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Strategic Planning: As easy as A, B C

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I wrote Strategic Planning: As Simple as A, B, C to lift the curtain on strategic planning. Yes, strategic planning is a must for every entity, from the corner sandwich shop to Wall Street mega-banks to the most bloated of government bureaucracies, but I’m here to tell you it is not rocket science—or science of any kind. In simplifying the strategic planning process, I have demystified and rendered understandable and accessible that which has all too often been made out to be unnecessarily complex.

Understanding the planning process can be as simple as learning the alphabet. That’s right: As simple as A, B, C.

My thirty-plus years in the strategy profession is a testament to the value of a simple strategic methodology. As a businessman and former military strategic planner, I don’t want to be bogged down in a strategic swamp, mired in wasted time and resources, and neither do you. Expensive consultants? A waste; get rid of ’em. If you, like just about everyone else in business, want to get the most out of the debit side of your ledger, this book is all you need to become an expert strategic planner.

The idea behind Strategic Planning: As Simple as A, B, C is to break planning into discrete, manageable tasks, thus making the process easier to grasp and implement. In helping carry out that idea, I will be your personal strategic planning consultant, explaining every step you take, from your first meeting to delivering and implementing your final plan. In addition, I will provide all the supporting documents and briefings you will need, in an editable format, for every step of your journey.

As both a CEO and a manager in the strategic planning field, I have hired contractors at various times to guide me through a formal strategic planning process. In doing so, I have also, unfortunately:

  • Paid a fee of over $300,000 to a firm that didn’t know what it was doing.
  • Endured many missed deadlines on the part of the planners I hired.
  • Been forced to expend valuable time I should otherwise have been devoting to my organization to giving directions to the contracted planners.
  • In one particularly egregious case, I became so frustrated that I ended up writing the plan myself.
  • Belatedly realized in most cases that I was extremely dissatisfied with the “brainpower” in which I had unwittingly invested.

I’ve also seen the planning process from the other side and found myself scratching my head there, too. I recall working with organizations, guiding them through the planning process, and not being able to fathom that I was actually being paid, and paid handsomely, for applying common sense to a simple process. There I was, charging money to tell clients something as simple as learning the alphabet. A, B, C.

In a world where all eyes are on the bottom line, this book aims to get you through the strategic planning process at not much more than the price of what you’re holding in your hands. My book will also save you time (which is even more valuable than money) and the squandering of other significant resources, primarily the expenditure of effort and concern on your part and that of your fellow employees.

While my strategic plan approach will prove fruitful to private-sector organizations (such as athletic and academic organizations from the lowest to the professional level) and businesses, it will be even more well suited to public-sector organizations, at every level (federal, state, and local), especially given my personal and professional experience working with such organizations. So to frugal public-funded entities of every stripe, I say: we’re all for saving taxpayer dollars, and using this book as your foundation for strategic planning will do just that. I truly believe that every government organization must have a strategic plan.