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1. Strategic Planning

Strategic Planning:    Vision - Core Values - Core Competencies - Objectives - Action Plans   

      Why the L. F. McManus Company, Inc. is different in the way it conducts Strategic Planning:

The process focuses on key issues and brevity

People across the organization have input into the strategic planning process

The major concentration of the program is on "strategies" for implementation rather than upon standard   "planning" formats

Most "strategic plans," we have seen, are not focused on "strategy" and "intuitive thinking" about the organization.  Too often, what people call a "strategic plan" is in reaity a "long-range" plan.  The objectives of these plans deal with such organizational issues as "maintenance" and "problem-solving" activities rather than focusing on those issues that will bring about significant "improvements" and "change."  In the L. F. McManus Company's approach to strategic planning, the focus is on the conceptual strategies that shift organizational thinking from where the organization "is" going in the next five years to where it "should be" going in this same time period.   

In the rapidly changing, global and information technology world we live in, organizations can no longer simply drift along as in the past and make changes as opportunities present themselves.  The Rapid Spread of Technology, Global Competition, The Threat of Mergers and Acquisitions and the Demise of Position Power, clearly point out that the only security organizations have today is in change and those who can't change fast enough will be left behind.

Today, organizations realize that if they are to grow and compete they must answer such questions as who they are, what they stand for, where they are trying to go, and what their core competencies are.  They also have to determine whether or not they have the technical, financial and human resource strengths they need to achieve their major organizational objectives.

It is clear, that if an organization is to succeed in the turbulent decades ahead, it must have a clear vision of where it wants to go and the leadership skills necessary to gain the acceptance and support of the people in the organization to help it get it there.  Peter F. Drucker put this well when he said,  "The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not turbulence; it is to act with yesterday's logic."   

It has been our experience with strategic planning over the past twenty years, that the planning process that has the best chance of achieving success is one that is simple, brief, and easily understood by all.  Planning is a two-sided coin.  On one side of this coin is emphasis on "strategies" intuitive and conceptual thinking about the organization.  On the other side of the coin is "planning" the quantitative analysis of statistical data, process management and the establishment of a logical flow of events.

Successful strategic planning programs that we have seen, have their primary focus on "strategies," (options, ideas, and intuition about what the organization should be; the kinds of things that often come from the soft-data and insights senior executive have, when they take time to detach themselves from day-to-day organizational happenings).  The less successful strategic planning programs we have seen, often have their primary focus not on "strategies" but rather on the kinds of hard-data found in quantitative analysis and planning.

In strategic planning, the role of "planning" is to put the steps in place so that the "strategies" can succeed. Too much emphasis on the "planning" process can result in charts, long lists of statements on easel pads, and notebooks full of details, percentages, and targeted completion dates which in reality is often "long-range" and not "strategic" planning.  


The L. F. McManus Company, Inc. functions in the role of facilitator in the strategic planning process.  Its approach is to guide and direct the planning team to reach agreement on:

1. The kind of "Vision" the strategic planning team has for the organization
2  The "Core Values" that should guide how the organization functions
3. The "Core Competencies" that separate the organization from its competitors
4. The Mission or Purpose the organization should be dedicated to achieving
5. The Major Objectives or Strategies that must be achieved to achieve this Mission

6. The Goals or Sub-Objectives that must be achieved if the Major Objectives are to become a reality
7. The Action Plans and Assigned Responsibilities needed to produce results
8. The system that will be employed to Monitor progress, adjust approach and measure results

PART 1 of a completed Strategic Plan (Sections 1-5) should be able to describe to everyone within and outside of the organization, where it is headed and how it plans to get there.  PART 2 of a completed Strategic Plan lists the details of how this will be done in terms of time, priorities and measurement systems, as required in statements 6 - 8 above.   A desirable size for a strategic planning team is usually found to be between eight to ten people key people and the time horizon to complete a strategic planning process is often between four and six months.

For more information on the Strategic Planning process with the L. F. McManus Company, Inc., please use our e-mail address to contact us.