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The Best Laid Strategic Plans

Nick Pollice, Sarah Kaplan, and Eric Beinhocker

Read Nick's full bio here.

The goal of long - term planning is not to strategize but; to prepare key minds to make sound decisions.

Background.

Most companies invest a significant amount of time and effort in a formal annual strategic planning process but, many executives see little benefit from the investment. One manager told us, "our planning process is like a primitive tribal ritual; there is a lot of dancing, waving of feathers and beating of drums. No one is exactly sure why we do it but, there is an almost mystical hope that something good will come out of it." Another said, "it's like the old communist system. We pretend to make strategy and they pretend to follow it."

Management thinker Henry Mintzberg has gone so far as to label the phrase Strategic Planning an oxymoron. He notes that real strategy is made informally, in hallway conversations, in working groups and in quiet moments of reflection on long plane flights, even on the golf course but, rarely in the panelled conference rooms where formal planning meetings are held.

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  • "  Janelle was an excellent instructor and kept the class motivated which was wonderful - keeps you interested in the course and the time flew by! The course gave wonderful insight into why and how you can have a better working relationship with your boss.  "

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  • "  Just about everything covered in this course I can use immediately in the office.  "

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  • "  The personalized involvement by the course leader made the learning relevant to the real world.  "

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  • "  I enjoyed the areas that focused on the process, as opposed to the project management side.  "

  • "  I found the course interesting and progressive in its approach to explaining a fairly dry topic.  "

  • "  The exercises were terrific. I am going to see if our teams are forming, storming, norming or performing. I am also going to look at the DiSC exercise we did to see if there are things I can do to perform more effectively with others.  "