Does Your Company Strategy Need Stretching?

How are top companies adapting their strategic planning processes to address today's competitive reality? This was the questions that lead to this report by Boston Consulting Group (BCS). The study involved in-depth interviews with executives from leading companies, secondary research, and tapping into the experience of many of BCS's partners.

Business leaders are struggling between whether or not they should put the primary focus on strategic speed or foresight. Speed offers compelling advantages in today's changing world. However, a focus solely on speed implies more reacting and less innovation. Foresight enables you to become more innovative and to differentiate yourself. While developing foresight is more challenging today, the rewards are potentially much greater.

The important question today is, "How do you adjust your strategic planning process to develop more foresight and to improve your speed?"


"Those who believe that strategy is the exclusive preserve of a corporate brain trust are increasingly in the minority." Too often strategy development is too data collection focused and not enough thinking and dialogue. Generally in organizations there is a distinction between the "thinkers" and the "doers." This distinction proves to unproductive for everyone.

The "most effective strategies are the result of co-creation at multiple levels." Everyone's best thinking is needed. Helping everyone to develop strong strategic thinking skills is vital.

Successful companies are moving away from strategy simply constituting monologue Powerpoint presentations provided once a year in an "all-hands" meetings. The Powerpoint presentations focus more on sharing facts and metrics and occur before the dialogue begins.

Top firms are moving to more frequent, forum based, collegial dialogues focused on strategy. The dialogues are not held to simply "foster buy-in." They are held to come up with the best strategies that can succeed, and so that the execution time is reduced. Firms are fostering smart dialogue by "going deeper are few topics." The key is to ask key strategic questions that focus on those key drivers that help the organization to develop a competitive advantage.

Companies are also moving towards "most frequent discussions of strategy focused on nurturing strategists, pinpointing unexpected changes, and working through critical strategic uncertainties." Some companies hold regular strategy discussions throughout the year.

To help develop strategic thinking skills and to enhance the quality of dialogue, firms are creating more mentoring opportunities, tapping into a broader experience base," providing access to timely market data, and giving people at all levels the opportunity to develop strategy.

Learn More at the Strategic Thinking and Planning Workshop

About the Workshop

Strategic thinking and planning is essential to focus and drive your organisation’s activities. Strategic planning processes help you examine the business you are in and focus you on the key challenges you have to achieve in the future. Practical strategic and business plans aren’t easy to put together. This highly interactive workshop will help you analyse your business environment, uncover key things you have to get right to survive, succeed and grow, define your vision, set key objectives including strategic measures and actions.

The workshop examines the key strategic business areas that a successful plan must consider, including core values, purpose, and mission statements. In addition, you will gain insights into competitive strategies, value chains and life cycles, and come away from the program with a greater facility to understand how their organisations really work.

Who Should Attend?

Managers and executives seeking to improve their strategic thinking skills and ability.

Benefits of Attending

  • Gain tools to develop your overall planning framework with a clear, simple and effective process
  • Gain the skills to facilitate your strategic planning and /or business planning workshop
  • Gain the skills to facilitate input from your board of directors, stakeholders, staff and customers
  • Gain examples and templates for your strategic plan and business plan


John Mitchell is a senior consultant and executive coach with Integral Development and an expert in leadership and strategy. John holds a Masters in Leadership and Management and is currently a senior lecturer at Notre Dame University Business School. He has held a number of senior positions including CEO, Rottnest Island Authority and GM, Central Great Southern Health Authority.

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