June 9, 2015
Dana BaldwinHow do companies lose their way? Unfortunately, it isn't all that hard. There are multiple opportunities for us to stray from our chosen path. How is your company losing focus? Have you strayed from your strategic plan? Please comment on our blog.


Dana Baldwin

How Do Companies Lose Their Way?

By Dana Baldwin

Dana BaldwinWhy is focus so important to success in our businesses? We've all heard of the person who wanted to clean off his desk, and couldn't imagine why it wasn't done by the end of the day. When he began to think about what he had done, he listed the following: On his way to his office to clean off his desk, he noticed that the light in the back hall was on, so he went to turn it off.

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Questions & Answers

We find five-year budgets to have little value. Is this really a necessary part of your process?

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Can a smaller company afford the time for strategic planning?

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This column is intended to answer common questions related to strategic planning and strategy in general. In each issue we will answer questions posed by seminar attendees, our clients and our readers. Please send your questions to - simplifiedstrategicplanning@cssp.com Mail: CSSP, Inc. 2219 Packard Road, Suite 13, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Article Archives

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3 Cool Questions to Ask in Your Strategic Planning

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The other day, a client was chatting with me and mentioned something about my strategic planning work I'd never thought of: I ask weird questions. Not so weird, in my mind - but my favorite questions are always strategic, and always lead to excellent discussions about the sources of value in business and how you can create more.

The Importance of Scenarios when Dealing with Uncertainty

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How can we better deal with uncertainty when we develop our strategic plan? Many strategic planning teams struggle with this issue. While it is important to understand what you know as facts and what your assumptions for the future are, I have found that some good scenario planning helps a team prepare for a wider range of possibilities that might occur in the future.

Simplify Your Business

By Robert W. Bradford

Last week, I was talking with someone about their insurance agent. She was absolutely thrilled at how the agent handled a recent car accident, saying "She made everything so much simpler!" It got me thinking about simplicity, and how it works in companies we like - and those we don't like. What hit me was that the way your company handles simplification will put you clearly into one camp or the other, and it has a lot to do with the attitude you have about your business, your employees, and your customers

Listening: An Important Skill for Successful Strategic Planning

By Denise Harrison

Recently I spoke with a CEO and found that the most important thing that his team learned during strategic planning was the importance of listening. This was an unusual answer to my question asking how his team had benefitted from the strategic planning process, so I asked him to explain his answer. He said that his company was full of "idea" people who spent so much time talking about their ideas that they failed to listen to others. Without solving this problem, his company would have been stuck in the mud and perhaps gone out of business because nothing moved forward - each person was his or her own island.

Strategic Planning - Only For Corporate?

By M. Dana Baldwin

Most people know that in order to help an organization focus on its future and to build plans/strategies to improve market share, profitability and competitive stature, that a company should go through a formal, well-organized planning process which will result in specific objectives and actionable strategies.

Why Most Strategic Plans Don't Produce Results

By Robert W. Bradford

Over the past couple of weeks, I've had some interesting conversations with a client about what we do in strategic planning. You see, there are lots of approaches to strategic planning - some of which work - but we do something just a bit differently than most.

Strategic Planning: Are Your Decisions Based on Fact or Opinions?

By Denise Harrison

Many people return from a strategic planning retreat frustrated, often asking: Were we really concentrating on what is important or were we focusing on what was "top of mind"? Did we make the right decisions or were we swayed by the most persuasive person?

How Engaged are You as a Leader?

By M Dana Baldwin

Many people, including yours truly, have written extensively on the value of increasing employee engagement. There are many good reasons to do so. Included are: Better attitudes, better involvement in the success of the company or organization, higher productivity, better quality, lower scrap or rejects, better profitability, higher levels of internal entrepreneurship, more suggestions for improvement and overall better relationships within the company.

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Strategic Thinking

Success in today's business environment requires that a company's leaders have the ability to create a vision of the organization's future direction as well as the course it needs to get there.

While various business improvement techniques such as Total Quality Management and Re-engineering are often extremely beneficial to the ongoing progress of a business, correct Strategic Focus remains the single most important element in a company's success.

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