer centers around three ways we, as human beings, are designed. We have:

• A natural excitement for the future.
• The capacity to think and plan.
• The desire to shape the elements around us to realize potential.
In short, we make plans to have an impact and shape our future.

“While I take inspiration from the past, like most Americans, I live for the future.” Ronald Reagan

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In 100 Words: Iterate without Lurching

Monday, September 16th, 2019 by Troy Schrock

How do you rate a leadership team’s strategic ability? One thought – look at the team’s ability to iterate strategically without lurching wildly in different directions. Can the team adapt the organization’s strategy to produce more than one economically successful business model over time? Time, in this case, is a decade plus. Success for that duration typically involves at least one business model shift when you consider changing customer preferences, technological advancements and competitive forces.

On this course, teams will need to master two key elements:

• strategy thinking – both the creative and analytical aspects, and
• execution – consistent, disciplined action over time.

“There is another old poet whose name I do not now remember who said, ‘Truth is the daughter of Time.’” Abraham Lincoln

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In 100 Words: Time for Strategy Planning

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016 by Troy Schrock

As leadership teams craft strategy plans for the upcoming year, they should remember the following lessons:

• There are no formulaic answers, however, you can benefit from a systematic approach to both your preparation and strategy planning conversations.

• Markets are dynamic so be disciplined in your strategy thinking. Challenge and test your basic assumptions – even if they are producing good results. Things change.

• Strategy requires clear choices and resource commitment. Each decision either reinforces or weakens the whole. The strength of how the decisions weave together form the fabric of compelling business models (think IKEA, The Container Store and Southwest Airlines).

“Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes… but no plans.” – Peter Drucker

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In 100 Words: Test Your Assumptions

Friday, November 1st, 2013 by Troy Schrock

Every business is built on a particular set of assumptions – assumptions about customer desires, the best delivery solution, the competitive landscape, external trends and internal capabilities.  Considering these varied elements, and their shifting nature, we quickly realize every business model is merely hypothesis.

Over the next several months, companies will engage in the routine of strategic planning for 2014 and beyond.  This is a good time to test a business model hypothesis.  Leadership teams must have the courage to ask the question, “What underlying assumptions about our business are no longer valid?” and wrestle with the answers and related consequences.

“We simply assume that the way we see things is the way they really are or the way they should be.”   (Stephen R. Covey)

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Entrepreneurs: Beware of Boredom

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012 by Troy Schrock

It is not uncommon for entrepreneurs to get bored when their organizations mature to a certain size.  Management becomes procedural, the business is humming, and life becomes all too routine and mundane.  Entrepreneurs can find this environment stifling.

Unfortunately, the reflexive urge is to engage in behaviors that may be destructive to the very existence of the organizations they started.  They pursue growth, jump into other executives’ domains, launch new ventures, or invest in other businesses – anything to break up the new monotony.  These moves aren’t always bad, but only if approached strategically.  They should not be done merely as desperate reaches for something different.

In starting his second restaurant, Union Square Hospitality Group founder Danny Meyer said, “[The first restaurant] was a great canvas, but I needed a new place to express my creativity.  I didn’t think I should alter a successful restaurant because I was restless.  I didn’t have to get all of my ideas into one place.” (as quoted in Small Giants by Bo Burlingham)

Restless entrepreneurs can learn from Meyer’s recognition.  Proper channeling of creative energy can lead to good results for the initial enterprise as well as any new ventures that may arise.

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