Tag Archives: strategy

OH WOW! What I learned at the Pacific Northwest’s premier Supply Chain, Technology, and Management Conference

If you attend conferences, you know how stimulating it feels when smart people who are creating the future get together to share their ideas. That happened to me just last week when I was a speaker at #CONNECT 2019!, a gathering of 240 leaders in the world’s most dynamic environment for supply chain innovation —the Pacific Northwest.

My prior supply chain knowledge was limited, but it’s pretty fascinating stuff that is revolutionizing how we live.

Supply chain technology brings together advances in robotics, AI, automation, machine learning, blockchain, computational analytics, 3-D printing, IoT (Internet of Things) and multiple other disciplines to create new possibilities.

Here are a couple of fascinating examples the keynoters shared that I wouldn’t have imagined.

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Todd Rawlings, a Microsoft inventor, digital transformation architect and Azure R&D leader, showed how AI and cloud technologies are transforming everything from education to agriculture.

His most surprising statement:

Underwater data centers are the future of the cloud! That’s right. Future data centers will be submerged in the oceans.

Here’s why: Servers and computers throw off lots of heat, and keeping Microsoft server rooms around the world cool consumes a terawatt of energy every day.

Since 80% of the world’s population lives within 12 miles of the ocean, why not put the server rooms under water, just offshore?

The prototype Todd shared look something like a giant Oscar Meyer Weiner with fins. Fins on the outer surface will capture energy from the constantly-moving water under the surface, and will disperse excess heat into the ocean (and hopefully won’t cook nearby fish.)

Gerald Jackson, VP of Digital Product Management at GE Digital, explained how the IoT and AI are transforming industrial supply chains and making possible innovative Circular Economy Supply Chain models which create a sustainable and prosperous 21st century.

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GE’s aircraft engine division’s business model was once about selling engines and spare parts, now it is becoming a service-provider which takes over the engine repair and maintenance the airlines used to do themselves.




The IoT makes it possible to create “digital twins” for physical assets with moving parts. A digital twin is an electronic representation of what is going on in complex machines, like aircraft engines.

Here’s how it works:

The thousands of sensors embedded in aircraft engines can transmit real time operational data about how it’s performing while the plane is airborne. In other words, the engine tells you when it needs parts.

The ground-based digital twin models what is going on inside the engine. Digital networks can tell what part of a flying airplane needs fixing, so the right parts can be 3-D printed and ready to install when the plane lands. That can reduce or eliminate warehouses full of expensive parts and create numerous efficiencies. Talk about a game changer!

My own presentation on Strategic Project Management recognizes that making transformations like this happen is done through projects.

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Today, everyone needs a core set of project skills to operate in this fast-changing environment.  Everyone needs to develop the mindset and skill set to design and implement projects that intersect multiple technologies.

Not everybody needs to be a certified Project Manager, but every professional need the ability to understand the big picture WHY, connect dots across boundaries, and bring together people from diverse disciplines into a coherent project team that produces the WHAT and HOW. Doing so requires a strategic mindset and skillset, and my life mission is teaching people just how to do that.

The future is already here. Buckle up, prepare yourself, and enjoy the ride.


Terry Schmidt is a business strategist and author of Strategic Project Management Made Simple, and chief honcho at ManagementPro.com.

Eight Times You MUST Reset Your Strategy

Last week I taught Strategic Thinking & Planning for Leaders at the UCLA Extension’s Technical Management Program, for the 65th time over the last 30+ years.

My students were managers, group leaders, technologists, and project managers who kept me on my toes by asking provocative questions. One question was “when and how often should you update your strategy?

I call this a strategy reset, a focused and well-facilitated conversation among key players aimed at keeping their strategy relevant and projects on-point.  This involves tackling troubling issues, making tough decisions, and putting new initiatives into play.

When I first started teaching, my answer to the WHEN question would have been calendar-based: develop your strategy annually, update it quarterly.  That still makes sense, but in these fast-paced times, some issues just can’t wait so I recommend a situation-based reset whenever:

1. There’s a big fat problem. You need to create solutions to current problems and prevent those emerging on the horizon. Kill the monsters while they are small, don’t than let them grow strong enough to devour you.

2. The business environment has changed. It’s a new ball gameDisruptive technology, a smart start up, or other nasty surprises demand a timely and thoughtful response.

3. New leaders have come on board. They bring their own perspectives, vision, and blind spots. Integrate their vision with current reality.

4. Mediocrity is creeping in. You’ve become stagnant. Something is not working, maybe many things. If you aren’t moving at the speed of change, you are falling behind.

5. You’ve lost focus. An old Indian proverb reminds that a man who chases two rabbits will lose both. Concentrate on doing what you do best, leveraging your competitive advantages.

6. Confusion exists. If goals are vague, responsibilities unclear, and morale sinking, it’s time to look at root causes and reboot.

7. Pressure is growing. Customers, senior management, or your upset boss expect more from your operation. You feel the burn. Time to deliver results.

8. Your plan has gone stale. Like home-made bread, plans have a half-life and decay over time. Turn up the oven to 425 degrees, and to bake something fresh.

So that’s the When and Why. For the How, register for my upcoming free Solutions Training. I’ll share the best approaches I’ve learned and taught in Fortune 100s, fast-growing private companies, government agencies, and research laboratories.


Terry Schmidt is a business strategist and author of Strategic Project Management Made Simple, and chief honcho at ManagementPro.com.

Test Your Core Values: Are they Meaningless Fluff or Powerful Stuff?

I recently facilitated an off-site planning retreat for top managers in an underperforming technical department in a division of a Fortune 500 company. They needed a fresh start and invited me to help them revise their strategy, establish metrics, and launch key initiatives. But…

Prescribing a solution without first diagnosing the problem is malpractice, whether in medicine or management consulting.  Just as a doctor begins by measuring the vital signs —blood pressure, heart beat, and temperature– I began by determining consensus around vision, mission, and values.

Too many organizations treat these guiding principles are little more than ”wall art”, colorful posters which decorate hallways and conference rooms. But leaders in high-performing companies have discovered how to make them powerful management tools which align head and heart.


Here is a simple process you can use to test whether your team shares consensus around the vision and mission. This “secret sauce” process works well with 6 to 30 persons from a senior management team, an intact work unit, a project team, or other groupings.

Start by handing out two blank 3 x 5 cards and have each person write down their organization’s vision and mission on one card, and values on another from memory (without glancing around for clues).  Then collect the cards, give them a good shuffle and distribute them randomly.

Going around the room, have each person read out the vision and mission statements on the card they receive. If the statements are reasonably close, congratulations. But if they diverge, or if a recent reorganization or major market shift has occurred, begin by crafting brand new statements. (My next article in this series describes how to do that.)

In less than two hours, this tech group developed vision and mission statements that resonated with all. After a well-earned break, we then turned to values.

Ask yourself…


When it comes to your corporate values, do people consistently walk the talk, or do they usually stumble the mumble?

The tech group members next swapped the 3×5 cards people wrote their values on and again shared. People recalled most of them but acknowledged that in practice, these values were mostly given lip service.

If an official set of core values currently exists, you can test their potency by determining…

1.Can people recite their essence?

2. Do people really believe in them?

3. Do people reference them in daily work?

4. Do customers embrace similar values?

5. Do they translate into measurable behaviors?

The group recalled most of them, but acknowledged that values were mostly given lip service.

At the risk of committing heresy , try this surprisingly simple process which my clients love because it brings values alive. I call it localizing your values.

Localizing your values means custom-creating a value set which optimizes group performance. Corporate values tend to be too broad and general. The values which make an effective Engineering Department differ from the optimum value set of Legal, R&D, HR, and other departments. One size does not fit all.


Here’s an easy way to get the ball rolling. Brainstorm a list of answers to the following question:

What values would be present if we were living our mission, doing great work, advancing our careers, serving our customers, making money, and having fun?

Plenty of ideas spilled out which I captured on a whiteboard. After some rewording, massaging and combining, we ended up with an emotionally engaging set that all rallied around.

(Check out this brief video entitled Refresh Your Core Values which explains how to facilitate this process with large groups.)

The energy in the room was running high because the group now had a sense of shared purpose. People were excited and united. With this foundation in place, we then moved on to develop a smarter strategy, define metrics, and launch key initiatives.

While it’s still too early to report measurable results, the process galvanized the team and the retreat concluded with renewed energy, commitment, caring, and confidence.


Blizzard Entertainment is an industry leader in massive multi-player online role-playing games. This 4,000 person company offers a stellar example of how the best firms put values to practical and profitable use.

Several years ago, Blizzard co-founder Frank Pearce invited me to facilitate a leadership session to develop their mission and values, a task they had failed to accomplish in several previous attempts.

In what was an engaging and high-energy approach befitting their fast-paced culture, we identified 8 core values. They included gameplay first; commit to quality; play nice, play fair, and my favorite — embrace your inner geek.

Everyone there was impressed by what we accomplished during the fast-paced workshop, but what impressed me is what happened after.

Blizzard literally puts their values at the very center of their company. Their central campus courtyard proudly features a 12-foot-high cast bronze statue of a favorite game character. A giant compass surrounds this statue, and at each of the 8 compass points, one of their core values is engraved in a bronze plaque set into the ground. (The video Blizzard Entertainment – Putting Your Values Front & Center! visually walks you through their values and explains how they apply them.)

Blizzard employees take these values seriously. They consciously refer to them in daily work and when making key decisions. When Blizzard interviews a potential hire, they ask which value most resonates with them and why. Because everyone from the CEO to game designers to customer service reps embrace and live these values, their retention rates lead the industry and the company continues to produce award-winning games and events.


Be honest with yourself. Do the values your group practices make you eager to go to work each day? Do they promote a high-performance, collaborative culture where people perform at their best and the company thrives? Or have they gone stale?

When would now be a good time to give them an upgrade?


Terry Schmidt is a business strategist and author of Strategic Project Management Made Simple, and chief honcho at ManagementPro.com.

Are you a Frustrated and Overworked Project Manager?

For over 30 years now I’ve trained and worked with project managers in Fortune 100s, government agencies, research institutions and fast-growing businesses all over the world. I believe that project managers like you are the unsung heroes of our time because we are responsible for 90% of the positive changes in the world.

But I’m upset. In the last two years, I’ve noticed a huge problem for project managers and teams. And it’s getting worse. While the pressure to deliver successful projects is increasing, so are the obstacles in our way.

Let me candidly ask you – ever had a day when your project was/is a nightmare of frustration?

  • Can’t get stakeholders on the same page?
  • Nasty problems suddenly arise?
  • Your team is busy … but not productive?
  • Blindsided by impossible deadlines?
  • The goals are constantly changing?
  • Endless and unproductive meetings?
  • You get blamed for failure when it’s not fault?

If so you are not alone.

That drives me crazy, and I’m on the hunt for solutions to help you do your work better, protect your job, and advance your company and your career. I am fully committed to finding practical solutions that let you get home on time for dinner with your family for a change, instead of having to work late into the evening and on weekends fixing problems that should never have occurred in the first place.

But first I need to know what’s bothering you the most.

So help me out. I’m doing a 2-question survey to identify the main problems you are having and to offer practical solutions. It’ll only take 2 minutes and I’ll share the results with you and my suggested solutions. Go here now.

I am so sick and tired of seeing smart and committed men and women battling obstacles that shouldn’t even be there. Aren’t you? Share your frustration now.


Terry Schmidt is a business strategist and author of Strategic Project Management Made Simple, and chief honcho at ManagementPro.com. He helps people of all backgrounds to transform their ability to get great results faster and smoother.  Check out the video lesson titled THE PROJECT SUPER HERO SYSTEM to discover the #1 preventable reason most projects fail before they even start. (This lesson will be taken down in 48 hours, so see it now.)

How would YOU have managed the risky project to rescue the Thai soccer team trapped deep in a cold dark cave?

The amazingly good news is that it’s over…. 12 “Wild Boar” Thai children and their coach were all rescued alive after being trapped two weeks in a cold dark cave 6 kilometers deep.

It was a mission feared impossible, as divers navigated tight passages of sharp rocks, weighed down by bulky equipment and guiding weak kids who had never swum before.

Now imagine that you were given this project to manage (along with a translator) . How would you pull off such a complex, urgent, risky, life-or-death project for which there was no advance preparation or warning?

What systems and structures would you set up to coordinate the multiple agencies and over 1000 people from 7 countries who were eventually involved — Thai Seals, cave experts, doctors, cooks, military, and others?

In the comments, identify the top 5 steps you would take to initiate and plan this critical, never-been-done before project.

18 Transformational Questions for your Mid-Year Career and Life Review

The great Mark Twain reminds us that we should take our brains out once in a while and stomp on them because they get all caked up. Let’s stomp!

I’m a firm believer in the value of asking brain-shaking questions at least twice a year.  Since the first half of 2018 is history, now is a great time to ponder the following 18 questions… half reflect back on the months past, and half look ahead.

Relish these questions, add more, journal answers to them on your own, or share with others.

Reviewing the past six months….

  1. What has been the very best thing about this year so far for you?
  2. What new skills or talents did you discover in yourself?
  3. What projects made you feel most alive and why?
  4. What are the greatest family experiences you enjoyed?
  5. What work contributions do you feel most proud of?
  6. What did you do that most contribute to your personal mission and vision?
  7. What’s the most meaningful thing you did for the three people you love the most?
  8. What was the biggest risk you took and how did it turn out?
  9. What obsolete goals are you willing to let go of now?

Fast-forwarding the next six months…

  1. If you could write one news headline about you and make it come true, what would it be?
  2. What will be your number one focus during these next six months?
  3. What would you have to believe about yourself to make the coming months your best ever?
  4. What limiting beliefs would be useful to drop?
  5. What new or neglected old hobby would you like to experience?
  6. What are three ways you can work more productively while reducing frustration and stress?
  7. How will you help others to be more successful?
  8. What BHAP (“Big Hairy Audacious Project”) could you create that would transform your team or company?
  9. What “Super Hero skills” would accelerate your success?

Now, with fresh insights bubbling in your brain, identify some transformative action items. Get moving, so that the last half of 2018 is your most enjoyable, productive, and loving season of your life.

To learn the 4 Cornerstone Questions that result in transformational projects in work and life, click here to register for my one hour Project Super Power System training at no cost.


Terry Schmidt is a business strategist, keynoter, author of Strategic Project Management Made Simple, and chief honcho at ManagementPro.com. He helps leaders at all levels to develop the skill set and mindset to accomplish outstanding results.

Overcoming Huge Obstacles Under Extreme Pressure…

Imagine you worked for Los Alamos National Laboratory as a technical specialist, and you discovered there was the raw material for 20,000 radioactive dirty bombs in civilians hands… spread throughout the United States, and you were in charge of finding them.

What would you do?

Quick Facts:

  • Over 20,0000 “sealed-source ” radioactive “fit in your pocket” sized devices exist that could easily be turned into dirty bombs.
  • These small devices, ranging in size from a button to a cell phone, are sealed metal containers with neutron-emitting radioactive material inside. These were issued to universities and private companies by the US government starting in the 1950s for research, geological exploration, and medical diagnostics.
  • The potential for causing widespread and economic catastrophe was huge. By strapping a stick of dynamite to a sealed source and setting it off in a densely populated area, terrorists could release radiation that would make major areas uninhabitable for years.
  •  Truly a scary proposition, with the potential for disaster if they were not safely secured before the bad guys got them.
  • US Department of Energy was aware of the problem, but solving it remained a low priority and was never received adequate funding.

The Project: Create, manage and implement the Offsite Recovery Project (OSRP) to find, transport and then dispose of all 20,000 potential dirty bombs, before they could be used by terrorists

Project Challenges:

✓   The issue had been neglected for years.

✓   There was no budget.

✓   No disposal standards existed for this class of device, so new standards would have to be developed and be approved by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

✓   No existing radioactive waste disposal site would accept them.

✓   The project team was made up of opinionated technical experts from over 12 agencies and the private sector, with NO COMMON LANGUAGE.

✓   Each of these scientists bought unique technical jargon and preferred operating procedures … and they would all have to come to a consensus BEFORE any plan could be implemented

Project Manager Profile = Accidental Project Manager

Chuck was a PhD nuclear physicist at the lab, with ZERO training in project management who had become the “accidental project manager,” thrust into this critical role because of his technical expertise.

Chuck’s Unspoken Concerns:

  1. I’ve never done this before – what if I screw up and people die?
  2. I’ve never done this before, I have no leverage or authority over agencies I needed to take action – who will listen to me?
  3. How will I get everyone to talk the same language, and get beyond their own agendas?
  4. Could this kill my career?
  5. If I don’t do this, who will? … it has to be done, no matter what the personal consequences for me – as a concerned citizen, as a family man, I have to do my part.
  6. How do I get started?

The Action Plan

Chuck and I first met when he attended a Managing Critical Projects workshop I taught at the LANL Management Institute. Chuck was comfortable solving scientific problems, but managing complex high-stake projects were new to him.

When he called me for advice – I told him to follow the 4 Cornerstone Questions FormatI’d originally taught him.

Chuck knew that before he got to the details of the plan he had to get everyone in agreement and on the same page so he began by writing this team Objective on the board:

“Team prepares a clear, comprehensive work plan for developing disposal options for field sources”.

They began with the first question – WHY are we doing this project and WHAT must we deliver?, then worked their way through the 4 cornerstone questions.

They sketched out a cause and effect logic chain, which visually linked their work plan through the sequence of intermediate Objectives needed to reach the Goal of Protect the Health and Safety of the nation. They came to an agreement on the big-picture strategy to solve this problem – knowing the details would come from those agreements.

Utilizing the Logical Frameworks matrix I had provided, Chuck quickly went from doubting himself and being overwhelmed with the scope of the project – to being a confident leader – BECAUSE HE HAD A PROVEN SUCCESS TEMPLATE TO FOLLOW … and it worked.

The Results

  • These dangerous weapons are now safely under control. Whew! One less thing to worry about…we can all breathe easier.
  • Accomplished their goal ahead of schedule – unusual in projects of this type.
  • The project received official LANL recognition for outstanding planning and execution.
  • Team members felt justifiably proud and rewarded for using “Project Superpowers” on a job well done.

To learn the 4 Cornerstone Questions and Project Super Power strategies Chuck used to go from doubt to confidence and success, click here to register for my one hour Project Super Power System training at no cost.


Terry Schmidt is a business strategist, keynoter, and author of Strategic Project Management Made Simple, and chief honcho at ManagementPro.com. He helps leaders at all levels to develop the skill set and mindset to accomplish outstanding results.

Making 2018 Your Best Year Ever

Mark Twain reminds us that we should take our brains out once in a while and stomp on them up because they get all caked up. I’m a firm believer in the value of asking provocative questions each December to prepare for the next. Since this year is winding down, now is a great time to ponder the following sets of questions. The first set of 18 questions encourage you to reflect back on 2017, the next 18 anticipate the coming year. Relish these questions on your own, or share with others.

 Reviewing 2017

  1. What has been the very best thing about this year so far for you?
  2. What new skills or talents did you discover in yourself?
  3. What are you most grateful during this year?
  4. What made you feel most alive and why?
  5. What are the greatest family experiences you enjoyed?
  6. What work contributions do you feel most proud of?
  7. What is the most important life lesson you learned?
  8. How did you grow professionally?
  9. Who are the cherished new friends you made?
  10. Who or what inspired you?
  11. What was the best opportunity you took advantage of so far?
  12. What’s the most meaningful thing you did for the three people you love most?
  13. What is the most outrageous thing you did?
  14. What was the biggest risk you took and how did it turn out?
  15. What gave you a real sense of joy?
  16. What was the smartest decision you made?
  17. What most surprised you about yourself?
  18. What obsolete goals are you willing to let go of now?

 Looking Towards 2018

  1. If you could write one news headline about you and make it come true, what would it be?
  2. What will be your number one focus during 2018?
  3. What would you have to believe about yourself to make the coming year your best ever?
  4. What limiting beliefs would be useful to drop?
  5. How can you better support your friends and family?
  6. What new professional skills would be smart to gain?
  7. What is one old limiting habit you are committed to change in the year ahead?
  8. Who do you choose to forgive?
  9. How can you make your community/nation better?
  10. What is one positive new habit you are committed to acquiring?
  11. What is one change you could make to improve your health?
  12. What new or neglected old hobby would you like to spend time on?
  13. How can you add more fun and adventure in the coming year?
  14. What new opportunities do you anticipate will unfold?
  15. What new gifts will you invite to unfold in you?
  16. How will you help others to be more successful?
  17. What would you like to do that would totally surprise most people who know you?
  18. What would become possible for you if suddenly all your limitations disappeared?

Now, with fresh insights bubbling in your brain, turn some of these into action items.  Take some first steps so that the coming year is your most enjoyable, productive, and loving season of your life.


Terry Schmidt facilitates culture-changing and life-inspiring event which boost performance and productivity.  His audiences have included nuclear engineers, psychiatric nurses, state governors, geeks, and CEOs. Check out www.ManagementPro.com for more information.

Your Assignment: Get Rejected

“You want us to do what?!”

That’s what the forty engineers and IT experts in my Reinvent Yourself and Thrive course at UCLA Extension’s Technical Management Program said when I gave them their out-of-class assignment. Their homework was to make an unusual, strange, or ridiculous request of a total stranger where the odds of rejection were high.

The results of that assignment were life-changing to many of my participants because they busted through a mental barrier that had stopped them from taking some real-world risks that could pay off in positive ways.

I have seen far too many competent men and women restrict their behavior and avoid taking survivable risks because of internal censoring and disempowering self-talk. Whether it is speaking up more in meetings, asking someone for a date, or initiating an unpopular idea, we often stop because we imagine the pain of rejection and mentally magnify.

Half of the class actually did the “rejection therapy” with both instructive and humorous results and reported their results. The next day Joe (changing all names here) asked a total stranger to give him $100.  José asked the hotel valet if he could park cars for an hour. Mary requested her waiter at dinner to give her a foot massage.  Luis asked the construction worker on the UCLA campus if he could operate the bulldozer. Fred asked a homeless man for some spare change. Sarah requested a free refill on the meat in her hamburger. Joseph pleaded with a well-dressed business guy to loan him his shoes for the evening.

Everyone succeeded in getting totally rejected, except for Mary. The waiter politely explained that he could not her feet right now, but he would be getting off shift in an hour. (she declined)

What was the learning lesson? It is so easy to stop ourselves from taking action, because of stories we make up in our mind, that we would get rejected, people would think badly of us, etc. In real life, for things that really matter, we often do the same thing. We create flimsy excuses in our mind not to go for things just to avoid the imagined pain.

I challenge you to go out and get rejected today. Be respectful, don’t be creepy, but make a request that is so outlandish you’re guaranteed to get rejected. As the saying goes, whenever doesn’t kill you makes stronger. Knowing that you can handle rejection, strengthens your courage muscle, so its ready when it really counts.

I’d love to hear your rejection story, post it below.


Terry Schmidt facilitates culture-changing and life-inspiring event which boost performance and productivity.  His audiences have included nuclear engineers, psychiatric nurses, state governors, geeks, and CEOs. Check out www.ManagementPro.com for more information.

A to Z Tips for Strategic Thinkers and Planners

I just finished teaching Strategic Thinking and Planning for Leaders at UCLA Extension’s Technical Management Program. I’ve now taught this esteemed one-week program twice a year for over 30 years. This time around, the smart geeks and leaders in my course challenged me to capture my key teaching points using the alphabet.

These tips will serve anyone engaged in developing or updating strategic and annual business plans.

Remember that the purpose of planning is to take Action. Turn your analysis and insights into actionable recommendations.

Take a fresh look at your Business Model and adjust as necessary to remain relevant.  Avoid disruption by reinventing or refinishing how you create value.

Decide how to Communicate the results to others with a need to know. My clients most frequent complaint share is that the strategies are not communicated or clear.

Strategic thinking requires making Decisions about resources priorities, and ways to achieve the vision and goals. But deciding what not to do is equally important.

Conduct an Environmental Scan to inform the team of what’s changing in the world that affects you. Don’t get blindsided by a predictable trend or change factor that could have been anticipated.

Focus your strategy on what the organization does well. Avoid getting distracted by bright shiny objects that steer away from core competencies.

Set meaningful and measurable Goals. Follow this sequence: goals, first strategies to achieve them next, followed by projects.

Keep things Honest. Don’t let anyone highjack the process for political gain.

Work from an Issues list. Engage leaders by addressing the hot button concerns that keep them up at night.

Be able to Justify the major decisions. Use objective criteria for deciding among alternatives, not force of personality.

Establish a common base of Knowledge on strategic planning best practices. Getting all key players to use the same planning language and model boosts effectiveness.

Explore Learnings during the former period. Identify the good, the bad, and the ugly and apply those lessons learned.

Refine Measures and monitor the handful of indicators that move the needle toward goals.  Keep the dashboard simple.

Look at the Numbers and understand what they mean. If you grow by 10% but the market increase by 20%, you are slipping behind.

Search for unexploited Opportunities that are ripe for the picking.   Low-hanging fruit often hides behind leaves due for pruning.

Turn decisions into executable PROJECTS and build teams around them. The Logical Framework Approach works wonders for.

Ask fresh Questions, those that barrier provoke busting answers like. Here are the questions must-ask.

Reviews past results. Evaluate both how well the strategies worked, as well as the planning/execution process, itself so there is continuous system improvement.

Get buy-in from key Stakeholders. Get key stakeholders, those people involved with, concerned about, or affected by the results. Solicit their input because people support what they help create.

Identify emerging Threats as part of the SWOT analysis. Surface them with a well-done environmental scan and develop counter measures.

Aim for shared Understanding of the plan and what it means. Find ways to communicate it to others in a way they comprehend.

Revisit the Vision statement and tweak as needed. Turn fluffy statements into management tools by establishing indicators and measures that reflect progress.

Tap into the greater Wisdom of the organization by engaging front-line and mid-level folks provide input. You’ll need their support to implement.

To keep folks entertained, bring lots of Xylophones to play during breaks. (OK – just kidding, X’s are hard. Okay, got one) Use X-Ray vision to delve deeply into topics that matter and discover patterns and solutions.

Maintain a Yearly planning calendar, with periodic updates scheduled in advance. Roll your plan forward in a continuing cadence.

Sprinkle Zest into the process.  Make your live planning workshops engaging, and stimulating through active facilitation, boundary-stretching and surprises.

Need help customizing your strategic planning approach?   Give me a shout and we will discuss how to make it soar.