The Big Question of the Week ― What is a Corporate Strategy Plan?

On Thursday, February 28th we’ll be hosting a free Corporate Strategy Planning  webinar at Magate Wildhorse.

Many curious about the event had the following questions.

What is a corporate strategy plan?
Is it the same as a business plan?

Here are the differences between them.

While both plans are used for guiding organizations, they differ in scope, who, when, and how they are used.

Let’s start with the business plan.

The business plan is typically what a small or micro-business uses during its start-up phase. A large organization might also use a business plan for getting a new line of business or initiative off the ground. It supports the period of executing, testing and adjusting for viability at the start.

In a small nutshell, start-ups use their business plans to articulate, help them organize, and guide them in relation to why, how, who, and what they will do to produce their solution, market it, sell it, and make a profit.

 How they put the business plan to use:
  • To say what business, they are in;                                                                              The business you are in does not necessarily wear the same name as the products or services that you produce and sell.
  • To articulate how they will bring their solution from concept to a profit-making product or service, as well as the resources and actions that are needed to make that happen;
  • To define their customers, and say how they’ll reach them;
  • To say how they differ from the competition;
  • To highlight barriers, challenges, constraints and how they will work around them or remove them;
  • To help convince funders to invest in their businesses;
  • To tie a budget to delivering the planned solutions to the market and customers identified in that plan;
  • To highlight their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats;
  • To say what success should like including― the amount of money they intend to earn that year; and projections for another year or two; and
  • To say how they will wrap up the business in the most painless and beneficial if not profitable manner should there be the need to do so.

Now, let’s look at the corporate strategy plan.

The Corporate Strategy Plan is used by larger organizations with multiply programs and business units, or both. It is also used by entrepreneurs who have exited or is preparing to exit the start-up stage. Typical examples of such organizations are government departments, non-profit organizations, development programs, and larger private sector entities.

Big difference 1: The corporate strategy plan is used by organizations who are already in existence and who are looking to grow and improve.

How they use the Corporate Strategy Plan:     

  • To articulate the organizational strategy, the strategic direction, and for allocating resources in order to deliver the strategy.
  • To focus on agility, gaining the competitive edge over time, and incrementally, or completely within the plan period depending on how that edge is to be achieved.    It focuses on new capabilities and positioning to seize future opportunities.
  • To answer the question “where are we today?”                                                          The answer to which includes a focus on the organization’s results (including the financials), position in the market, etc.
  • To answer the question “where do we want to be?”                                             Here the answer focuses on the ambitions of the organization, the big problem(s) to be solved and for whom, objectives, and goals etc. It is in answer to this question that organizations arrive at what Jim Collins call BHAGs (Big Hairy Audacious Goals —pronounced Bee Hags). 
  • To answer the question, “What could prevent us from getting there?”
  • To answer the question, “How will we get there?”,                                              here is where priorities must be made and guide for tactics comes into play.
  • To answer the questions, “What should success look like?”, and “Are we on the same page?”, “Who is responsible for what?”
  • To guide execution.
  • To schedule time to step back analyze and reflect on the results, gather, and share learning (monitor, evaluate, assess), adjust the strategy, and improve.
  • It is also used is securing funding by government departments, development programs, and negotiating deals.

The Corporate Strategy Plan is usually elaborated into a 1-year Strategic Operational Plan asl known as the SOP or Operations Plan. The SOP contains details of what and how the first, second, third, fourth, or fifth year of the Corporate Strategy Plan is to be executed (Some entities use a 3-yr, 5-yr, and less frequently a 10-yr Corporate Strategy Plan)..

Corporate Strategy Planning, also known as long range planning should not start at the Board Retreat or the Strategic planning workshop.

Register here: https://www.facebook.com/events/2162653983818368/

To learn more you are invited to join us this Thursday, February 28, 2019 for a webinar on Corporate Strategy Planning.   Please visit the following link for details as well as to complete the registration form in order to receive a link to the webinar.

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Who Is Your Ideal Customer?
 
We get asked the question ―What do you do, and who are your ideal customers so often?
And we are glad to answer it no matter how many times we are asked. After all we are here to understand your needs and to help you to better understand how we can help  or work together.
But, just in case you want to have a better idea before picking up the phone, or sending us a message,
I’m leaving a few quick answers at the link below.
 
CLIENTS, SERVICE DELIVERY PARTNERS, AND ASSOCIATES THAT WE SEEK
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Want to know how we can help you the professional or young manager? Want to know how we can help your organization, programme, or project? Your best chance ―hold that one-on-one conversation with us.
 
You’re welcome to message me, or call me up to learn more about the team, our service offer, and our wider service delivery capability.
 
But, if you’d still like to take a quick browse, visit our service catalogue on Facebook (No need to log in or to have a Facebook account, just click “not now” when prompted to sign in) https://goo.gl/t5iPzK.
 
Don’t fall in the trap of the inexperienced who believe it all lies in a CV, web site, or LinkedIn profile.
 
You might be surprised at some of the little gems of solutions that we offer.
 
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Warm and Up-Close Remote Strategic Planning

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“Remote strategic planning? Hmmm… I’ve got to say I am doubtful about that one. Strategic planning is too expensive, time consuming and important for me to risk on getting it done virtually”.

If that’s how you feel about remote strategic planning we couldn’t fault you for sharing that sentiment. Strategic planning is serious business and you would be foolhardy to take such an important risk with little information on how remote have worked for planning, or the advantages and drawbacks to it.

Moreover, when you are embarking on the strategic planning journey, both you and your team need a warm interaction with an expert who will do more than facilitate planning. You are likely looking for an expert in strategy as well as a facilitator who serves as an objective advisor. One who ask heads-back and chests-forward incisive questions for helping your team to rethink strategy, goals, objectives and actions. And by doing so ensures what your plan is doable, positions your organization for growth and account for risk. You also want someone to lead your team into reflecting on its history and results to date.

Today, 99% of strategy solution sponsors expect their investment to include an external sounding board, researcher, coach and mentor for helping their team to grow planning skills, experience and knowledge. With such a long wish list hinged on relationships, expertise, experience and time management it is easy to see why to someone unfamiliar with remote strategy planning would perceive it to be too cold and distant to deliver their expectations.

But as William Yeats (The Irish Poet, W.B. Yeats) says— “The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”  Remote strategy planning is one such magic thing waiting to help you grow a stronger organization.

Though odd, this open secret—fear of the unknown and failure is still a hidden factor that have dogged and crippled the leadership of many organizations when it comes to pursuing growth-focused innovation and strategy execution.  Making strategy planning happen when teams are scattered or budget is tight is not excluded from that scenario.

I’d say it’s a sad state of affairs that can be easily fixed. Do not allow fear to limit the impact of your leadership or options for developing and executing your strategy. Explore the exciting opportunities presented by low cost technology for remote planning and other strategic management activities.

Technology have come a long way in providing the virtual platforms that allows individuals and organizations to deliver face-to-face, warm remote interactions. Not to mention, the variety of software and applications that allows for democratic and group processes, stakeholder consultations, interviewing, surveys, data capture from social media and mobile engagement.

All of which provides for deeper learning, expanding knowledge and improving the quality of data on which to make predictions for developing your strategy, plan and related logic.

By now I believe you can see at least a glimmer of how strategic planning could work in a remote environment?

Our ability to gather information on context, clients, customers, suppliers, industry—you name it in addition to internal information for guiding decisions relating to the what and how for advancing your mission and delivering your vision have been enhanced exponentially by remote research capabilities.

On top of that opportunities for your team members to revisit planning sessions individually in their own time for increasing understanding and reflection are tremendous.

Cost is another big factor that have led some organizations to take the “do it yourself”, less objective and less effective though better-than-nothing approach. Others have sadly chosen to skip planning on a flawed assumption that they cannot afford it. International development agencies and large charities have come to see the benefits and cost savings that are available through both remote strategy planning and organizational performance evaluation.

They have come to see the benefits of leveraging technology to connect remote communities and entities with limited resources to top-notch talent.  Talent has come to realize the cost savings and value-added they can deliver through extended capacity to reach customers and stakeholders in faraway places in addition to those nearby.  Big business and organizations in large cities are increasingly turning to the use of remote planning solutions in order to save while including participation by team members in other towns, countries or cities.

You’ll find that UN organizations (United Nations) are among the large NGOs and intergovernmental organizations that are seizing such opportunities. So, what’s holding you back?

If you lack experience that’s not a problem, you must start somewhere.  If you fear it might not be right for you then, you have two options research to find out more then decide, try and see or both.

We understand that remote planning might not be right for every team, so we are willing to help you decide if it is right for yours.

We bring almost two decades of strategy and remote service delivery experience to helping you to decide.

What Goes into The Remote Planning Exercise

When planning with us the steps we’ll take will vary depending on the following: the experience of your team with strategic planning, remote planning, the stage of development of your organization, motivation to and purpose for planning as well as where you are on the strategy process continuum.

As it relates to the strategy process continuum it could be that you are in need of your first corporate strategy plan; or you are at a milestone and need a new strategic operational plan? It is also likely that you have come to the end of the implementation period for a program or a 3-5yr corporate strategy plan and is now in need of a strategy solution for developing the new plan.

In that case you may need an organizational self-assessment for assessing how you did in the past, strategy development, evaluation and planning for creating the new corporate strategy plan that will guide your next strategy execution period. Most organizations, experienced in planning would also invest in the combo of corporate strategy plan, operational plan and performance management tools (For guiding monitoring and evaluation during strategy execution).

Your Solution Unwrapped

Note: The following is not a step-wise process as the steps will depend on where you are on the strategy process continuum.

Depending on what’s right for you we put technology to work with human care and intelligence to take you through processes such as:

  • Eyeball-to-eyeball virtual meetings, conversations and document reviews for understanding your context, wants and needs;
  • Strategic identity creation, clarification or update (For ensuring mission, vision, values etc. are clear, relevant, inspiring and impactful);
  • Identification of your core resources, competence, aspirations, challenges and capabilities;
  • Strategic analysis, drawing on qualitative and quantitative research methods and tools for better understanding your external environment. At the end of which we will better understand how it will or could impact your organization in addition, to how your organization might influence the environment.

We do that by conducting an external environmental scan (PESTLE, STEEP, STEEPLE, SKEPTIC etc.). Having identified trends related to regulation, inflation, ecology, customers, competitors, stakeholders, suppliers among other things we revisit your strategic intent and organizational capacity (Your SWOT plus analysis) to determine the new competencies that will be required in order to get the job done. Technology comes in handy for helping us to engage in rich conversations with your customers, clients and partners live, or to through anonymous sharing— irrespective of distance.

  • Getting to an organizational development plan for you, here again we draw on the technology to present you with a user-friendly document plus face-to-face conversation that enables your leadership and management team to respond to our findings, recommendations and proposed strategy options for delivering your desired competitive edge. This forms part of your planned strategy formulation process.
  • During planning, remote technology enables us to create interactive tools for illustrating and sharing your strategy framework and strategy— articulated into your position, and objectives. From Board to staff will be able to tell what kind of strategy framework you have chosen (Ansoff Matrix, Stakeholder Model, Values Discipline, McKinsey’s Strategic Horizons, Balanced Scorecard or your own blend). Strategy and logic maps can be adjusted in real-time as your team think and re-think your objectives. Best of all they can be made available in a virtual room 24/7s for comments and ideas as they flow to and from your team.
  • Planning remote allows you even more time for bringing leadership and execution teams to a meeting-of-minds as they review scenarios, assess risks and assumptions and decide on trade-offs during the strategy evaluation and strategy elaboration You won’t miss out on live group brainstorm sessions, team building games or pictures of your team working together.

You’ll have plenty of opportunity to share what is working for your team during the planning process and to work out adjustments if necessary.

You may have noticed that we have covered several steps and activities before touching on strategy elaborationthe step or sub-process where the strategy gets translated into plans and workplans (Your plans will include strategic objectives, goals, indicators, quality measures, outcomes and outputs aligned with strategic intent, effort, timelines and resources).

Once the plan has been completed we will help you with the initial stage of communicating your plan. However, if we are engaged to assist with performance management and measurement we support you with full plan communication, additional help with identifying your emergent strategies, analyzing your performance results and triggering strategy update.

Challenges of Remote Planning

In exchange for deeper learning and broader participation your team will need to prep ahead for remote planning. This means using online time converters and e-calendars (outlook, yahoo and or google calendar) for scheduling.

In some instances, you and/or your team may be required to learn new skills for working in virtual planning rooms, accessing web conferences, participating in e-groups or completing online surveys.  Most teams we have met have enjoyed learning those skills. Older Board members might be averse to using some e-tool, depending on their experience with technology. Nonetheless we have been able to include technology challenged individuals in remote planning sessions.

The planning process may be stretched over a longer period of time. Some groups can manage a typical 4-hour virtual planning workshop (Plus lunch and refreshment breaks) while some can only manage two hours.

You may need to check on computers, microphones and plan seating arrangement for you team ahead of the session depending on the set up we agree. It is possible to have a session without you having to consider seating or computers. But we will guide you in setting up your room as the facilitator would have if required.

Love your flipcharts? We will tell you how to make that happen during remote planning.

Expect a session or two where technology might fail and a reschedule maybe required.

Discipline for completing related assignments is required.

You may need to plan and secure refreshment and meals for your team.

Could It Be Worth Your Investment?

We believe that the challenges above are small compared to the benefits of having a plan that includes:

  • a clearly articulated strategic intent,
  • is easy to use for guiding the delivery of the results you planned,
  • makes performance management easy,
  • is doable, affordable and communicates the what and how of your strategy effectively both internally and externally.

When a solution is designed to fit your needs and budget and still allows you to access the expertise and help of a strategy expert, facilitator, strategy analyst, strategy finder, sounding board and performance improvement catalyst, we believe it’s worth the while.

Still on the fence?

Schedule a remote face-to-face connect and clarify session today!

Ccontact us, let's talk remote strategic planning, request remote long-range planning, submit your virtual planning needs, schedule remote corporate strategy planninglick the “let’s talk button” to submit your needs, name of organization, location and three possible meeting times.

Meegan Scott is a strategic management consultant with almost two decades of experience in strategy and remote (virtual) service delivery.

 

Copyright © 2018 Meegan Scott
All Rights Reserved

 

My Checklist – Getting Ready for Business Growth 2018

Warning! This is only for entrepreneurs and organizational leaders who are serious about growth and active strategic thinking?

How serious are you about getting value for your consulting, marketing or strategy execution dollar?

If you are very serious you will act to ensure your service provider knows and give you exactly what you need for the best price and in time — we’d like you to help us to be the ideal service provider.

This will take a few minutes and real thinking, so let’s get started right away.

After you have helped us to get it right we’d like you to try this for your business or organization too.

But don’t stop there we’d also love to hear from you regarding how it worked for you.

Our audience would also love to know how this exercise worked for you. Thank you for sharing on at: https://goo.gl/6gC4Yc

How to Help

Help us to bring the action section of the table below to life by answering one or more questions in the Action panel. Thank you for typing the question number along with your answer.

We thank those who answer all of our questions.

Students and academics are also welcome to share.

Click here or the link below to view table in PDF format.

table help get 2018 right. v.2.0

table help get 2018 right2

Double click the image to view – created by Meegan Scott

“Early bird catches the fattest worm”.

Get ready to grow in 2018 and thank you for helping us to grow along with you.

Hey, do this for your agribusiness too!

readyforacceleratedgrowth2018

Meegan Scott

Copyright © 2017 by Meegan Scott and Magate Wildhorse. All Rights Reserved

High Point of the Week — One That Came with Smiling Faces

Touching down in Africa once again for strategic planning from Canada via Internet was one of the high points of this week.

It was a pleasure to meet the faces from our previous intervention and as well as the new faces.

Like most of our clients they look to us for:

  1. Simplified planning language
  2. Easy to understand and easy to apply performance management and measurement framework
  3. Actionable impact learning support
  4. Strategy communication that drives commitment
  5. Team help with growing its competence in planning and reporting
  6. Help with better ownership of plan and results organization wide

We look forward to our journey for 2017 as well as future journeys together.

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Environmental Scanning Solutions – PESTEL Analysis & SKEPTIC Scans +

Environmental Scanning solutionEnvironmental scanning solutions for risk intelligence and risk management needs. We will conduct environmental scans and present the findings for your strategic marketing, corporate strategy planning, policy development, project planning or organizational assessment need. We make it easy for management to see how the external environment does and could impact a market, policy, program, strategy, project or the organization in the future. Get your eyes on emerging trends, strengthen your forecasting, get a better understanding of factors, issues, variables and causal relationships. skeptic scanAsk for a PESTEL or PESTLE Analysis, SWOT, SKEPTIC Scan, PEST, STEEP, SLEPT, STEEPLE, PESTER or model of your choice. Let us help you test those assumptions and make decisions with insights from rigorous analysis.

Request your solution today!

Phone: 647-854-5323 or click here to leave us a message.

 

 

 

 

Burning Desire: A Culture of Performance Improvement

Is performance improvement your burning desire?
Is a culture of performance improvement on your wish list for your organization, team, program or project?

Then Pepper Pot Lunch ℠ is for you.
Pepper Pot Lunch ℠ is hot!  That is why it is not for every team or organization.
Pepper Pot Lunch ℠   is tailor made to suit the strategic conversation, root cause analysis and problem solving needs of organizations and their champions of change.

Each participatory session is geared towards tackling a challenge related to:
1. Understanding strategy
2. Winning commitment to strategy
3. Taking action for getting the results you, the organization, customers and stakeholders want
4. Growing a culture of performance and improvement

Because you know a great solution when you see it, you’ll be among the first 100 to order your
Pepper Pot Lunch ℠   solution for your team or organization.

Pepper Pot Lunch ℠   are not just “talk shops”, they are interactive, fact finding, information sharing and active problem solving sessions.

We guarantee rich entertaining sessions which engages heads, hearts and hands for getting you on the path to success.

Try Pepper Pot Lunch ℠   today.

Facilitated strategic management conversations—that drive commitment, strategy alignment and help your organization to grow a culture of performance and improvement.

Lunch date with your team and you?
We’ll take Pepper Pot Lunch, plus we’ll also take the fire for you when it comes to those tough strategic management conversations.

Pepper Pot Lunch ℠ Sessions are held for 60 to 120 min. [The time is dependent on the issue and type of session].

Message us to discuss your Pepper Pot Lunch need and order today!
Or phone us at: 1(647) 854-5323

#performanceimprovement #strategicconversations #problemsolvingsessions #value #quality #lunchsessions #problemsolving #pepperpotlunch #PepperPotAct #changemanagement #strategicfacilitation #strategicfacilitator