July 12, 2016
Robert BradfordIs your organization doing whatever it takes to satisfy customers that, in the end, will buy from the supplier who offers the lowest price? Have you adopted a commodity strategy? Has price become more important than value? Are you the biggest player in your market? Can you tell how the commodity strategy will play out for you? Please comment on our blog.

Sincerely,

Robert W. Bradford

The Volume Trap

By Robert W. Bradford

Robert 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.

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Questions & Answers

Should we wait until the Strategic Plan is fully developed before responding to key threats?

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Is there a special role in Strategic Planning for the finance department?

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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 - simplifiedstrategicplanning@cssp.com Mail: CSSP, Inc. PO Box 8272, Ann Arbor, MI 48108

Article Archives

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Another Look at What Makes Good Customer Service

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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

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"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?

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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

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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.

Which threats are truly strategic - and which threats contain the best opportunities?

By Robert W. Bradford

In the thousands of strategic planning meetings we've conducted, we've run into a fair amount of threats. Interestingly, some of those threats - even those deemed extremely unlikely - have come to pass with some clients. One unlikely benefit of these otherwise bad experiences is that I've been able to notice three things about threats that will be useful to you in your strategic planning.

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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.

While various business improvement techniques such as Total Quality Management and Re-engineering are often extremely beneficial to the ongoing progress of a business, correct Strategic Focus remains the single most important element in a company's success.

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Robert Bradford, CEO
Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc.
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