March 14, 2017
Robert BradfordWhat is your biggest issue with strategic planning? Are you having difficulty meeting your strategic objectives? Do you focus on key performance metrics? Are you able to manage change and what about innovation? Please comment on our blog.


Robert W. Bradford

Getting Everything Done

By Robert W. Bradford

Robert 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.

Click to

Questions & Answers

Our company has multiple business units. Should we start with a very high level planning session first?

Click here for answers...

How can we develop a more useful Industry Scenario?

Click here for answers...

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

Did you miss these recent articles?

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.

What Went Wrong with Apple Maps? What Can We Learn from these Mistakes?

By Denise Harrison

Apple is world renowned for its innovative product introductions - but as you look back over history, there have been plenty of flops to go along with the successes. Think about Ping and Rokr - oops, you missed these? Most people did. And, the introduction of the Apple Map application was another clunker. Using Maps, you were driven into dead ends; airport runways were specified as roads, and general requests often put you in a wrong location (yes, you ask for a hospital and get a restaurant.)

Customer Service - Thinking Outside the Box

By M Dana Baldwin

Very recently we heard that Nike, Inc. signed a long term agreement with Apollo Global Management, a private investment group, to establish manufacturing in the United States as well as complete logistics operations. The goal of this arrangement is to improve deliveries, to shorten lead times and to improve Nike's ability to respond to market demands with new products and quick turn-arounds at a cost competitive with or lower than their current supply chain from Southeast Asia.

What does good differentiation look like?

By Robert W. Bradford

One of the things we strive for in our strategies is good differentiation. As a key dimension in strategic competency (the other is value to the customer), differentiation is what makes both specialty and commodity strategies work. With a specialty strategy, the differentiation must help target customers to decide that our product or service is worth a premium price. In a commodity strategy, our differentiation is what enables us to succeed at a lower price point than undifferentiated competition.

More strategy articles...

Subscribe Now
Strategic Planning Blog

Simplified Strategic Planning for Small to Mid-Sized Companies
Michigan State University

A One-Day Interactive Seminar Specifically for Executives of Independent Companies and Subsidiaries of Larger Companies Who Want to Achieve Better Results Faster

Company Presidents or CEOs attend free of charge when accompanied by one or more additional paid attendees.

Poor strategic planning is worse than no strategic planning. It can be a big waste of time and money. Even worse, it can lead to disaster. Avoid all this with Simplified Strategic Planning - a proven process to focus for superior performance without straining your resources.

Whether you've been doing strategic planning for years or starting from scratch, you can acquire a streamlined process for developing and implementing your strategy. In just two days, you will have learned this time-tested methodology, which has produced outstanding results for thousands of companies from a wide variety of business types.

Click here for more information

About Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc.

Strategic Thinking

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.

Since 1981, Center for Simplified Strategic Planning has provided client companies with the strategic planning tools and leadership required to obtain superior strategy results.

We understand the challenges typically faced by our clients in installing systems and practices necessary to support growth, while maintaining day to day operations.

Call today for more information! 1-734-995-3465

Robert Bradford, CEO
Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc.
PO Box 8272
Ann Arbor, MI 48108

Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc. respects your privacy. We do not rent, sell or exchange email addresses. Please remember to add to your address book so future emails from us won't be added to your bulk folder.

Copyright 2011 Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc.  All  rights reserved.

For permission to reprint any article from Course and Direction, or if you would like to submit an article for inclusion in Course and Direction, please contact the editor, Elizabeth Tidd at


Privacy Policy

Center for Simplified Strategic Planning | PO Box 8272 | Ann Arbor | MI | 48104