Category Archives: Planning Strategy

Three Uses of Strategic Planning

Strategic planning can become quite complex.

We can go all in on Porter’s 5 forces, be thorough with our SWOT analysis, develop quite a detailed view of the organisation using the VRIO framework, base the strategic plan on some form of a Balanced Scorecard view, or even think about strategy in terms of the Value Chain.

We might even think of strategy planning and development in terms of the market cycle, even industry life cycle, in terms of diversification, mergers & acquisitions, or even some form of international expression.

But in my view, strategic planning comes down to a mix of the three main uses of strategic planning.

  1. Setting a common vision
  2. Improving resource usage
  3. Uncovering other possibilities


With “setting a common vision“, the emphasis of the exercise is to ensure that everyone is going in the same direction. While there may be those who wish to no longer take the same journey as everyone else, the outcome of the process is to raise the organisational flag and set the vision. It’s to get buy-in from everyone. Its to say “this is where we are going, and how we are getting there”.

With “improving resource usage“,  the emphasis is to make sure you have what you need for the journey. It’s a process of uncovering either shortcomings or abundance, of looking at what you have or what you need in order to achieve the vision. Of either doing better with what you have, putting aside the things you don’t need, or investing in labour/capital/resources to ensure your success.

With “uncovering other possibilities“, the emphasis is on finding out alternatives. Whether they be new products, markets, processes, and so on. This could be seen as the province of innovation. While in other posts I have discussed strategic foresight/thinking as solving the “what might we need to do” conundrum, strategic planning is about “what will we do and how will we do it”. Thus “uncovering possibilities” falls firmly within the “what will we do” question.

So, for the obvious question, can you use strategic planning to achieve one or more of these three aims?


For more of what I have to offer, visit Dellium Advisory, follow on Twitter, connect using LinkedIn, or review my IT-centric blog.

Getting the best out of what you have

Have you thought about the resources and capabilities that you have on hand, and how well you are using them?

Have you thought about how these aspects of your organisation, whether not-for-profit or a business, can help you stay in the game and be successful?

Well, when planning your strategies perhaps reflect on your own unique set of resources and capabilities using the following four attributes:

  1. value
  2. rarity
  3. imitability
  4. organization

Value. What is the value that you have? For you must have resources and capabilities of value in order to create a proposition that customers will pay for.  This value that you have must be capable of exploiting an opportunity or seeing off a potential threat. Or, on the other hand, is this resource or capability hindering your ability to respond to opportunities or threats? That is, is it a weakness?

Rarity. Do you have at your disposal an asset that is rare? That not many others have? Perhaps you own a particular segment of the market. Perhaps some of the talents that your staff have are quite unique. What about a technology that you use in your processes that not many others have.

Imitability. How easy is it for others to copy what you have? Think about the processes you have, the way your goods are produces, or the particular value that you add to your services. Can what you do be easily imitated by current or potential competitors?

Organisation. Are you geared to taking full advantage of the resources and capabilities that you have? Think about your policies and procedures. Do they stifle or do they give assistance to exploiting the value, the rarity and the imitability of what you have at hand?

For sustaining competitive advantage is about ensuring all four of these attributes are kept in strategic focus.

Dellium Advisory
For more of what I have to offer, visit Dellium Advisory, follow on Twitter, connect using LinkedIn, or review my IT-centric blog.

Are you biased by your world?

When we come to make decisions we must be aware of the limitations we are faced with. Its more important in thinking about and developing strategies. Do you have enough information? Are you aware of your tendency to weight certain outcomes based on current events and trends?

That is, there is an insufficient spread information in order to make the correct decision, or to choose the optimal pathway.

This is called “availability bias”.

We are making choices and deciding on what path to take based on what is available right now.

A couple of examples. Firstly, a while ago we had the SARS epidemic. Well, there was an uptick in the concerns corporates had for the availability of key people in times crisis & had they could work from home.

And secondly, imagine doing some long-term marketing planning several years ago. During those sessions and workshops where investment in capacity skills where being debated. Would social media expert ever come up? Would the recognition that the forms of on-line marketing would change ever be broached?

One of the ways to counteract this availability bias is to have experts in the field have input to your decision making. Experts with some perspectives on the issue at hand.

But a key way to counteract your availability bias is being aware of it in the first place.
For more, visit Dellium Advisory, follow on Twitter, connect using LinkedIn, or review my IT-centric blog.