First of all it is beneficial to briefly summaries strategy and strategic planning.
Strategy is the longterm direction of the business that:
- achieves a competitive advantage for the business in its chosen market
- positions the business in the market in relation to its competitors
- defines the scope of the businesses functions, capabilities and capacity
- matches the businesses resources and activities to the business environment
Strategic planning is the process (and thinking) that underpins the development and analysis of the options available to the business when choosing its strategy.
For the purposes of this article the focus will be on the higher level strategic planning, or corporate planning, as this is where the company’s direction is set and what drives its operational performance that delivers shareholder value. In addition, it defines the company’s business model, the corporate culture and its reputation from a corporate, social responsibility perspective regardless of its size or structure.
Broadly speaking there are only four types of corporate strategies being:
- Growth or market penetration – Same products / services into same market
- Market development – Same product / service into a new market
- Product / service development – New product / service into the same market
- Diversification – New product / service into a new market
Once we accept this then the planning process can be followed to develop a robust and valuable strategic plan for the business.
We apply a rigorous structured process to strategic planning that incorporates a range of activities and analysis designed to achieve the clear direction for the business, its structure, its employees and all business activities.