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StratXtra, Issue 2013-5 Evaluating and deciding strategies
June 24, 2013

Issue 2013-5

Hello! Welcome to StratXtra, the electronic strategic planning newsletter designed to complement the website

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.

If you prefer to read this e-zine in your Web browser StratXtra Issue 2013-5.

Staying in touch with what is going on in the world of strategic planning

LinkedIn is a social networking website for people in professional occupations. Founded in December 2002 and launched on May 5, 2003. It is mainly used for professional networking. As of January 2013, LinkedIn reports more than 200 million acquired users in more than 200 countries and territories.

One way to stay in touch with current trends in corporate strategic planning is to be involved in the wider community of people involved in developing and implementing corporate strategy.

LinkedIn Headquarters on Stierlin Court in Mountain View, CA

I am involved with a few LinkedIn groups. The discussions are very varied, and sometimes seem to be going round in circles. However, often new insights and perspectives are thrown up as people seek agreement on basic terminology, analyse trends likely to impact strategy making and consider practical issues around risk management, innovation and so on.

Association for Strategic Planning

Business Strategy & Competitive Strategy Forum

Future Trends

ISO 31000 Risk Management Standard

Strategic and Systems Thinking

Strategic Management Forum (Global)

Strategic Planning Society (SPS)

Strategy & Corporate Strategic Planning Xchange

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.

Effective strategic planning requires only a handful of procedures

The fourth key procedure in an effective strategic planning process is to evaluate and decide strategies.

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.

The fourth key procedure in an effective strategic planning process is to evaluate and decide strategies.

It is all too easy to go with the bright ideas that emerge from brainstorming strategic alternatives. Effective formal planning uses systematic methods for evaluating the various alternatives. Evaluate to ensure that they do not violate any constraints. Rate the strategic options against the objectives. Ensure that all major strategic issues are addressed.

Then you are in a position to Design a set of strategies, based on a few key Decisions.

With this done you can proceed with some confidence to get approval from the governing body, and convert the strategic intentions into specific work assignments for individual managers, prepare budgets and project plans, and generally prepare to implement the strategic plans.

Processes of finding all the relevant significant strategic factors are 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 the fifth and final element of the five essentials in following issue 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 manage the execution of the agreed strategies to achieve the long term strategic objectives for improved performance of your organization.

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

Stay up to date

As well as StratXtra being a way to keep up to date with what is happening at 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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