Vantage Associates
Planning FAQs
What is Strategy?

Can you describe your strategy to someone outside your organization in three or four sentences? Many leaders struggle to clearly define the strategy they are pursuing. If faced with this question, they might share some of the common phrases used by so many organizations like "leading provider, or supplier of choice". There is nothing wrong with this except that a strategy should define what is unique about your organizations. Another way to ask the same question is "Why should I invest in or donate to your organization?"

A well defined strategy has three components. These components combine to describe not just what is success but how that success will be achieved. I like to think of them as What, Where, and How:

What is the Objective - The objective defines the ends you are trying to achieve. Meaningful objectives must be specific and achievable within a stated time frame. If not measurable, an objective must at least be observable. There should no debate over whether an objective as achieved.

Who is your Target - The target defines the scope in which you operate. This can be defined by the specific customers you will serve or not serve, for that matter. It may also include the geographic limits of your market. Scope can also be defined by the types of products or services you will offer.

How will you Compete - Unless you are simply following a me-too strategy, you should also be able to describe what is unique about your organization that will allow you to be successful. This is your competitive advantage. This is the means by which you will achieve your objective. It usually includes the value proposition - why your target customer selects you over the alternatives - and how you align your unique operations to deliver that value.

Can you explain what your objective is for a specific market or customer group and how you are uniquely positioned to accomplish that objective? If so, congratulations, you have a clearly defined strategy. Now go execute!
Poll Question
The poll question last quarter asked: How likely is it we will see $100 per barrel oil before the end of the year? Here is the result:
27%Very Likely
64%Somewhat Likely
0%Don't Know
9%Somewhat Unlikely
0%Very Unlikely
Our poll question this quarter is: How likely is it we will see a double dip recession before a full recovery?

  • Very Likely
  • Somewhat Likely
  • Don't Know
  • Somewhat Unlikely
  • Very Unlikely
  • We will report the results in the next issue. Click here to participate in our poll. You may return to the Poll Page to monitor the results as often as you like.
    Strategic Management Process
    The focus of this newsletter has been on strategic planning. I have focused on the process and content of an effective strategic plan. We should not forget the broader context. Every organization should not be simply striving to generate a strategic plan but for achieving strategic management. There are three elements of strategic management. I will identify them here and expand on them in the next issue.

  • Development
  • Execution
  • Evaluation

  • Future Topics
  • Strategic Management
  • Stages of Recovery
  • For more information contact Jim Sisson -
    Copyright Vantage Associates Unsubscribe