Posts Tagged ‘strategic planning’

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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Questions for the Family Business Owner

Monday, January 31st, 2011 by Dave Dudon

The following is an excerpt from my recently published article: “Strategic Planning in the Family Business.”

Have you thought about the Envisioned Future of your family and your business?  Have you written them down?  This is incredibly important.  Both the family and the business should have a clearly worded vivid description of the future.  Will a family member always be running the business?  If not, how will you structure the leadership while maintaining ownership?  How will the authoritative roles of the family and business leadership work together?  Who in the family will be involved, and how will you determine this?  What if future family members don’t want to be involved?  How will you approach a sale?  What will happen to the profits?  An exit strategy is perhaps the most important component of any strategic plan.

These plans are not set in stone; you should revisit them annually and revise them based on current events and understandings.  But write them down.  It will help you focus your activities on both the family and business side, and it will eliminate surprises and misunderstandings down the road that hurt feelings and threaten to tear your family and business apart.

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In 100 Words: Strategic Retreat? More Like Strategic Advance.

Monday, November 1st, 2010 by Troy Schrock

This is the time for annual planning sessions, and many business leaders are pulling their teams together for a strategic retreat.  But why do we call it a retreat?  Retreat is a negative word synonymous with withdraw, relinquish, and concede.  Is that your frame of mind as your organization plans the coming year?  I don’t think so.

Forget the retreat.  Lead your organization on a strategic advance.  Plan how to advance your purpose and achieve your goals.  Assess your current position, identify the target, and push forward.  That’s what you really hope to do, so call it what it is.

“There are risks and costs to a program of action.  But they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.”  (John F. Kennedy)

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Generate Higher Financial Results!

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010 by Ellen Bryson

Most business owners think of strategic planning as an annual event. If your business is growing at a rate of 15% or less per year this would be an accurate assessment. However, if your business is growing between 20% and 100% per year, it’s time to readjust your thinking. Companies with growth rates in this range need to be planning, and re-evaluating their strategy every 90 days. A quarter takes on the significance of a year.

Studies show that leadership teams spend approximately 80% of their time focused on operational issues, which typically account for less than 20% of a company’s long term value.  Unless operations are aligned with your strategy, you will be wasting valuable time and money and will not be building long-term value in your company.

The most successful companies develop a process that can help gain clarity and focus while aligning the organization around vision and strategy.  The basic premise shifts executive team focus from operational issues to strategic priorities and decision making.

Here’s how the process might look:

1.  Develop a strategic plan with three year, one year and 90-day priorities.

2.  Communicate the plan throughout the organization.

3.  Utilize a meeting framework to drive results, define accountabilities for the week, month, quarter and year.

4.  Accomplish 3 to 5 priorities every 90 days. Set new priorities for the next 90 days. Expect results.

5.  Identify and measure (at least weekly) your top 3 to 5 business drivers.

6.  Align company from top to bottom around strategy. Make sure your human systems such as recruiting, interviewing, hiring, managing, and rewarding align with your strategy.

7.  Develop leaders within your company by utilizing real business problems that arise in executing strategy as team building opportunities.

It is a proven fact that companies that focus on strategy generate significantly higher financial results and higher rates of growth than their competitors.

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