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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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  • Debbie Dockray

  • "  The course offered a clear and concise approach to the presentation and support material - very focused.  "

  • "  The course was highly interactive. Everybody was engaged and involved. It also addressed many real world situations.  "

  • "  Excellent subject knowledge & depth, very clear & methodical, and excellent mentor.  "

    David Johnson
    Honeywell

  • "  I enjoyed the hands-on case scenarios and the sharing of information with the other participants.  "

  • "  The course offered good information with solid examples.  "

  • "  The seminar was very interactive - lots of hands on training.  "

  • "  I have learned how to be effective at leading my first meeting with my staff: communication, motivation and decision-making.  "

  • "  I liked everything about the course but enjoyed the case evaluations the most. With the cases, we were putting all the analytical tools together through practical use rather than just theoretically.  "

  • "  I liked how the theory tied in well with practical experience. I was able to take away many tools to implement at work.  "