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The Strategy Formulation Process

In this chapter I discuss the agenda and flow of strategic planning meetings. This is not just one generic process, rather the process must match the needs of the team. The closest to a generic process is "Classic Strategic Planning" which I call "Team-based Forecasting." becuase the firm is well established and adapting to the future. The other processes focus more on innovation by entreprenuers or bottom up from key players advocating change.

Each description includes a flow chart with brief explanations of each step. Notice sometimes the team learns something important and revisits a step.

Engage the Planning Team: Have Them Set the Meeting Sequence

Management team perspectivesYou will select the process flow charts, meeting agenda, and timelines, where the work gets done for one of three strategic planning methods. To get the strategic planning team engaged, they need to understand their role and time commitments— success depends on your team. The first question to ask your team is what will be the best approach.

The sections that follow are written as checklists to follow to manage the process. Each method can be adapted for department planning, for example for Sales or Marketing.

Keep in mind the three perspectives key team members will bring into the meetings: position the firm for the best return, adapt the firm rapidly to customer and market changes, or align the firm to use its resources efficiently. The method chosen needs to ensure all three perspectives are well represented.

Based on your uncertainty about the future, which planning approach is best?In an early chapter I defined three fundamental methods (the links take you to that part of this chapter):

  • developing scenarios for long term planning, to anticipate how your environment is likely to change in the future and position the firm - where will the demand be?
  • bottom-up or entrepreneurs, where key players rapidly adapt the firm to customers' needs and get to market fast
  • classic strategy planning, team-based forecasting, where teams throughout the organization go offsite to plan and align to the vision and top-down goals. They develop their internal vision, strategic objectives, goals, and action plans to support the corporate vision.


Next, if you are the team leader, it is very likely the issues I discuss on the next page will mirror what you boss will ask.


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