SOURCE: Strategic Management Resources

April 03, 2007 11:00 ET

Avoiding Strategic Planning Failure

The Truth About Planning Failure Revealed at a National Strategy Conference

ORANGE COUNTY, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 3, 2007 -- "The Top 7 Strategic Planning Mistakes" is a free report being made available by Business Traction Strategist, founder, and CEO of Strategic Management Resources Helen M. Mitchell. Designed for business owners and executives who want to see their vision realized through growth, improved profitability, and a committed workforce, the report is based on Mitchell's presentation, "Avoiding Strategic Planning Failure," delivered to a packed room of strategy professionals at the Association for Strategic Planning national conference in Long Beach, CA.

"Ninety percent of strategic plans are not effectively implemented," said Mitchell in delivering her February 27, 2007 message. "If you don't know where you are going, then any road will take you there." Mitchell advised her audience, "Strategies fail because one of three core elements is ignored, not appropriately addressed, or not aligned with other core strategies or the business's operations. In order to create an effective and successful plan of action, you must balance all three components: 1) business strategy; 2) operational strategy; and 3) organizational strategy."

Mitchell, who is also President of the Orange County Chapter of the Association for Strategic Planning, describes the poor perception of strategic planning as "a good kid hanging out with bad friends. Because we have not perfected the art of strategy and planning on a large scale does not change the value or the need to develop strategies."

Effective strategies, according to Mitchell, position the company for long-term growth. However, the terms "strategy" and "strategic planning" are often misunderstood and misinterpreted. Some think of strategy as market position, operational effectiveness or simply an idea or business model.

"Strategy is choosing to perform different activities that can be preserved and that will provide a sustainable competitive advantage," Mitchell said.

One of the biggest problems Mitchell sees is that companies are limiting future thinking based on current reality. Instead of working from what could be, they are working from what is. They let the problems of the past keep them from realizing the vision of the future.

When planning for the future, companies need to analyze the present, identify the gaps and figure out a plan to manage growth. "The common thread in all the industries and companies I work with is the need to think strategically and to simplify the complexity of their situation," said Mitchell.

Pamela Johnson, Director of Planning for Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare (Tallahassee, FL) and an attendee at Mitchell's Long Beach presentation, said, "Helen clearly demonstrated knowledge and experience with the dynamic interactions and complexities that occur in business."

Rick Franz, Vice President, Technology and Planning, QLogic Corporation (Aliso Viejo, CA) adds, "My experience with Helen Mitchell has given me great respect for her determination and tremendous work ethic. After watching her presentation at the Association for Strategic Planning annual conference I now see that her effective and engaging presentation style, coupled with her insightful perspective on planning and strategy, can benefit any company interested in improving its performance."

A copy of the report, "The Top 7 Strategic Planning Mistakes," can be found at:

About Strategic Management Resources:

Strategic Management Resources is a national strategy and management consulting company dedicated to helping its clients find their "Business Traction" through strategy, organizational change, and effective execution. SMR works closely with clients to help them become high-performance businesses that achieve breakthrough results by unlocking their purpose and potential. Using its time-tested and proven "SMR Strategic Pyramid" model, the company tests for strategic alignment of the three core business strategies and how they align with the strategies and operations of each of the functional areas.

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