Strategic Planning: Breaking the rules


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Do's and don'ts of strategic planning; where to invest your time and what to avoid. How to get to a effective Business Plan in 10 weeks.

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Strategic Planning: Breaking the rules

  1. 1. Breaking Rules in Strategic Planning
  2. 2. Breaking RulesEnhancing your decision just5 minutesA Futures Coaching
  3. 3. #1 Favour experience Young, brainy consultants end up doing what young brainy consultants can do: information trawling and number crunching Better to employ the seen-it-all maverick with an ability to cut-through the crap and get to the killer insights
  4. 4. #2 Top down  The craziest idea? Having advisors reporting into an inexperienced strategy team Strategy is far too important for anyoneother than the CEO and the management team to take on  It follows that strategy consultants should only take briefs from this C Suite
  5. 5. #3 Find the problem  The problem is not always what it seems A client may be defining a want but not the underlying need  Strategy consultants must develop the art of being super blunt whilst telling the truth in an acceptable way  Humour helps!
  6. 6. #4 Narrow the options In recent work, a client had 15 different strategic pathways on the table  Filtering options begins, not by facts, but by framing  Structuring the analysis strengthens thinking and supports hypotheses
  7. 7. #5 Use MECE McKinseys fact-based problem-solving process uses MECE thinking  Standing for Mutually Exclusive, Collectively Exhaustive, its about separating a problem into distinct, non-overlapping issues whilst making sure nothing is overlooked
  8. 8. #6 Avoid data overload  Collect data with a purpose  Set up hypotheses early in the process & collect only data which will prove or disprove them Focus on: what assumptions need to be true for my hypothesis to be correct  Seek answers which are directionally correct
  9. 9. #7 No excuses  Pre-internet, it was OK not to know Todays business plans must take advantage of all available intelligence Strategists can no longer rely on the ignorance of a motivated audience
  10. 10. #8 Dont sweat the forecasts  Business Plans need numbers – just dont get carried away  Complex discouted cash-flow spreadsheets are next to worthless when 5 year assumptions have no basis other than management hope  The truth is that no one is going to believe the forecasts so stick to an overview of the economics of the business and capturing its potential
  11. 11. #9 Go fast In the good old days, a scenario planning exercise could take companies like Shell 2 years to complete  Today, speedy strategy is possible but requires a separation of process and task  Take time to develop the right process and the tasks will go very fast indeed  10 weeks for a business strategy, anyone?
  12. 12. #10 Evaluate fit Whats right & what can be implemented by a client are two different things entirely “Consulting is knowing how to tailor your advice to the optimum of what the organization will take on board & implement” (Sir John Harvey Jones)
  13. 13. If you liked this post...& want a once weekly injection of futures thinking Step 1 Step 2 Enter your email Step 3 Relax: a blogpost will soon be on its way
  14. 14. Enhance your strategy join forces with Web: Email:
  15. 15. Futures Coaching in October 2012Helping a Dutch agency identify growthopportunities & plan its strategyWorking with an international company to embedbest practices in consulting into their strategyContinuing to define how trends will impact futurebank branch design and rolePlanning a new report on trends in consumerhealthcareAiding my co-author with a TEDx presentation onYoung Brains
  16. 16. About Futures Coaching Celebrating 5 years!Working for great clients Doing great things Planning * corporate SWOT analysis * filtering business opportunities * building Business Cases Anticipating * the future of retail * the future of offices * the future of global banking * the future of Asian women Innovating * new fund-raising offers * consumer healthcare NPD Coaching * trends training for insight teams * personal rejuvenation training Speaking * engagements from Taipei to Toronto