Center for Simplified Strategic Planning

Finding Resistance

Robert Bradford
President and CEO, CSSP, Inc.

Robert Bradford

In strategy, you will inevitably find resistance to your plans. This resistance is sometimes forceful, and other times something you can overcome with resources and effort. An interesting question is how to deal with resistance. Should you always push hard to overcome resistance to your strategic objectives (probably not) - or should you allow resistance to stop you every time the going gets hard (also probably not)?

There are several key questions to ask yourself about the resistance you encounter to your strategic objectives. First, what is the nature of the resistance? Are you finding the objective difficult because of competition, the learning required, or the resources required? Second, is the resistance something that it is even possible to overcome? Third - and very importantly - how important is the objective to your strategic success?

Very often, the thing that separates great companies from OK companies is the willingness to do difficult things. A great company will often (but not always) undertake to overcome obstacles that stand between it and true strategic differentiation. OK companies allow themselves to be stopped by adversity.

This does not mean that you must always persevere to be great. Another hallmark of great companies is the ability to give up where it is appropriate. Not too soon - but also not delayed where the end result will be a large consumption of resources with little or no forward strategic motion.

What kind of organization is yours? Do you show perseverance or are you stoppable? And when you persevere, how do you assure that you are not spinning your wheels, attempting to overcome difficult resistance that will lead to little gain?

Robert Bradford is President and CEO at the Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc. He can be reached at

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