Strategic planning in its many forms is as ubiquitous as budgeting and marketing. However, people’s experience with strategic planning is often less than positive as too many planning processes do not allow leaders to get the results they want from their business. A November 2011 Forbes article titled “10 Reasons Why Strategic Plans Fail” cited the following reasons for why strategic planning efforts fail.

10 Reasons Why Strategic Plans Fail
• Having a plan simply for plans sake
• Not understanding the environment or focusing on results
• Partial commitment
• Not having the right people involved
• Writing the plan and putting it on the shelf
• Unwillingness or inability to change
• Having the wrong people in leadership positions
• Ignoring marketplace reality, facts, and assumptions
• No accountability or follow through
• Unrealistic goals or lack of focus and resources

StratOp Overcomes The Reasons Traditional Planning Efforts Fail
StratOp however is the better strategic planning and implementation process, succeeding where other approaches fail.

What does “StratOp” stand for?
StratOp is a strategic operating system that will improve the performance of any business.
• “Strat” stands for “strategic” – managing tomorrow, today
• “Op” stands for “operating” – managing today, today
• “Financial” is the third silent partner as both the strategic and operational aspects of a business must be financed.

Peter Drucker’s Theory + The Greatest Process Practitioner’s Tools
StratOp was created by Tom Paterson. The father of modern management, Peter Drucker, described Paterson as the “Process Practitioner” due to Paterson’s conceiving & developing practical processes & tools around Drucker’s management theories. StratOp therefore stands in the line of arguably the greatest business theoretician, Peter Drucker and the greatest process practitioner, Tom Paterson.

Paterson accomplished a great deal over a distinguished career including patenting the original innovation for ATM PIN technology, crafting the original concept for Space Mountain in Disneyland, leading innovative teams for NASA, Boeing, IBM and RCA, and was commissioned by the Reagan administration to help China’s transition to a market based economy in the 1980s.

But for much of his corporate and consulting career Paterson experienced strategic planning that was often prescriptive, leading to plans that were not implemented – an approach that was unfortunately all too common in decades past as it is today. Spurred on by helpful challenges from executives at RCA and Ingersoll-Rand, Paterson created StratOp, a strategic planning system unlike any other.

StratOp’s Uniqueness
StratOp is unique in that it eliminates waste by taking relatively less time, incorporates all viewpoints, aligns organizations cross-functionally, fosters creativity, finds the ‘truth’ of the organization, and plans the future of the business by design with an emphasis on perspective-based planning and action.

The Six Phases of StratOp
StratOp is a system with distinct but mutually reinforcing phases:


• PERSPECTIVE: Where Are We Now? Too many planning processes fail because plans are conceived in haste. StratOp typically takes about one full day to ensure a team has gained full perspective on past and present realities, prior to planning the future.
• PLANNING: Where Are We Headed? Having attained proper perspective, a team can now formulate a core plan that will define where the business is going and how it is going to get there.
• ACTION: What’s Important Now? Many planning processes fail to turn the plan into action. But with StratOp, action is built into the plan creation process.
• STRUCTURE: What Form Is Right For Us? Now that the strategy of the organization is clear, the organization’s structure can be designed around achieving the core plan and action initiatives that drive performance.
• MANAGEMENT: How Are We Doing? Too many organizations consist of
“silos” of functional units that are unaligned cross-functionally. In contrast, StratOp views and controls the organization as a system, with continual feedback and learning required to effectively control the organization as an integrated whole.
• RENEWAL: What Must Change? There comes a time to recognize that the old strategy is worn out and a new core plan and set of actions needs to be developed. Consequentially StratOp embeds renewal on an ongoing basis to ensure progressive adaptation throughout the year.

So What?
Your organization’s resources of time, dollars, and efforts are limited. Don’t attempt to re-create the wheel of planning and action – utilize the proven and highly effective strategic operating system of StratOp to take your business to the next level.

Next Steps?
Visit navigatethejourney.com and schedule a call with us to discuss what it would look like to install StratOp as the strategic operating system for your business.

About The Author
Tom is a Certified StratOp Facilitator, Professional EOS Implementer ™ and the CEO of Navigate the Journey, a firm that helps the owners of entrepreneurial companies get what they want from their business and life.

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