This is Why You Should Never Start With a Mission Statement

Some people are confused by the intentional delay of considering the mission statement to the second meeting. The arguments against doing the mission statement later fall into three categories: It’s the most important thing in strategic planning Everything else will change, depending on what your mission is You cannot do (some specific step) if you […]

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When is Gaining Market Share a Bad Idea? 

GE Learns Its Lesson the Hard Way Jack Welch transformed GE’s portfolio of businesses by concentrating on businesses that were number one or two in their markets. Businesses that were positioned to get to number one or two also qualified.  He did this because statistics show that those with significant market share are usually more […]

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This is Why Stable Strategic Planning Powers Your Success

I have some clients that do their strategic planning irregularly.  They will plan annually for a couple of years, and then take a break for a year or two.  While sometimes skipping a cycle makes sense, doing strategic planning routinely every year is tremendously valuable.   First, implementation is the main reason consistent, routine strategic […]

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Successful Objectives – The What and the Why

Objectives are one of the key outputs of the strategic planning process. Your team’s strategic planning discussions accomplish three broad results. First and foremost are your strategies: Strategies are your sense of vision as to the course and direction of the company.  What will you do in each of your market segments – your core […]

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How to Differentiate Your Business Successfully

  We all know that successful differentiation is the key to higher profits.  Unless you offer something that a competitor doesn’t offer, you will almost always get sucked into a game of “who can charge the lowest price”.  Unfortunately a lot of competitors know this, and are trying to differentiate in exactly the same way […]

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How to Successfully Deal with Uncertainty

Many executives face the prospect of strategic planning with a certain amount of dread.  Some of this may be the result of poorly designed processes that make strategy meetings dull and useless, but some comes from the anxiety we feel when we consider an uncertain future.  This anxiety comes from three main issues: The future […]

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Real Differentiation

How can you tell when your distinction is real? This question comes up often in strategic planning meetings because real differentiation is extremely important in almost all markets.  It’s also an important question because we tend towards a kind of self-delusion that comes up in strategic planning.  By making ourselves think we are better than […]

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Do You Have Strategic Planning Problems?

What are your strategic planning problems?  Many executives know they need a strategic plan but are left unsatisfied with their planning efforts.  Therefore, we would like to know what you find most frustrating/disappointing about your strategic planning process. Please click on the link below to answer a short survey about Strategic Planning: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/strat12019 If you […]

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Industry Ecosystems

“Ecosystem” is a funny word to use when talking about strategy.  Historically, the term has been used to talk about natural ecosystems.  So how can we use that understanding for a better sense of how our strategy can work? In nature, one of the key concepts we can use to understand ecosystems is a dynamic […]

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The High Margin Strategy

As you may know from Simplified Strategic Planning, we tend to counsel companies to pursue either the low cost/price strategy (think Henry Ford or Sam Walton) or one of the two specialty strategies, differentiation or niche strategies.  All three are good, but we tend to favor the specialty strategies because the profit margins are higher.  […]

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