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Strategic Planning and Management Insights

Strategic Planning Tools and Resources to Help Develop Your Business Strategy

[fa icon="calendar"] October 19 / by Anthony Taylor

There are many business strategy tools and frameworks out there that will help you create your strategic plan. Like all tools, you need to pick the right tool for the right job.

To paraphrase one of my favorite adages:

"If the only thing you have is a hammer, everything you see is a nail"

Below we've complied some of our favorite business strategy tools, as well as other strategic planning tools and resources that will equip you to create a better strategic plan.

Our Own Free Strategic Planning Tools:

Sample two day strategic planning agenda

This is our most popular strategic planning resource at SME Strategy. This sample agenda will give you an idea of how you can structure your strategic planning meeting. We use this same agenda with our clients to help them create their business strategy and strategic plan. If you're looking for a strategic planning facilitator contact us.

Free strategic plan template

Our second most popular strategic planning tool is our free strategic planning template. This template will help frame the inputs that you should include as part of your strategic plan.

This template is made in word, and lacks design elements that you might want if you're looking to share your strategic plan with stakeholders.

What's most important is having a strategic plan that is easy to understand. That's why we created our strategic plan map; as a way to visually communicate your strategic plan in an easy to understand way.

Download Our Custom Strategic Planning Template

15 Questions to ask your team before strategic planning

If you're organizing a planning session, this resource will help you ask the rest of your team the right questions to get the best input into your strategic plan.

As facilitators, much of what we do is ask questions, and ask the right questions. Use this tool to ask your management your team the right questions to help you develop your strategic plan.
Get 15 Questions to Ask Your Team - Strategic Planning Questionnaire

Sample strategic plan examples

Want some inspiration for your own strategic plan? Check out one of the sample strategic plans that we have analyzed and provided for you to look at.

Everyone has a different approach to strategic planning, so we've included strategic plan examples from SME's, government and non-profits from around the world.

Strategic goal examples 

If you're creating your strategic plan, but are unsure of how to structure your strategic priorities and your balanced score card, this will give some examples to draw from and some KPI's that you can use or adapt to your own business strategy.

Business Strategy Frameworks

As alluded to earlier, creating a business strategy and a strategic plan is done by amalgamating a series of tools to analyze the market, analyze opportunities and them make the strategic choices that are best for your specific business strategy.

In this blog post we go over our favorite business strategy frameworks including, but not limited to:

  • Porters 5 forces
  • Blue ocean Strategy
  • PESTLE
  • Scenario planning
  • SWOT Analysis
  • Value chain analysis
  • Balanced Scorecard
  • Resources based view (VRIN Model)
  • Kotter Change Model

 

Other Strategic Planning Resources:

Mindtools 

They have lots of create strategic planning frameworks and strategic planning tools. An excellent knowlege base that will teach you tonnes of stuff.

HBR.org

The Harvard business review is one of my favorite resources for business strategy and leadership literature. With so many great minds going to school there, as well as teaching there, the quality of thought leadership they offer is no surprise.

Other management consulting companies (Blogs ranked in order of personal preference): 

  1. BCG Perspectives
  2. Mckinsey Insights
  3. Deloitte Insights

I find that BCG has the easiest and broadest insights for strategic planning and strategy development. 

Mckinsey has a great email subscription but their sector analysis is more in depth that I need, but if you're running a company, then you certainly want to have the pulse on what's going on.

I rarely look to Deloitte for management insights. They do have the odd data piece that I like, but I only find it if I'm on Linkedin.

Strategic Planning Software:

We don't use strategic planning software, but if you're looking for something to manage your mission and vision and progress against your goals (as part of your project plan) here are a few that I have come across. 

Acheivit it:  https://www.achieveit.com/demo-request-sme-strategy/

Collaborative Strategy: http://www.collaborativestrategy.ca/

Strat Pad https://www.stratpad.com/

Great books on strategic planning and leadership:

Looking for some great reading on leadership and management, here is a list of some of my favourite books:

 

 

We hope that these strategic planning tools and strategic planning resources help you lead your team and help with the execution of your business strategy. However, if you'd like step-by-step guidance on how to engage your team, develop your strategy and implement your plan, make sure to check out our complete Strategic Planning Starter Kit: 

Access Our Complete Strategic Planning Starter Kit

Topics: Strategic planning, Business strategy, strategic planning tools

Anthony Taylor

Written by Anthony Taylor

Anthony Taylor is thought leader on strategy and leadership. He's a published author on the subject of entrepreneurship and strategy, Anthony can be found doing keynotes in both French and English. You can connect with him on Twitter @anthonyctaylor and have him work with your team on your strategy and organizational development.

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