Research Areas

A Sailor’s Guide to Strategic Planning
July 20, 2017 - By Adam P. Saffer: "The older I get, the more I appreciate simplification. Whether instructions on how to pair wireless devices, driving directions to a meeting place, a recipe for a good meal, or a training event, the simpler the better. For years I worked as a management consultant helping for profit and non-profit firms develop their business strategy. During those years, I read a plethora of books, papers and articles on the subject - each one smarter and often more complicated than the other. Don't get me wrong, there is a tremendous amount of creative, rational, well-researched and well-written literature available; all written by people far smarter than me. Be it vision-based, issue-based, goal-based, or scenario-based, using various tools and structures such as a log frames, strategic maps, balanced scorecards, all offer interesting and valuable perspective. However, if you don't have a Chief Strategy Officer or are not particularly interested in or familiar with the process of strategic planning (which if executed correctly is usually as if not more impactful than the final product), it is hard to determine which model is best suited for your company. Other determining factors include but are not limited to the stage of the business (e.g. start up, early stage SME, rapid growth or expansion phase, preparing to sell, transitioning to a new generation), the industry (e.g. manufacturing, wholesale, retail, services, FMCG, ICT), current market conditions, competitive dynamics, and the company’ approach to differentiation (e.g. high quality/low volume; low quality/high volume, faster, cheaper, greener, a new product)."
20 July 2017