November 11, 2014
Denise HarrisonIs your company struggling to develop a clear focus on what will enhance its future potential? Are you bogged down trying to revive legacy businesses that have slim margins when the market is valuing more recent products and service offerings? Please comment on our blog.


Denise Harrison, Senior Consultant

Game Playing Will Be Important to Sony's Future Success

By Denise Harrison

Denise Harrison Sony exemplifies how a company must continually refocus its resources in order to optimize its future potential. An earlier article: Know When to Hold 'em and When to Fold 'em - Knowing when to get out of a core business is key to being successful in the future 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.

Click to

Questions & Answers

We argue a lot during our planning meetings. How can we be more effective at building consensus?

Click here for answers...

Can the documentation in Simplified Strategic Planning be too cursory?

Click here for answers...

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?

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.

Strategic Planning Team - What Company Functions Should Be Represented?

By M. Dana Baldwin

How many people does it take to develop a good, actionable strategy for your company? The most straightforward answer is: it depends. It depends on how big and how complex your organization is. It depends on how entrenched people are in silos. It depends on how good your internal communications are. It depends on the trust levels within the organization.

Innovation and Strategy

By Robert W. Bradford

These two words go together sickeningly often. Every buzz-word spouting bozo tends to refer to themselves as "inspiring strategic innovation" or "working on innovation strategy". But these words have very specific meanings, and, when it comes to strategy, there is innovation that will be strategic, and innovation that will not be.

What Changes Impact Your Bottom Line?Hint: There Is More To Pricing than Meets the Eye

By Denise Harrison

In their well-researched book, entitled The Price Advantage the authors (Baker, Marn, and Zawada) use the following statistics to highlight the importance of pricing: A 1% increase in price achieves an 11% improvement in operating profit. This statistic should make us take some time to think about our pricing policies.

What is Focus?

By M. Dana Baldwin

What is focus? Why is focusing on your business so important it should be a key element of your strategic planning? Why is it a key to your ongoing success? What happens when you lose focus?

Ready, Aim, Fire?

By Robert W. Bradford

In over 1,600 strategic planning meetings, I have noticed that people have a tendency to approach their planning process from many different angles. One of the most interesting sets of angles revolves around the very common idea that we can hit our targets more accurately using the sequence "Ready, aim, fire". This sequence originated...

Playing to Win - Thoughts from Lafley

Review by Denise Harrison

Playing to Win is A.G. Lafley's book on how he determined strategy when he was at the helm of P&G from 2000 to 2009 - and interestingly enough, he is back at the helm of P&G. While there is little new ground covered in this book, it is a good refresher...

More strategic planning articles...

Subscribe Now
Strategic Planning Blog

Simplified Strategic Planning for Small to Mid-Sized Companies
Michigan State University

A Two-Day Interactive Seminar Specifically for Executives of Independent Companies and Subsidiaries of Larger Companies Who Want to Achieve Better Results Faster

Company Presidents and CEOs attend free of charge when accompanied by one or more additional paid attendees.

Poor strategic planning is worse than no strategic planning. It can be a big waste of time and money. Even worse, it can lead to disaster. Avoid all this with Simplified Strategic Planning - a proven process to focus for superior performance without straining your resources.

Whether you've been doing strategic planning for years or starting from scratch, you can acquire a streamlined process for developing and implementing your strategy. In just two days, you will have learned this time-tested methodology, which has produced outstanding results for thousands of companies from a wide variety of business types.

Click here for more information

About Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc.

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.

Since 1981, Center for Simplified Strategic Planning has provided client companies with the strategic planning tools and leadership required to obtain superior strategy results.

We understand the challenges typically faced by our clients in installing systems and practices necessary to support growth, while maintaining day to day operations.

Call today for more information! 1-734-995-3465

Robert Bradford, CEO
Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc.
2219 Packard Road, #13
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc. respects your privacy. We do not rent, sell or exchange email addresses. Please remember to add to your address book so future emails from us won't be added to your bulk folder.

Copyright 2011 Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc.  All  rights reserved.

For permission to reprint any article from Course and Direction, or if you would like to submit an article for inclusion in Course and Direction, please contact the editor, Elizabeth Tidd at


Privacy Policy

Center for Simplified Strategic Planning | 2219 Packard - Suite 13 | Ann Arbor | MI | 48104