May 23, 2017
Denise Harrison Does your team struggle to take resources away from mature or declining businesses? What is the highest and best use of your company's entire range of resources? Please comment on our blog.


Dana Baldwin

Sony: Results are in - Sony's Strategy Results in Record Profit

By Denise Harrison

Denise Harrison In 2014, Kazuo Hirai, Sony CEO, sought to rekindle the firm's creativity. In the 20th century Sony had a market leadership position in several segments of the consumer electronics industry. For example, its Sony Walkman® exemplified Sony's ability to harness its technical expertise, providing consumers with easy-to-use electronic devices. But by 2014, Sony was struggling. As time had marched on, Sony's core businesses went from profitable to commoditized products. Sony had not kept up and, instead of focusing on innovation, it focused on low cost product.

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Questions & Answers

As a subsidiary of a larger company, there are certain corporate criteria we must meet. How do we accommodate this in the planning process?

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Due to recent fluctuations in raw materials cost, our team wants to spend more time evaluating threats this year. Can you suggest ways to make this productive?

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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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Could You Lose Your Way in the Marketplace?

By M. Dana Baldwin

In 2012, a new CEO took the reins at McDonalds. During his three years of leadership, McDonalds lost market share and profitability. Why did this happen? There are numerous reasons, and we will hit some of them here.

Does Your Market Segmentation Lead to Lower Prices?

By Robert W. Bradford

Market segmentation is a powerful tool. This isn't just true for the marketing department, though segmentation can enable super efficient, targeted advertising and product placements. In strategic planning, your market segmentation can enable even more unique - and therefore profitable - product offerings, operational strategies and more.

Over 70% of Executives Surveyed Agree: Strategic Planning Efforts Lack a Systematic Approach

By Denise Harrison

Many senior executives struggle to define a consistent approach to strategic planning. How does it all fit together? What information is necessary? How do we prevent the process from becoming analysis/paralysis?

Communication: A Key Element of Building Trust

By M. Dana Baldwin

Trust is a key element in business relationships. Without trust, it can be much more difficult to get your people to engage effectively in your business. It can be harder to get your message across to everyone in the business. And it will most likely impede progress toward building the culture you want and obtaining the results you are aiming for in your strategic planning implementation.

Getting Everything Done

By Robert W. Bradford

One of the sticky problems most people face in strategic planning is execution. Over 80% of executives we survey in our seminars cite strategy implementation as their biggest issue with strategic planning. Meeting strategic objectives is difficult enough that many companies bypass this part of the strategy process and focus most of their effort on key performance metrics. While performance metrics - such as Balanced Scorecard - can play a useful role in implementing strategy, they tend to fall short in the areas of true strategic change and innovation.

Strategic Planning: A Time for Reflection

By Denise Harrison

In today's fast paced economy, we often find that executives think that they don't have the time to reflect on their business. While quick decision-making is important, taking the time to reflect on the possible choices and looking at long-term implications will set your business on a course to achieve long-term success.

Team Building at the Executive Level

By Dana Baldwin

Executive team building principles: What are some basics? While one could write reams on executive team building, and indeed, many have, much of what shakes out of a deep analysis of the subject results in the whole thing being boiled down to some basic principles. Although a short article like this can only skim the surface of the subject, here are some key points to consider.

You May Have One or More of These Problems with Strategic Opportunities

By Robert W. Bradford

Opportunities are one of the three core elements of value creation in strategic management. Unfortunately, most companies struggle with opportunities, because there are few processes (outside of a good strategic planning process) that effectively shape the organization's response to the ocean of opportunities we have available to us in business.

Fitbit Focuses on Corporate Clients to Generate Growth

By Denise Harrison

Fitbit's personal activity tracking device started with simple functionality - tracking steps taken during a day - now added functionality includes a heart rate monitor, sleep tracker, calorie calculator among other features. While the trackers are not perfect (not good with stationery bicycles) the monitors give the user a better idea of their activity during the day.

Do You Listen to Your Marketplace?

By M Dana Baldwin

Do you listen to your customers, to your competition, to your environment? What influences your decisions about where to take your company in the future? Will continuing to do what you have always done work in the future, or will it doom you to a slow spiral into oblivion?

Chaos and Strategy

By Robert W. Bradford

One of the underlying - and very human - desires most people bring to strategic planning is the desire to put things in order. This is useful and desirable, but this desire often runs headlong into a messy fact about the real world that is unavoidable: the world is a chaotic place, with many events happening that are beyond our control.

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