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Business News for the New Year. This Month in Strategy - January 2017

By Jenna Sedmak - January 29, 2017

It's one of the best times of the year to hone in on your strategy; the winter holidays have ended and we're a full month into the new year. For many organizations, January and February are fairly quiet, thus a great time to align your team, and plan for the year ahead. 

The articles reviewed this month cover a variety of strategic planning topics such as scenario planning, holding ongoing strategy meetings, uncovering common strategic planning myths, addressing fast paced technology changes, and adapting your current strategy after a period of stagnance. 

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Columnist, Roy Hessel, discusses the implications of rapidly changing technology in the business world. He poses the questions, “How do you plan for the unplannable in the digital age? Or do you plan at all?” To answer these questions, he walks through five key learnings that have helped him “future-proof” and create a malleable strategy with success. 

This article breaks down some pre-conceived notions that many people have about strategy and strategic planning. He busts common myths such as Strategic planning is a set date, something we can do ourselves, that it is simply a numbers game, and that it’s nothing but a SWOT exercise. Through this, he explains that strategy is a continuing process, is something that often requires outside facilitation, and that there are many different tools and processes that you can use to help guide your strategic plan.


Author, George Bradt, writes about the importance of considering failure in your strategic plan. Things have the potential to go wrong and it’s important to be able to understand address these potential failures in advance. “Protecting against the downside frees you and your team to focus on the upside”.

I agree with this outlook entirely, and one way to do this is through scenario planning. Asking the questions about what might happen opens up the opportunity for a back up plan to exist in advance, should an unforeseen event take place.  

What happens when your current pricing strategy is no longer effective? This is an obstacle many retailers have been increasingly facing: both those without an online store and those with. Author, Rafi Mohammed, explains the pricing model contradictions between online and in the stores, as well as what to consider when choosing a pricing strategy. 

Often in specialized industries that aren’t as quickly affected by change, strategic planning can be set aside. This article discusses the key points to the importance of law firms implementing a strategy.


Updating your strategy, but not sure where to start?

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