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StratXtra, Issue 2014-01 Strengths and weaknesses
February 25, 2014

Welcome to StratXtra

Issue 2014-1

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

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 StratXtra in your Web browser click StratXtra Issue 2014-1.


Strategic planning can be a simple process

In previous StratXtra Newsletters I have outlined a simple approach to corporate strategic planning.

In simplest terms the strategic planning process consists of collecting the necessary information, then thinking about it in one big picture.

The amount of data required to feed the process of strategic thinking is a lot less than most managers believe.

You need to collect only three types of data:

  1. The corporate objectives and targets.
  2. Strengths and weaknesses inside the organization.
  3. Threats and opportunities outside the organization.

Collect these, lay them out clearly before you, and the strategic possibilities will emerge with almost crystal clarity.

The resulting handful of strategies must then be developed into detailed action plans and business plans but these are executive tasks, which follow on from the planning process.

Finally, there is the monitoring of plan implementation.

SWOT analysis is central to strategic planning

I believe the strengths and weaknesses analysis to be perhaps the most significant of all the stages in the process. It is where the greatest number of strategic elephants are found, of the greatest strategic importance and with the greatest clarity.

That is why I believe in opening up the planning process to at least the top three layers of management in the SWOT analysis stage.

I can assure you that all the internal elephants will be found, described and agreed in one two- to four-hour participative session and that a four-hour meeting of the planning team will conclude the stage. The clarity of the consensus can be remarkable and will later allow the team to select a set of strategies that will use the strengths to take advantage of the opportunities and avoid the threats unearthed in the second half of the SWOT analysis.

Having involved the top three management levels to describe the strengths and weaknesses of the organization, one should then ask them to study the Opportunities and Threats as well.

They will not do this as effectively as the Strengths and Weaknesses appraisal; the areas to be covered are too vast to make this practical. They should be invited to identify the threats and opportunities, but the planning team will have to call on other methods to describe them.

A considerable number of techniques for forecasting and for the analysis of one's industry have been devised.

In general it will be the planning assistant and the members of specialist working parties who use these techniques, not the planning team.

For more information on possible approaches to the SWOT analysis check out the pages referred at SWOT analysis.


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



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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.


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