Strategic Perspective and Planning

Planning with Strategic Perspective Course Video Overview

Our planning with strategic perspective courses will help your managers to create comprehensive, yet concise, persuasive business plans that integrate with your organisation’s overall strategy. Here is an outline of a typical workshop.

Strategic Perspective – Understanding the Future

Analysis – the Macro-environment

The macro-environment consists of forces that are beyond the control of even the largest organisations in the world. For those who interpret these forces correctly, they offer immense opportunities – for those who don’t, disaster awaits.

“If you do not know how to ask the right question, you discover nothing.”
W Edwards Deming

  • the macro-environment – PESTLE analysis
  • identifying trends, opportunities and issues
  • scenario analysis and planning (based on the work of Arie de Geus at Shell!)
  • creating “future memory” and preparedness to gain first-mover advantages
  • developing a “learning organisation” – embedding strategic foresight in the organisation

Analysis – Industry

Strategic Perspective and planningA critical strategic question is: where shall we compete? Many other players are involved in the game – current and potential future competitors, suppliers and, of course, customers.

  • Porter’s Industry Analysis – understanding how firms compete and the impact on profitability of:
    • barriers to entry and exit
    • substitutes
    • potential entrants
    • competitive rivalry
  • competitive advantage – gaining and sustaining
  • customer focus – the link between brand, culture and competitive advantage

Analysis – Markets

This session examines competitors and how the segmentation perspective an organisation adopts can lead to success or failure:

  • the art-science of segmentation
  • identifying “attractive” segments
  • positioning within markets
  • competitive analysis
  • why everyone is in ‘marketing’

Strategic Perspective – The Organisation

“It is important that top managers view the firm as a portfolio of competencies, for they must ask, “Given our particular portfolio of competencies, what opportunities are we uniquely positioned to exploit?”
Hamel & Prahalad
Having gained an understanding of the wider environment and the industries in which the organisation operates, the next stage is to consider your organisation – what resources are available; how can the bundle of knowledge, skills, reputation, relationships, equipment etc be utilised to gain sustainable competitive advantage.

  • Porter’s Value Chain – analysing how your organisation delivers value to the customer
  • “Core Competencies” – gateways to the future
  • Strategic Fit – culture

Sustainable Competitive Advantage

“Some managers think, ‘The world is changing, things are going faster – so I’ve got to move faster. Having a strategy seems to slow me down.’ I argue no, no, no – having a strategy actually speeds you up.”
Professor Michael Porter
Porter identified three viable options for sustainable success. This session explores (and questions) these approaches, encompassing topics such as branding and culture. The investment implications of each are examined.

  • thinking behind “Blue Ocean” strategies
  • lowest cost
  • differentiation
  • focus
  • understanding “business models”

Brand and Culture

Brand and culture are the foundations of sustainable competitive advantage. They are difficult to copy and they enable organisations to escape the shackles of existing product-market combinations – in other words to adapt to the future competitive environment. A brand is how the phone is answered, the tone of voice in an email to a customer or the response when mistakes are made. And clearly, each of these is driven by culture – brand and culture are two sides of the same coin.

Techniques for Developing Plans

“However lean and fit an organisation, it still needs a brain. But the brain we have in mind is not the brain of the CEO or strategic planner. Instead it is an amalgamation of the collective intelligence and imagination of managers and employees throughout the company, who must possess an enlarged view of what it means to be ‘strategic’.” Hamel & Prahalad A reminder that the planning process is not a linear sequence; it is an iterative process. Planning can often be perceived as a discrete, cerebral activity and removed from what managers do on a daily basis; this is a mistake. In this session, participants will use a number of practical techniques that convert plans into specific tasks:

  • understanding goals
  • action mapping – identifying performance drivers, issues
  • leveraging and developing core competencies
  • next actions – a systematic approach
  • the strategic staircase

Making it Happen

Here participants consider how to translate plan into action, whilst integrating measurement into implementation.

Implementation – Balanced Scorecard

“Organisations today need a language for communicating strategy… Success comes from having strategy become everyone’s everyday job.”
Kaplan & Norton
The Balanced Scorecard is a framework for:

  • communicating plans throughout the organisation
  • making strategy part of everyone’s everyday job
  • aligning individual and organisational goals
  • measuring and controlling the real performance drivers, including intangibles
  • delivering shareholder value


Successful planners recognise that effective implementation depends on people:

  • culture and values
  • leadership behaviours
  • winning hearts and minds
  • creating a “sense of urgency”

Strategic Perspective and Planning Course Overview