Please contact one of our presenters to discuss a Simplified Strategic Planning in-house workshop for your company.
Robert W. Bradford
Denise A. Harrison
M. Dana Baldwin
Frustrated with your Strategic Planning efforts? Are you annoyed by a lack of results and lack of focus even after you have finished a strategic planning effort? Are you concerned that your strategic plan doesn't help differentiate your company from the competition? Do you want to get the team to prioritize and focus on the areas that will truly impact your future success? Decisions are often based on top of mind thinking rather that fact based analysis. "Me-to" strategies are all too common. There is frequent failure in turning intentions into results.
Poor strategic planning is worse than no strategic planning.span> It can be a big waste of time and money. Even worse, it can lead to poor strategy. Avoid all this with Simplified Strategic Planning - a proven process to focus for superior performance without straining your resources.
This workshop is perfect for you if your existing strategic planning is not giving you the results you need.
If your process is virtually non-existent or fails to attain the intended results you will be interested in the following.
"I wanted a simple, easily understood method for strategic planning. I got it."
Tom Lietha, CEO, Thin Film Technology
WHY IS SIMPLIFIED STRATEGIC PLANNING DIFFERENT?
There is no denying that strategic planning involves complex issues. But developing your strategy (course and direction) doesn't have to be complicated. Good strategic planning should be simple, but not simplistic.
The Three Key Questions
The Simplified Strategic Planning process is a lean, thorough step-by-step roadmap for answering the questions at the heart of the matter. The three key questions are:
- What are you going to sell?
- To whom are you going to sell?
- How can you beat or avoid the competition?
The first two questions define the breadth, scope and focus of your business. The process will help you decide what you will do or will not do (products and/or services), and whom you will serve in the marketplace. These questions determine your appropriate focus.
We have found that many companies do not want to be focused and seem to go out of their way to avoid narrowing things down. The leaders of such companies usually can't stand the idea of not pursuing a sale. Often, when asked the question, "What are you going to sell?" such leaders answer "Everything we can." That's not focus. That's a pursue-everything approach - often that person will also answer "Everyone we can," to the question, "To whom are you going to sell ?" The problem to these two answers, of course, is the third question that necessarily narrows things down.
It's that third question that brings realism to your strategy. When you get into the third question and begin examining your competencies, strengths, capabilities and infrastructure, you will really understand the importance of focus. You cannot profitably sell everything you can to everyone you can. Instead, you need to focus on applying specific strategic competencies to target markets. This will allow you to use your resources to your advantage instead of just using them up.
These questions are the heart of the Simplified Strategic Planning model because at each step along the way you will be working towards answering them. As you do so your team will learn and grow. And as you learn and grow, you will create a well-considered plan. In the end, you will have a strategy that works and gives specific answers to those three questions.
Simplified Strategic Planning Process Structure
At the broadest level, the Simplified Strategic Planning process is a series of structured meetings in which your team starts by gathering some basic data and facts about your external and internal situation. Then you hypothesize key assumptions about the future. You make sure everyone understands it and agrees with the facts and assumptions. They shape all further discussion about strategy.
You will then identify key issues that affect strategy. From there, you go on to develop your strategy (course and direction). Then you define goals and objectives and get into the questions of:
- How do we get there?
- Who will be involved and will they have the time required?
- How much is it going to cost?
- When do we arrive?
- Who is responsible?
The whole purpose of the Simplified Strategic Planning process is to formulate sound, appropriate strategy and to make it happen. If you want to create a beautifully-bound bookend that everyone has and no one uses, you'll probably spend a lot of time and money. But if you want to create a real, workable plan that gets things done, the Simplified Strategic Planning process is for you.
Remember the entire purpose of strategic planning is to get results. Implementation must be specific because when it is not, it will inevitably fail. The Simplified Strategic Planning process leads to specific implementation of your strategy.
In total, the Simplified Strategic Planning process works out to about seven days of meetings, spread out over twelve weeks or more so that it won't interfere with your day-to-day business.
Sound Strategy + Effective Implementation = Solid Success
At the end of the Simplified Strategic Planning process, you end up with 6 to 10 action plans that support your objectives which will be accomplished on time and on budget. Simplified Strategic Planning is a lean, thorough, effective process that has been honed and improved for over 35 years.
Simplified Strategic Planning will assure:
- balanced input,
- thoughtful strategic thinking,
- selection of a course and direction that fits your unique competencies, differentiates your company and leads to profitable growth,
- highly focused action on a few strategic objectives in support of that course and direction.
Take a Look at What You'll Discover during this One-Day Workshop
A Sample of Companies That Have Recently Attended
Accident Fund Insurance Co. of America
Addison Products Company
Advance Transformer Co.
Advantage Federal Credit Union
Air Force Medical Logistics
AKZO Nobel Decorative Coatings
Alliance Data Systems
ALPS Automotive, Inc.
American E & S
American Seating Company
American Wood Fiber
Anchor Wall Systems, Inc.
Anderson Development Co.
Antares Management Solutions
Benjamin Moore & Co.
Bergen Regional Medical Center
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
Bucyrus Precision Tech, Inc.
Candella Automotive Products, LLC
Carlson Airflo Merchandising Systems
CGE CareSystems, Inc.
Cher-Make Sausage Co.
CHI Systems Inc.
Conbraco Industries, Inc.
Datamatic Group LLC
Dewied International Inc.
DNE Technologies Inc.
Doug Hendricks Consulting
Eastern Mortgage Co., Inc.
Edgetech I.G., Inc.
Edward C. Levy Co.
Electro Chemical Finishing Co.
Estes Design & Manufacturing Inc.
Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland
Furniture Find Corp.
G-U Hardware, Inc.
G & P Trucking Co., Inc.
Garrett Group, LLC
General Carbide Corp.
General Press Colors, Ltd.
Goodrich Corp, Turbine Component Services
Gougeon Brothers Inc.
Greenpoint Technologies, Inc.
Group Health Coop. of South Central WI
Heat Controller, Inc.
Holland Engineering, Inc.
Hormel Foods Corp.
Inline Plastics Corp.
J. R. Clancy, Inc.
Kroeschell Operations, Inc.
Lake City Industries
Lancaster Colony Corp.
Lea County Electric Coop.
Letterkraft Printers, Inc.
Liturgical Publications Inc.
Load Rite Trailers, Inc.
Louisiana Rehabilitation Services
L.B. White Company Incorporated
MascoTech Industrial Components
Master Pneumatic - Detroit
Members Investment Services
Mitsui Chemicals America, Inc.
Northstar Polymer LLC
Operating Engineers Local Union No. 3
Padilla Speer Beardsley
Petersen Industries, Inc.
Principal Financial Group
Rich Products Corp.
Scotts Lawn Service
Steris Isomedix Services
St. Mary Galvanizing Co. Inc.
The McFarland Institutes
Toolbuilders Laboratories, Inc.
Traverse Precision, Inc.
Trico Manufacturing Corp.
Trident Computer Corp.
United Forming Inc.
U.S. Central Credit Union
Welch Allyn, Lighting Products Division
Wolf X-Ray Corp.
100% No Questions Asked, Money-back Guarantee
100% No Questions Asked, Money-back Guarantee
Whether you've been using strategic planning for years or you're starting from scratch, we guarantee that this program will contain the most valuable information you will ever see on strategic planning. If you don't feel that this is, hands-down, the absolute best system for strategic planning, you will receive a prompt and courteous refund of your course fee.
Put this unique, practical, no-nonsense approach to strategic planning to work and achieve a winning strategy for your company. You will also achieve peace of mind - knowing that the future of your company is strong - with each passing day getting closer and closer to your ultimate picture of success.
There is no better time to do it than now.
Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
JUST EXACTLY WHAT IS STRATEGIC PLANNING?
"Strategy" is the leadership's sense of vision as to the overall course and direction of any endeavor or enterprise, be it war, government, a profit-seeking business, a non-profit organization, sports, one's personal or one's family life.
The term "strategic planning" refers to a coordinated and systematic process for developing a plan for the overall course and direction of the endeavor or enterprise for the purpose of optimizing future potential. For a profit-making business this will involve questions as to "what shall we sell", "to whom shall we sell it" and "how shall we beat or avoid competition?" It may well involve other questions, such as; ownership and capital structure. The central purpose of this process is to assure that the course and direction is well-thought-out, sound and appropriate and to assure that the limited resources of the enterprise (time and capital) are sharply focused in support of that course and direction. The process encompasses both strategy formulation and implementation.
DOES EVERY COMPANY NEED A STRATEGIC PLAN?
Every endeavor or enterprise already has a strategy. These range from some vague sense of the desires of the owner to massive, overly sophisticated master plans. So the question is not whether every company needs a strategy, but rather whether the company's strategy needs to be well-thought-out, sound, appropriate and do-able. The answer is self-evident.
WE ARE HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL ALREADY: WHY SHOULD WE PLAN?
Success is strong evidence that a company has had a sound and appropriate strategy. Note the past tense. There is absolutely no guarantee that yesterday's sound and appropriate strategy will continue to be successful in the future. Indeed, there is great danger in assuming so without adequate study
CAN A SMALLER COMPANY AFFORD THE TIME FOR STRATEGIC PLANNING?
Experience shows that the top management team will devote approximately 2-4% of its time to SIMPLIFIED STRATEGIC PLANNING. In reality, structured strategic planning is not something more to do, but rather a better way of doing something already being done. Indeed, in the long run it is a net time saver. It should be acknowledged that there is a danger of strategic planning becoming a time trap. Avoiding that trap is one of the fundamental purposes of SIMPLIFIED STRATEGIC PLANNING.
WHY PLAN IN A WORLD THAT IS HIGHLY UNCERTAIN?
There is sometimes the feeling that forward planning is futile because it will be overwhelmed by unanticipated events and developments. Uncertainty is, indeed, a major problem in forward planning. However, to conclude that the best way to deal with the problem is to not plan is an ostrich-like response. To the contrary, the greater the uncertainty, the greater the need for good strategic planning.
HOW CAN WE BE CONFIDENT THAT OUR PLANNING WILL BE SUCCESSFUL?
Even in the presence of a structured strategic planning process, it is quite possible to formulate unsound, inappropriate strategy and/or to fail at implementation. There are many pitfalls.
What is required is a sound approach, management commitment and good planning leadership. One of the best first steps toward acquiring these prerequisites is to an in-house workshop on Simplified Strategic Planning for SMALL TO MID-SIZED COMPANIES. This workshop lays out a streamlined, yet thorough, approach to strategic planning. It demonstrates a variety of techniques for obtaining management commitment and organizational alignment. It also details the necessary attributes of good planning leadership. Following the methodology presented in this seminar will save both time and money. And it will help you avoid the pitfalls.
Meet Your Instructors
America's Top Experts on Strategy for Small to Mid-Sized Companies
All workshop leaders have extensive innovative hands-on experience in leadership and strategic planning in small to mid-sized companies. All have strong academic degrees and are highly acclaimed presenters. They have been carefully chosen for their ability to translate critical processes into easily grasped concepts with step-by-step implementation procedures.
They have used their expertise to manage change and growth in hundreds of companies nationwide through successful strategy development and implementation. They will acquaint you with leading edge strategic planning and give you the insight to achieve superior results. You will also receive proven methodology to assure success.
Dana brings more than 30 years of business experience to his seminar participants. He has held senior management positions, including Chairman, CEO and COO, in mid-sized companies. He is familiar with all functional areas, having also served in sales, sales management, production, and engineering. He has a Masters of Management from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. His critical thinking skills have been well developed and honed with more than 18 years experience leading companies through Simplified Strategic Planning.
Dana Baldwin has managed two different machine tool companies, coming up through the ranks from a beginning engineer to become Chairman, President and CEO of one company. He then joined a startup company that had purchased a product line from his original company. He was instrumental in establishing the new firm as a leader in the market place. Dana actively leads strategic planning in dozens of companies in a wide variety of industries with consistently good results. Clients include regional telephone companies, a chemical recycler, a logistics company, a multi-national institutional furniture company, a multi-division plastics company, a multi-national industrial pump company and a community college.
Recent articles by Dana include: "Dealing with a Low Cost Competitor", "The Strategy of Succession Planning" and Addressing the Challenge of China's Labor Cost Advantages.
Dana has a BS-IE form the University of Michigan, and a Master of Management from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.
A very effective presenter, Dana brings a unique combination of theoretical and practical knowledge as well as humorous insight to his workshops. Dana leaves his seminar attendees with practical, "how-to" steps that they can apply to facilitate their learning.
"Mr. Baldwin is a very likeable fellow, who comes across in an easy to follow manner."
Greg Tweed, Executive VP & COO, Nortech Systems, Inc.
Denise has been a successful strategy catalyst for over 20 years. She understands tough situations and envisions solutions in a variety of environments.
As President of a $50 million financial services firm, Denise significantly enhanced profitability and enhanced cycle time by 60%. As President of a division of a Fortune 500 company, she successfully researched and developed the corporation's international expansion.
As a strategy consultant, her clients include manufacturing companies ranging from specialty chemicals to computer storage devices, and services companies ranging from insurance to software developers. This hands-on experience gives her fresh insight into current business issues.
She is the author of numerous articles including: "Innovation - Where to Look for It", "Strategic Planning: Sometimes a Road Less Traveled is Best", "March to a Different Drummer", "The New Economy: What is it? How Will It Impact My Business?", "Weathering Uneven Economic Growth" and "Turning Strategy into Action".
Denise's background includes "old" and "new" economy experience combined with diverse functional experience, which enable her to communicate with executives peer to peer using thought provoking real life examples. Her presentations energize executives to think strategically, execute efficiently, and capitalize on the intellectual capital resident in their organization. Executives take away practical ideas for enhancing their organization's performance.
Denise graduated from Wellesley College with a BA in Economics and has a MS in Business Policy from Columbia University.
Robert Bradford is the keenly creative and insightful CEO of the Center for Simplified Strategic Planning and co-author of of the Simplified Strategic Planning Manual and Simplified Strategic Planning -- A No-Nonsense Guide for Busy People Who Want Results Fast!
Robert has assisted many clients in a wide variety of industries, delivering outstanding results.
Recent articles by Robert include: "Re-thinking the SWOT Analysis", "Understanding the Competitive Value of Your Brand", "Dealing with Powerful Customers" "Understanding Value", and "What Does Your Company Mean".
A Graduate of Princeton University, with a A.B in Military History, Robert holds an MBA degree from the Amos Tuck School of Business Administration and has completed Post-graduate work at the London Business School.
Robert blends a unique combination of broad knowledge and humorous insight resulting in workshops that are lively and practical at the same time. He has great relevant examples for every situation, and his workshops are crammed with great tips. A master trainer, he has spent the last nineteen years converting management theory into real-life application. Robert always stimulates great strategic thinking and leaves workshop participants with practical, "how-to" steps they can put to use immediately. Robert's workshops resonate with participants because they are built upon years of real-world strategic decisions. This real-world management experience enables Robert to bring real nuts-and-bolts strategic thinking into every workshop presentation.
As Home Depot says, "You can do it. We can help."
Each participant will receive...
- The Simplified Strategic Planning Manual. Complete with comprehensive instructions, illustrated worksheets, and worksheet templates, this invaluable guide will be a trusted reference that you'll use again and again when you begin implementing Simplified Strategic Planning.
- The best selling book, Simplified Strategic Planning: A No-Nonsense Guide for Busy People Who Want Results Fast!
- 1-Year Access to the CSSP Support Hotline. Your instructor will answer the questions that pop up after the workshop... once you begin implementing Simplified Strategic Planning.
- Lifetime Subscription to Course and Direction. This bi-monthly electronic newsletter delivers cutting-edge insights and helpful tips for keeping your strategic planning on course.
© Copyright, Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc., Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1999-2017
ABOUT SSL CERTIFICATES