August 9, 2016
Dana BaldwinThe decisions we make in strategic planning will determine the future course and direction of the company / organization, so we want to be both aggressive and as safe as possible when we select what strategies and high level tactics we will be pursuing in the future. Is your company / organization analyzing what could possibly go wrong with a strategy or high level tactic? Has your company / organization experienced an example of well-intentioned plans resulting in unintended results? Please comment on our blog.


M. Dana Baldwin

Unintended Consequences of Well-intentioned Actions

By M. Dana Baldwin

Dana Baldwin In Strategic Planning, teams make decisions based on data and on the best knowledge of the planning team and organization. Unfortunately, well-intentioned plans can result in incurring unintended results. While analyzing what could possibly go wrong with a strategy or high level tactic, it simply is not possible to anticipate everything which could occur in carrying out the plan.

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Managing the distribution channel is critical in our business. Where should we capture information on this?

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What's the difference between strategic competencies and the strengths of a company?

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This column is intended to answer common questions related to strategic planning and strategy in general. In each issue we will answer questions posed by seminar attendees, our clients and our readers. Please send your questions to - Mail: CSSP, Inc. PO Box 8272, Ann Arbor, MI 48108

Article Archives

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The Volume Trap

By Robert W. Bradford

Over the years, I've encountered dozens of companies that seem to be caught in a trap of their own making. It's the result of doing whatever it takes to satisfy customers that, in the end, will buy from the supplier who offers the lowest price.

CVS Envisions a Different Future

By Denise Harrison

Over the years CVS has transitioned its business from a traditional drug store format to become more of a health care company. Why? Some trends indicated that more profitability came from its sale of prescription drugs, so a focus on health care rather than consumer products made sense. To further its movement into being a healthcare provider, it purchased MinuteClinic and opened MinuteClinics providing routine diagnosis, screening and vaccinations in many of its stores.

Another Look at What Makes Good Customer Service

By M. Dana Baldwin

How often have you gone into a store or a restaurant, called a service department on the phone, emailed a customer service unit of a company, and had anything but outstanding customer service results? All too often, customer service contacts don't address your problem directly, or don't serve you well, or worse, serve you indifferently. You can go through layers upon layers of automated phone attendants, only to have to start over when one of the buttons you pushed ends up putting you on a wrong track.

Five Ways to Think More Strategically Every Day

By Robert W. Bradford

One of my favorite parts of my work is speaking at conventions. Interestingly, I've noticed far more interest in hearing about strategic thinking than strategic planning in the past few years. While this trend is likely because most people are doing strategic planning the wrong way, it's still interesting to ponder why people have difficulty thinking strategically.

Strategic Planning: What Did You Learn?How One Company Went Off Course

By Denise Harrison

"Follow the plan; don't get distracted by seemingly large opportunities," replied one CEO when asked the question: What was one key lesson you learned from following a systematic approach to strategic planning. How did he learn this? The hard way, of course.

Why Don't Companies Plan?

By M Dana Baldwin

What is there about strategic planning that keeps companies from making the effort to plan their futures? Why are companies afraid to plan? We have some experience in overcoming this hesitancy through exposing companies to strategic planning in our seminars: Simplified Strategic Planning. Let's look at some of the reasons why companies avoid going through the work of building a strategic plan.

Is Strategy About Perfection?

By Robert W. Bradford

In a word, no. There is no perfect strategy, and even the best strategy can become obsolete given time. Strategy is about finding what works, and in a world of imperfect information, that can mean experimentation.

Lessons Learned: Flint, Michigan

By Denise Harrison

How do you anticipate unexpected outcomes from good ideas? Flint, Michigan under financial duress made many decisions to improve its financial condition. One decision was to change its water source from Detroit Water Sewerage Department (DWSD) to an alternative, cheaper source. The three year transition plan was put in place. What happened?

What is a "SMART" Objective?

By M Dana Baldwin

In strategic planning, we often talk about "SMART" objectives. But when it comes down to actually picking our objectives, are we really being smart, or are we simply reaching for an easy way out?

We define an objective as a task or project that is necessary to accomplish, but for which we do not have an established procedure. The task is supposed to be strategic in nature, meaning that it is necessary to accomplish the task in order to further our progress in our strategies.

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Success in today's business environment requires that a company's leaders have the ability to create a vision of the organization's future direction as well as the course it needs to get there.

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