March 10, 2015
Dana BaldwinDoes your company have multiple business sectors? How do you decide what people and how much investment to make in each? Do you have a multiplicity of products and services in each core business sector? Which ones get more attention and which ones are somewhat left to fend for themselves? Which ones can generate higher profitability, meaning it is likely we should be emphasizing them more than those with somewhat lower profitability? Please comment on our blog.


M. Dana Baldwin, Senior Consultant

Strategic Planning - Only For Corporate?

By M. Dana Baldwin

Dana BaldwinMost 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.

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Questions & Answers

What role should our board of directors play in strategic planning?

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Can small "breakout" groups be used effectively during the Strategic Planning meetings?

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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 - Mail: CSSP, Inc. 2219 Packard Road, Suite 13, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Article Archives

Did you miss these recent articles?

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.

Does Focus on Weaknesses Help?

By Robert W. Bradford

One of the most vexing issues encountered in strategic planning is a focus on the negative, especially threats and weaknesses. Obviously, we'd all like to avoid having weaknesses, but let's face the truth: no matter how hard you try, or how much you pretend, every organization has weaknesses. Greatness never comes as the result of eliminating weaknesses for one simple reason: it's impossible. Beyond that simple fact, making corrective action beyond a certain point an inevitable waste of time, attempting to correct weaknesses can do more harm than good.

Game Playing Will Be Important to Sony's Future Success

By Denise Harrison

Sony exemplifies how a company must continually refocus its resources in order to optimize its future potential. An earlier article discussed how Sony was exiting and de-emphasizing some of its core business to focus on areas with higher potential. As the strategy is evolving, we see that Sony is continuing to re-focus its resources to regain growth and profitability by broadening its gaming division to focus on entertainment.

Value or Low Price?

By M Dana Baldwin

When you learn what your customers value, then you can build on these values to gain an edge in the market place. While price is almost always a consideration, what the customer really is looking for is a solution to a problem. When all other factors are essentially equal, then price will be a determining factor. So, if you have you listened well enough to determine what the problem is, deeply enough to realistically provide an optimal solution to that problem, then you actually can compete effectively for the customer's business, even against a lower priced competitor.

Execution and Executability

By Robert W. Bradford

When I ask audience members at my seminars and speeches "What is your biggest strategic planning problem right now?", I inevitably hear the response "Implementation". Without question, this is one of the biggest issues for any company trying to accomplish anything at a strategic level -- execution seems to inevitably fall short of our stated intentions.

GE Spins off Major Appliance DivisionWhat Can a Small Company Learn from this Divestiture?

By Denise Harrison

GE is spinning off its Major Appliance division, highlighting the importance of making choices in strategic planning. In this case, Jeff Immelt, GE's CEO, is making the choice to focus on the higher margin energy, power, aviation, and health care businesses.

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