August 25, 2015
Dana BaldwinThe impact of losing focus can be huge. When a giant customer starts to push its wishes on the supplier, a number of things can happen. When Goodyear changed how they went to market with their tires, they ended up losing focus, with results which have hurt them significantly. What is your focus? How is that working for you? Do you have a good strategic plan that reinforces your commitment to success? Please comment on our blog.

Sincerely,

M. Dana Baldwin

Using Multiple Channels Can Dilute Market Image - Lessons Learned from Goodyear

By Dana Baldwin

Dana BaldwinOne ongoing threat that might harm a company more than it helps is loss of focus. Many very good companies make a lot of money by keeping their focus on a very limited number of products or services and on the way they go to market. When Goodyear changed how they went to market with their tires, they ended up losing focus, with results which have hurt them significantly.

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Questions & Answers

We are highly successful already: Why should we plan?

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Why plan in a world that is highly uncertain?

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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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The Five Pillars of Strategic Planning

By Robert W. Bradford

Strategic planning has been done many different ways. Some work, and others don't. I've heard people talk about planning processes that are deeply detailed and months long, and I've heard of planning processes that are done in a couple of hours with post-it notes and tinker toys. My own take on strategic planning is based on experience drawn from working with hundreds of companies over the years, and I've paid particular attention to three outcomes from strategic planning.

From Near-Bankruptcy to Market Leadership: LEGO's Success is All about Childs' Play

By Denise Harrison

What would you do if you were faced with potential bankruptcy, with a product line that is over half a century old? Product line extension? Expansion into new lines of business? Sell the company? LEGO was facing this dilemma in 2001. While the first step was to return profitability to the core by streamlining the business; this was not enough to position LEGO to succeed in the future.

How do companies lose their way?

By M. Dana Baldwin

Why 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.

3 Cool Questions to Ask in Your Strategic Planning

By Robert Bradford

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

By Denise Harrison

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

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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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