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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