Strategic Planning For Today’s Challenging Business Environment

Guide To Front Line Heroes


To help you make your way through the buffet of performance-building knowledge and techniques that is this book, I've provided a synopsis of each chapter. Use this guide to facilitate and support your reading journey.

1. Posters, Plaques, and Horse Manure
The foundational material—mission, values, and “BHAGs”—of a company can be critical to the overall success of the organization; it can also be immediately forgotten. Outlined here are simple and powerful ways that a leadership team can create a mission, corporate values, and BHAGs that are memorable, useful, and relevant to the company.

2. The Coach’s Handbook
What does it mean to be a coach? What is the difference between coaching and managing? Why should managers become coaches? When and how to coach is explored, in addition to how you will know when you are an extraordinary coach.

3. ABCs, OH Baby Now …
Staffing your organization with the best employees is critical. Let mediocrity go work for your competition. What is revealed here is a methodology for leaders and managers of an organization to adopt when thinking about employee performance. While some may find these steps challenging— even confrontational—this methodology produces powerful and productive results.

4. The Lucky Sperm and Egg Club
Having family in your business can be a godsend or a curse. This cautionary piece advises how and when to take the “family” out of “family business,” outlining what to watch out for, what to be concerned about, and how to take corrective actions.

5. it’s All About the Middle
This is the dieting portion of the book. Not. It is actually about how critical middle management is in growing a company. The lack of a dynamic middle management group can bring growth to a screeching halt; I have seen it with my baby brown eyes (one of my cutest features). If you are going to avoid this common pitfall, make sure you read this piece.

6. High-Performance Work Teams
This is not the chapter claiming that teams are good and all other ways of organizing are bad. Teams are powerful constructs, and high-performance ones do not spring up by magic. By the same token, business teams are not the answer for every organization’s performance issues. If you have a team whose performance you want to improve or if you want to form a team from scratch, these are actionable tips and techniques you can use.

7. Seven Rules of Planning
Strategic planning is a critical part of growing a successful business. In uncertain times, it is a must. Here, I review a powerful planning process that will help businesses and organizations successfully plan for and implement a powerful future.

8. Why Hold Annual Kickoff Meetings?
Kickoff meetings allow the leadership team and employees to focus and set priorities—and they are underutilized in companies. Shocking. Included here are ways you can design these meetings to be valuable, worthwhile, and—yes—even enjoyable.

9. Making Green from Green
If you think this “sustainability” hubbub is just a fad, you were probably one of those who thought climate change was a myth and organic food would come and go. Business sustainability is here to stay. Your organization must make use of the green opportunities available. Outlined here are ways organizations are growing in this brave new business world—and suggestions for how your company might do the same.

10. Why Stoopid Games?
Can you imagine slipping rubber bands over your ankles— along with your colleagues’? Can you imagine working, laughing, looking silly, with fellow employees? Can you imagine that by really listening to each other you can solve business problems? Would you like to learn how Stoopid Games can help businesspeople be more productive and creative? If you are interested and provoked, then by all means, read on.

11. Books as Compost
How do you bring new ideas into your organization—without the bloodsucking consultant fees? The answer is by reading, of course. Get everyone in your organization to read books. If everyone reads the same book, even better. I have been amazed at the type and depth of changes that my clients have seen from simply reading and implementing the ideas from great business books. This piece outlines ways that you can design and implement this type of initiative. I also include a bibliography of great business books. For bonus points, you can start your “books as compost” with this book. Guaranteed results.

12. The Missing Link: Addressing the Four Enigmas
What happens after you create the plan? How do you keep employees focused and executing on the right stuff? How do you make sure manager and employee goals and expectations are aligned? Here, I present a simple and powerful system that will knock your socks off and stimulate your thinking.

13. Go Live With the Whales
Come to Patagonia with me and meet the penguins. Recognize that you are your own most valuable resource. Explore how to get the most of that resource. Also look at what you can actually learn and apply from truly getting away. It is a whale of an adventure tale that you will enjoy.

14. Appendix
Here we have an assortment of documents and tools that will be useful. Come check out a planning process for small companies and departments as well as useful definitions for the planning process. There are even Stoopid Games that can be played within an organization as well as a list of the best business books for changing company cultures.

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