Strategic Strategy Development Process

Complete your strategic plan in three days rather than three months.

What is strategy?

Some of the key concepts in strategy include:

  1. Being strongest at the decisive point - knowing what's important and directing your horsepower there

  2. Fit to the external environment - so we surf with the waves rather than against them

  3. Starting with a wide vision - so we consider all the strategic options

  4. Ending with a narrow focus on what matters - like a magnifying glass focusing the sun's energy

  5. It's about big decisions that set the direction for many years, commit the organisation to significant costs and are hard to reverse. You can not afford to get it wrong and it can not be left to chance

  6. It's about what NOT to be - often this is as important as what to be

  7. It's about 'fit,' 'tradeoffs' and 'differentiation' - trying to be everything to everybody makes you boring and gray.

Why Strategy is important

Who should do strategy?. The case for wider inclusion

Our Process has magic and logic

More than nearly any other process, strategy needs both magic and logic; both right-brained creativity and left-brained analysis. Yet, most strategy processes are extremely logical and boring and lack any sense of magic. Also managers are frustrated because they does not produce novel strategies; instead, it perpetuates the status quo.

Business strategy sessions can be exciting, even exhilarating, so why so many uninteresting and boring? Every year hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent by organisations on strategic conferences, yet for several reasons much of it is wasted!

  1. In most organisations, strategy is separated from creativity by a wide gap. These strategies are straight-line, linear, analytical and boring. They are too predictable, provide nothing new and add little value. Our process builds in creativity and produces magic that staff and customers love.

  2. Strategic development takes three days rather than three months!

  3. Strategy development uses little known secrets that allow even large organisations to create fundamentally better Strategic Plans.

  4. From the start it recognises the central importance of grassroots people to implementation and builds this into the process.

Bruce Holland, our facilitator, is a qualified accountant with a commerce degree; his early career was in senior finance roles and senior management roles at the highest level, he is deeply trained and experienced in logic. He knows the challenges that senior managers face and how to create positive strategic change. AND, Bruce is an amateur artist, he currently has the highest score for innovation out of over 20,000 people in Herrmann International's New Zealand database, and this thinking preference tends to provide magic.

Want a summary?

Click here if you want a short summary of the process: download file

The Stages

Successful strategic programs are a bit like going to a good doctor, it should have ten stages. Sometimes I get involved in all stage, other times the client has the skills to undertake some Stages themselves: Examination, Diagnostics, Consultation, Prescription, Pre Strategy Workshop, Strategy Workshop Facilitation, Report, Strategic Execution, Follow up and Strategy Measurement.

The Content

The content depends on the diagnostics but often includes:

  1. Environmental changes - Analyse and prioritise external environmental changes likely to impact on the organisation

  2. Industry/sector trends - Undertake industry/sector trends and understand their impact on the organisation

  3. Value Chain - Analyse the Value Chain for your industry/sector

  4. Customer needs - Understand customer needs and build these into the Strategic Plan

  5. Value Proposition - Identify the appropriate Value Proposition for your organisation (Customer Intimacy, Product Leadership or Operational Excellence)

  6. Alignment of the Brand, Service Delivery and Organisational Culture with the Value Proposition (When these three are aligned the strength of the organisation is multiplied many times.)

  7. Strategies - Identify strategies sufficient to achieve the Vision and limits the number of strategies to no more than 3 or 4

  8. Strategic risks - Identify strategic risks

  9. Report - Present your Strategic Plan on a one page summary.

What other clients have said

What would you say to someone else considering Bruce Holland to facilitate Strategic Planning?
  • "Excellent, well paced, well moderated, took us along the path at just the right pace. A very robust and obviously well-tested process that more than achieved its objectives. Trust the process! It's tested and it really works. Taking all factors into account the workshop was one of the best I've been to. 5 out of 5." Peter Lee, CEO, Institute of Financial Advisers.

  • "Excellent facilitation as usual! Skillful guidance of a herd of cats. Excellent process for bring focus to strategic thinking. Taking all factors into account the workshop was one of the best I've been to. 5 out of 5." Liz Koh, Director, Institute of Financial Advisers.

  • "I think the workshops were very useful, targeting intended objective. The prework was relevant and easy to follow. As for the facilitation, this was one of the best workshops/courses I attended. It was engaging and interesting. Use Bruce. Guaranteed to deliver. Very interesting and engaging methods of facilitating a workshop. Rating 5 out of 5 (one of the best I've been to)." Zvonko Lazic, Magnet Engineer, HTS-110.

  • Very effective process whereby facilitator has low profile with consequential high involvement of participants. Process provided desired outcomes in timely and broadly involved manner. Overall score 4 out of 5. David Hill, Chief Executive, Capacity Infrastructure Services.

  • The process was insightful and reminded me of exciting times at a previous job. this bought direction, confidence and belief to our ability to succeed . Go with an open mind and be prepared to be challenged. This process has bought direction to our company. It has identified our strengths as a team. Overall score: Five out of five. Murray Seamark, Manufacturing Director, Canary Enterprises.

  • Great presentations, well managed and good deliverables. Enjoyed every minute. Highly recommended. You clearly delivered on what you set out to do - loved it all! Luke Maxwell, Manager Transaction Services, ANZ National Bank

  • Brilliant prework because it really got me thinking in a bigger, strategic way before we got into the detail. No hesitation in recommending Bruce. Emily Loughnan, CEO, Click Suite, Business woman of the year.

  • Good preparation material, well linked into workshop. Good facilitation with diverse group. Kim Wicksteed, Chief Executive Officer, Saatchi & Saatchi.

See what other clients have said about strategy.

When to use Strategy

  1. When managers and/or staff are not clear about "our business"
  2. When the organisation is not strong at "decisive point" (where it matters)
  3. When there are too many priorities and manages don't know what is important
  4. When the organisation is not facing reality
  5. Falling sales, profits, customers
  6. Not sensitive to market place
  7. If you constantly get unpleasant surprises
  8. If you are constantly lurching from crisis to crisis
  9. If your environment has changed
  10. If the old strategies no longer effective
  11. If managers and staff have no common understanding of Vision.

Probable outcomes of Strategy

  1. Far more focus on what really matters
  2. Taps into the wisdom of your people; based on the assumption that it's better to out think your competitors than to outspend them
  3. Improves ownership and commitment to the vision, values and strategies
  4. More knowledge and understanding of the marketplace especially customers, competitors and opportunities
  5. More energy and more focus on the goals, everyone working to the same agenda
  6. People working hard on the business rather than in the business
  7. Fewer surprises
  8. People happier about working as a team and more committed to it
  9. More collaboration and participation because everyone understands their role
  10. A sense of accomplishment.

Product support

This product has been developed and is supported by Bruce Holland with help where required from other members of the Virtual Group Business Consultants. Bruce is a specialist in business strategy Wellington, nationally and internationally. He specialises in public sector strategy and other large private sector organisations.


All work undertaken by Bruce Holland is guaranteed. If at the end of the program the client doesn't feel that they have received value for money, they may adjust the bill and pay an amount equal to the value they feel they received.

Key words: strategy, strategies, business strategy, business strategies, strategy management, strategic management, strategy development, implementation.

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