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“Know your enemy, know yourself, and your victory will not be threatened.Know the terrain, know the weather, and your victory will be complete.”

In developing your strategic plan it is important to keep the top level, or “helicopter view”. For this reason I like the following diagram which was adapted from one I found in a presentation a while back. This is one of the PowerPoint Slides I published on Scribd recently – here.

Whatever other tools you use in your strategic planning, or whatever format you adopt for the final plan output, referring back to this diagram will help you ensure that you have covered the critical bases.

Another useful diagram from the same slide pack is this one:

And it helps to remember that strategic planning is:

….the managerial process of developing and maintaining a strategic fit between the organization‘s objectives and resources and its changing market opportunities.

As is illustrated in this useful diagram:

Ultimately, the role of strategy is to translate the vision (the stretch) and the mission (the how) into cogent operational plans which can be understood at every level of the organisation.

This diagram also helps illustrate some of the key inter-relationships too.

It is also worthwhile remembering that all the grand visions and missions in the world will not be ahieved if they are not sat atop of detailed tactics and plans. Think of the frontline soldiers, they would not last a day if it wasn’t for a meticulously planned and executed supply line keeping them going. The diagram below shows these elements at the base of the pyramid – one grand vision is supported by a broad base of planning and execution.

Or this can be represented in a different way which emphasises the foundation of multiple objectives and plans to deliver the vision and mission of the organisation.

This concept is further developed in the following diagram written from the perspective of those delivering the day to day functions that make the business plan a reality.

And so, ultimately, the process loops back on itself as we learn in the typical PDA – Plan, Do, Act – cycle of business learning and evolution – if what we learn from history is more than the fact that often we don’t learn from history!

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