Category Archives: Strategic Planning

Improving Business Performance

How is your organisation tracking? Surviving or thriving? Well, think about this … applying the principles of strategic management to any size business or organisation will improve performance.

Also consider this: ‘‘Small businesses that engage in contemporary strategic management practices tend to outperform those that do not.’’

This comes from a Brighton University (UK) study conducted several years ago (2007). Even though it is not a recent study, the conclusions those involved in the research are still relevant today. One startling one was that “strategic thinking is an essential ingredient in enterprise survival, performance and growth“.

Thus, what is your view on survival, performance & growth? Do you look for new, are you just hanging on, are things going well & will they continue to go well? The theory and practice strongly suggests that it is a matter of how you treat strategy. Of what your view is of the future. Its whether or not you plan sufficiently.

Now, when it comes to defining strategy, there are three broad areas to consider:

  1. what are the products & services to be offered?
  2. what markets are to be targeted?
  3. how is competitive advantage secured and maintained?

And the process of strategic management does not need to be overly complex, but it does need to be done. The mindshift that needs to be made is moving from working in the business to working on the business.

For more, 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.

What path to take?

When choosing which path to take, there are often several alternatives.

But how do you choose?

One way is use the tool of scenario planning. A framework for putting the issue of focus into perspective. But not just one perspective, it uses melds of ranges of impact and uncertainty to create four storylines.

The benefit of using this model is that you can see clearly what can happen if certain things occur.

Say you are looking to invest in expanding your manufacturing plant. The output from that plant is used by particular customer segment. In order to be satisfied that there will be a payoff for that investment you’ll need to be convinced that that customer segment will be around for the life of that investment.

So the key question is, what are the drivers of change for that particular customer segment? What is likely to happen to your current, and potential, customers throughout the years ahead?

So, by thinking about a range of events that could happen and the impact if they do, risks and opportunities with respect to that investment can be quantified.

For more, visit Dellium Advisory, follow on Twitter, connect using LinkedIn, or review my IT-centric blog.