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StratXtra, Issue 2013-4 Generating strategic options
May 12, 2013

Issue 2013-4

Hello! Welcome to StratXtra, the electronic strategic planning newsletter designed to complement the website simply-strategic-planning.com.

The Simply Strategic Planning website was started because I was concerned that the field of corporate strategy had become excessively complicated. This growing complexity was in danger of creating confusion for practicing managers, business owners, and members of governing boards.

So that you can get your hands on practical information to help you in your own strategic planning efforts, I will use StratXtra to-

  • provide comment on current issues in strategic planning,
  • offer information on updates to the website, and
  • suggest links to other material or services that could be of value.

5th Vienna Global Drucker Forum 14|15 November 2013: Managing Complexity

Issues to be addressed:

  • What is complexity?
  • What does increasing complexity mean for management?
  • Have we found the adequate answers?
  • Can complexity science help in day-to-day management?
  • Levers to reduce complexity?
  • Can we learn from arts and humanities?
  • Are we moving towards a new management paradigm?

About the Global Peter Drucker Forum The Global Peter Drucker Forum is an annual event organized by the Peter Drucker Society Europe, a non-profit association affiliated with the Drucker Institute As a leading management conference, the Forum brings together top executives and noted scholars to discuss some of the most pressing issues of the day. The dialogue is informed and animated by the writing and spirit of the late Peter F. Drucker, who is widely considered "the father of modern management."


Before going further you might like an understanding of what I mean by strategic planning. Click here for a definition of strategic planning.

While I believe that strategic planning is vitally important, and I also believe that it can be a very simple process, that does not mean that I imagine that the process is easy to carry out well. It will be helpful though to keep our eye on the essentials.


The third key procedure in an effective strategic planning process is to generate strategic options .

I have found from long and sometimes painful experience that to effectively plan strategically requires only a handful of essential procedures. You can improve long-term performance of your organization, at dramatically reduced risk, with these five simple planning process elements or procedures.

The first principle is to engage commitment from the right people. For more on who should be involved in the strategic planning process go here.

The second key procedure in an effective strategic planning process is to set long term strategic objectives for improved performance. For more information on the objectives setting process go here.

The third key activity, once having set long term performance objectives is to generate alternative strategies that could achieve the objectives.

Formal strategic planning calls for the analysis of key strategic factors, short listing the really major strategic issues and the generation of alternative strategies.

First, an attempt should be made to provide comprehensive strategies; that is, the plan should consider all the truly important factors - the strategic elephants.

Secondly the strategies should not exhaust all available resources. Something should be held in reserve. This recognizes uncertainty and adds flexibility to the plan.

Alternative strategies can improve the adaptability of the organization in two ways.

First, by explicitly examining alternatives, it is likely that the organization will find alternatives that are superior to the current approach.

Second, the organization will encounter environmental changes; if alternative, contingency, plans have been considered for these changes, the organization can respond more effectively.

Processes of finding all the relevant significant strategic factors will be covered on other pages about SWOT analysis, and methods for generating the alternative strategies will be under Business Strategy, for companies, or non-profit strategy making for other kinds of organization.

I will go into more detail on each of the other two elements of the five essentials in following issues of StratXtra, our strategic planning newsletter.

Can't wait? You can get more information when you click here.

Next issue of StratXtra will talk about how to evaluate the strategic options and decide the final strategies to achieve the long term strategic objectives for improved performance of your organization.


Stay up to date

As well as StratXtra being a way to keep up to date with what is happening at simply-strategic-planning.com, you can also keep up to date by following the Strategic Planning Blog.


The Argenti System of Strategic Planning

The approach to strategic planning that is most in line with the philosophy of Simply Strategic Planning is that developed by John Argenti over forty years ago.

The Argenti System of Strategic Planning can improve the Performance of Your Business by helping you to find Strategic Elephants!

The Argenti process is the only all-in-one planning system, planning-assistance, and planning facilitation service that makes it simple for chief executives and other senior managers to design an exciting future for their organization and improve the performance and morale of the management team while doing so.

A strategic plan built using The Argenti System of Strategic Planning can result in superior long term performance for the organization, as clients can attest.

To find out more click here.


Spread the Word

If you have liked what you found at Simply Strategic Planning, or if you find anything offered here in StratXtra of some value to you, then...

...Tell your colleagues about Simply Strategic Planning, and StratXtra!

As I am basically retired from full time work now, I do not spend any money promoting Simply Strategic Planning. It grows mainly by word-of-mouth, enabling me to grow numbers of visitors, just like you, and to attract more people just like you, and to provide them with useful guidance on the strategic planning process.

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