Without a strategy we are lost. How do we even know if we’ve “won?” If we don’t have a target and clear definable, measurable ways to hit our target, how can we determine our own success? In three decades I’ve had the chance to see firms try to build new products, enter new markets, acquire firms and reduce operational overhead all without a strategy. And I’ve seen many firms fail because of it. As a management consultant, executives have asked me to build budgets without a strategy. As an investor, I’ve heard pitches from firms who want funding.
They’ve presented slide shows without a strategy. This workbook is meant as a guide to help firms build a strategy. It won’t tell a company what its goals and objectives are. The workbook provides a blueprint for firms to build their strategies, develop ways to measure them and help executives articulate those plans within and outside the organization. Why do companies work without a strategy?
Simple. Executives are afraid that , there will be more work. Nothing could be further from the truth. A strategy (or set of strategies) will refine and define activities. If activities aren’t on the strategy, they should be avoided. It’s a classic case of an overused phrase: work smarter not harder. The Workbook is organized logically. It starts by helping the user understand the market, the firm itself and the directions being pursued. It asks the user to undergo common methodologies such as defining missions and visions. The user is then required to pull out actionable strategies, measurement techniques and list the parties responsible for fulfillment. The Strategic Planning Workbook has descriptions of what each section should contain and asks thought provoking questions. While this workbook is no substitute for trained facilitators and off site planning sessions, it should provide the strategic framework needed.