The Strategic Planning Cycle

Some think of strategic planning as a one time or every 3 years exercise. In my experience, it is most beneficial to think about it as a yearly cycle. This time of year is when many organizations refresh strategic objectives and tune longer term plans. Finishing strategic planning efforts by October allows for those deliverables to feed into the annual planning cycle and prevents conflict between the two efforts. I like to think of strategic planning as an on-going process that is evaluated and refined every quarter, but also has … Continue Reading >


It’s Time to Make Smart & Connected Part of Your Strategy

Smart Connected Products are Transforming Competition. So state Porter and Hemplemann in a recent HBR article by that title. And, you don’t have to look far to see the changes around you. Last week, I had a chance to test drive a Tesla and I challenge you to come away with any other conclusion. Upgrade to the latest release of the car’s operating system (yes, you can update it much like an app on your phone) and it will auto pilot itself through traffic following road bends, keeping pace with … Continue Reading >


Gartner’s Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2016

Always interesting and fun to share. Here’s Gartner’s annual prediction of strategic trends shaping technology over next 4 years. They group these into three broad trends: The first three trends address merging the physical and virtual worlds and the emergence of the digital mesh. While organizations focus on digital business today, algorithmic business is emerging. Algorithms — relationships and interconnections — define the future of business. In algorithmic business, much happens in the background in which people are not directly involved. This is enabled by smart machines, which our next … Continue Reading >


Strategic Context

I’ve used Balanced Score Card (BSC)  and similar approaches for a number of years to organize the elements of and facilitate teams in creating a Strategic Plan. Recently, a CEO suggested he preferred Objectives, goals, strategies and measures (OGSM). No worries, the terms are a little different, but the pieces are similar. I went about mapping the results we had gotten from our BSC facilitation to the OGSM model: This exercise got me a little concerned since the result was missing much of the context in the strategic plan. We … Continue Reading >


What is Strategy?

I recently re-read Michael Porter’s excellent article from HBR by this title. His insights remain as relevant today as when they were penned 18 years ago. He explains strategy in a way that supports how I like to challenge customers to think about it. In this article, Porter eloquently address how a company can stake out competitive differentiation and align all it’s processes to deliver that differentiation. Porter makes a clear distinction between Operational effectiveness: performing similar activities better than rivals, and Strategic positioning: performing different activities from a rivals’ or … Continue Reading >