Side by Side
CSF and Competitors
Which SWOT analysis is best for you?
Methods to prioritize opportunities - the synthesis
When finished, the strategic planning team's strategy must be clear, must align the firm behind the vision, must guide decisions, and must be easy to understand.
In this chapter, we use a SWOT or other prioritization techniques for strategy formulation.
the strategy is simple and direct, others can prioritize what needs to be done.
In strategy language, the team has agreed on a strategic
focus (or strategic intent, priority
key initiatives, etc.). My analogy is the 80/20
You want to identify
the 20% that will have the most impact — every thing else falls into place.
To identify your strategic focus, you filter the results of your research
through the critical success factors in your industry,
your core competencies,
decision (or value proposition).
On the next pages, I'll describe several tools to help your team agree
its strategic focus.
What comes first: big picture or specifics?
Most want to be skilled decision makers: objective, dispassionate, visionary, balanced yet bold, more often successful than not. Unfortunately, research suggests that most of us move incrementally from the last choice to the next. Nothing wrong with that, it is just hard to be a critical thinker.
Typically, when the team comes together to discuss the research conclusions, they already have solutions or initiatives in mind. This will limit your alternatives.
As a strategic planning facilitator, I learned that the most powerful method to think critically is socratic questioning, open ended questions that elicit information, inquire, clarify.
Concentrate on the big picture - Key Socratic Questions
- Do our skills match our best opportunities?
- How has our customer changed, how fast?
- What have we done and our competitors been doing to attract new customers?
- What is going to change regardless of what we do?
- Who has come into our industry group? Who left? Why?
- How have our relationships in our community created new business?
- What must everyone in our industry do the be successful?
- What about our organization makes us stand out?
Which Planning Approach
Critical Success Factors