Strategic Planning Certification

Stephen Lynch is the author of the award-winning book; “Business Execution for RESULTS – A practical guide for leaders of small to mid-sized firms”. The book was judged Winner in the “Management” category of the 2014 Small Business Book Awards in the USA. He’s also written articles on strategy and management for The Economist magazine.

Stephen previously managed a global team of more than 50 strategy consultants and has personally consulted with hundreds of companies in the USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, assisting them with strategic planning, business execution, and management best practices. 

With unique and privileged insights into the day to day operations of thousands of entrepreneurial growth firms around the world, Stephen has seen what really works (and what doesn’t) in terms of strategic planning, business execution, goal setting, tracking performance, running effective meetings, and coaching employee performance.

About this training course:

Many leaders are mistaken about what strategy is. This advanced course will teach you a step by step process to make robust strategic decisions and create a strategic plan for your organization in a simple one-page format that will provide direction and focus for your team. 

Strategic planning is not an exercise in financial forecasting or filling out boxes on a planning template. Strategy is understanding how your industry is likely to play out, and getting very clear on the few, key strategic moves your company needs to make in order to position yourself for future success. Your long term growth and financial outcomes will be a function of the strategic moves you make. 

Strategic planning is about establishing a meaningful point of difference in your industry that you can preserve. However, nothing lasts forever, so you need to keep innovating and re-establishing your point of difference.

Strategic planning requires trade-offs. You cannot be everything to everybody. You cannot just blindly copy the moves of your competitors and hope to win. You have to figure out what to say “yes” to, and what to say “no” to. You make clear cut choices about how you will compete, and then allocate your time and resources accordingly.

This advanced course is designed for members of senior leadership teams (and staff who want to actively participate in the strategic planning process). It will teach you a proven, best-practice process to think strategically, ask the right questions, debate the options, make decisions, and create your strategic plan. 

Some of the things you will learn include:

    • What are your Core Values? (the rules for behaviour that define your culture)
    • What is your Core Purpose? (the reason why your organization exists)
    • What is your vision for the future? (your BHAG – your compelling long-term goal)
    • Who or what is the ideal Target Market Customer for your brand? (What is your target customer trying to achieve, and how will you address these needs?
    • What is your Value Discipline? (your generic strategy for delivering customer value)
    • What Core Activities will you perform (now and in the future)?
    • What Non-Core Activities will you stop doing?
    • What is the Strategic Position you want your brand to occupy in the marketplace?
    • What Key Benefits will your brand offer? (functional, economic, emotional)
    • What is your Brand Promise? (your blunt, overt, compelling offer)
    • Industry Analysis – What competitive forces will determine how your industry is likely to play out in the coming years (competitors, new entrants, substitute offerings, suppliers, customers); and what moves do you need to make to address the trends in these areas?
    • Industry Analysis – What macro forces will impact your business environment (political, economic, social, technology); and what moves do you need to make to address the trends in these areas?
    • What are the top 3 long-term Strategic Moves you need to make within the next 3-5 years to position your organization for industry success in the future?
    • What Numerical Targets will track your strategic milestones? 
    • Using your long-term Strategic Moves as the context, what is the current reality that you must deal with? SWOT Analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats)
    • What are the top 3 short-term Strategic Projects you need to implement in the coming period to address your current reality and move your organization in your chosen strategic direction?

This course provides education to help you understand each concept and a process that teaches you how to think strategically and make robust decisions in each area. 

The theory component of this module will take approximately 8-12 hours to complete. It comprises videos, articles, and concludes with a multichoice exam to certify learning. A score of 80% correct answers is the minimum expected standard.

When participants have completed the theory component a virtual 1-hour Q&A session can be scheduled with Stephen to discuss and share the best practices from this module, and to workshop solutions to real-life scenarios from the business that the managers are currently experiencing.

These discussion sessions are a unique benefit and major differentiator from other training programs. Your team will learn the practical management skills to immediately apply the training in their work environment and reinforce their learning every step of the way.  


Contact Stephen Lynch to discuss your needs