Making Strategic Planning Happen
Chapter by Chapter Guide

Chapter 1 - Strategic Thinking - Insight

Strategic thinking is not the same as strategic planning. It involves stepping back from your organisation so that you can view it in a way that helps you to understand what is important today, and what you need to do to make it successful in the future. Strategic thinking requires that you collect different data and use the right model to help you understand what really happens in your organisation. This chapter kick-starts the right kind of thinking by challenging you with the key strategic questions.

These are:

  • The four really big questions
  • The four key tactical questions
  • The four true operational questions

Chapter 2 - Collecting the Right Data - Information

This chapter shows you how to apply diagnostic tools to find the information you need to show how your organisation functions at a fundamental level. It assumes that this information will probably be accessible right now or can be gathered reasonably easily.

The analyses covered are:

  • Customer analysis
  • Potential customer analysis
  • Competitor analysis
  • Hallmarks of success analysis (using the distinguishing feature technique)
  • Environmental analysis
  • Barriers to entry analysis
  • Availability analysis
  • Culture analysis
  • Skills matrix/talent analysis
  • Financial performance analysis
  • Process performance analysis (using the sub-optimisation analysis)
  • Risk analysis
  • Resources versus outcomes analysis
  • Cause and effect analysis
  • Relative scale analysis (benchmarking)
  • Absolute scale analysis (using a framework)
  • Change readiness analysis

Chapter 3 - Making the Right Decisions - Imperatives

In this chapter you will learn how to use the data you have gathered in the decision-making workshop. There are eight techniques that can be used in a strategic retreat. You learn what the techniques are, how to use them with a group, and how to record the information so that it leads to insights. Reading the chapter will put you in a position to run a successful event and make the right decisions.

The chapter covers:

  • Scenario options analysis
  • Market future analysis
  • Life cycle analysis
  • Portfolio analysis
  • SWOT analysis
  • Concentration of effort analysis
  • The activity hedgehog
  • Movement analysis

Chapter 4 - Making a Difference - Implementation

This chapter is about translating ideas into actions. The three areas covered in this chapter are ‘uniting themes’, ‘change management’ and ‘the action workshop’. Uniting themes shows you how to convert a lot of complex decisions made by a few people into a message that can be understood by all. This chapter tells you how you can find these unifying themes and how to choose the right one.

The chapter covers four key generic strategies:

  • cost-versus-differentiation
  • customer-driven
  • competitor-driven
  • internal-process-driven

The six key ingredients needed to support change and deliver success to your organisation are discussed in this chapter.

They are:

  • a strong mandate
  • a strong purpose
  • preparation
  • the right people
  • early wins
  • communication

The action workshop draws together all the information that has been discussed in the previous chapters.

The areas covered in the workshop are:

  • the uniting theme
  • the change programme
  • a final check that everything is in place (force field analysis)

You have learnt in the previous chapters what to do and you can see the opportunities. In this chapter you will learn how to translate those ideas into action.

Chapter 5 - Worksheets

This chapter contains the worksheets that are referred to throughout the book.

These are:

  • Worksheet 1: Draft agenda for the decision-making workshop
  • Worksheet 2: Draft agenda for the action workshop
  • Worksheet 3: The sub-optimisation analysis
  • Worksheet 4: Tables
  • Worksheet 5: Hallmarks of success analysis
  • Worksheet 6: Fear-freedom culture analysis
  • Worksheet 7: Resources Versus Outcomes Analysis
  • Worksheet 8: Market Future Analysis
  • Worksheet 9: Life Cycle Analysis
  • Worksheet 10: Portfolio Analysis
  • Worksheet 11: The Activity Hedgehog
  • Worksheet 12: The Path of Least Resistance Quadrant
  • Worksheet 13: The Change Preparation Flow Chart
  • Worksheet 14: The Force Field Analysis