A successful business strategy drives revenue and profit growth as it strengthens an organization’s sustainability. Yet it must also be meaningful and realistic to core constituents: employees, customers, investors, and suppliers. Our approach to Strategic Planning varies by client as we offer no set models.
Too many companies over-engineer the process, undercutting the energy and timeliness that should spring from developing an actionable plan. Process design should be situational: for many successful organizations the Strategic Planning process need focus only on those strategic issues that are inhibiting success. For others facing more significant headwinds, a more thorough approach makes sense.
In some engagements, we function more as facilitators, designing an effective process and then managing it to a conclusion; in others, we take a more proactive role in the analysis, strategy recommendations, and plan drafting and implementation phases. This is purely a client choice to suit their specific needs, culture, and situation.
The Basic Terminology of
The fundamental reason the business exists.
What you want the business to look like in several years - in measurable terms.
The few critical success factors for companies in your industry. Your company's performance in these areas drives its ability to achieve its Financial and Strategic Goals.
FINANCIAL & STRATEGIC GOALS
The specific results intended to be achieved within the time frame of the strategic plan.
How the GOALS will be accomplished. These are the long-term strategies that are unlikely to change from year to year.
STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES & INITIATIVES
Taken together, these various projects and programs ensure the execution and continuity of the Major Strategies.
SUPPORTING STRATEGIES & TACTICS
Translates the Strategic Initiatives into specific performance goals, with individual accountabilities for the results.
A global pharmaceutical and consumer products company of $12 billion + wanted a program to build managers’ knowledge/skill set in Strategic Planning, while also accomplishing the task of revising the existing set of plans in 30 countries.
We created a four-day Strategic Planning Workshop and conducted it in Bangkok for 75 professionals from those countries. The program combined an educational component and the participants’ re-working of their respective plans during the session. Those plans were then completed back at their offices and submitted to senior management for final revisions and adoption.
A startup biotech company with four potential products in various clinical stages of development decided to go public to raise capital. The investment bankers and the company’s board wanted a five-year Strategic Plan to clarify Goals, Core Strategies, Implementation Plans, and Resource Requirements, financial and non-financial.
We assembled a group comprising senior and mid-level executives and scientists to function as the task force. We then led the group through a comprehensive process to develop and deliver the Strategic Plan to the Board and Investors. Six years later, the company continues to grow and execute successfully.
The President of the Chicago Federal Reserve wanted objective, outside facilitation assistance for periodic planning meetings.
In one example, we facilitated the senior management team through a one day/month for three months, long-range planning exercise to craft a three-year vision and strategic plan for the Financial Services Group
A $1.3 billion pharmaceutical company was too dependent upon one product with a remaining patent life of less than 5 years. The challenge: design and conduct a strategic planning process to involve the top nineteen executives in developing a high-consensus strategy for the ten years ahead.
We designed and conducted one-day “Strategy Retreats” each month, with detailed assignments in between for both Jeslen Corp. and the participants. Over a nine month period, we achieved the goal of a unanimous conclusion: sell the company, which was accomplished four months later.
A $1 billion + professional services firm with multiple business units needed a process to translate a five-year Vision into actionable, measurable, annual business plans.
We designed the process, facilitated the business group and senior manager meetings, and individually coached the senior executives through the implementation phase.
A capital equipment manufacturer grew through a series of acquisitions and operated as distinct businesses in the U.S. and Europe. Their challenges included: (a) globalizing product development, operations, and marketing; (b) establishing a sustainable presence in Asia; (c) launching a potentially revolutionary technology in a highly conservative industry; and (d) creating a unified vision of the future within a cohesive senior management team. The CEO agreed we would use the Strategic Planning process to create realistic plans for the first three, and as the primary vehicle for (d).
We designed and conducted a series of four cross-continent meetings over five months and produced a written plan that accomplished the goals.