Change Is Certain

For millennia humanity has experienced the certainty of change – for instance Greek Philosopher Heraclitus in the 5th century BC said “The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change.”  Change is a given.  Change is certain.  Change is to be expected.

Yet Change Is Resisted

As individuals we resist change in our personal lives.  Teams and organizations are even more resistant to change, as they collectively hang on to the old ways of operating even while headed toward marketplace irrelevancy, organizational decline and even bankruptcy.

strategic planning nashville renewal

The Best Strategies Eventually Become Outdated

The annals of corporate history are filed with companies who were once the darlings of their industry.  But then their industry or the world changed and they failed to renew their strategy and plan.  The went from the top of the pack to the bottom of the trash pile of one-time corporate greats.  While one set of leaders failed to renew their approach, other leadership teams saw how the market was changing and renewed their approach to capitalize on emerging patterns and trends.

Blockbuster vs. Netflix

In 2000 the CEO of Netflix proposed a partnership to the CEO of Blockbuster which was firmly rejected.  Blockbuster was performing well financially at the time and Netflix was a fledgling start up.  However, Blockbuster was relying heavily on charging its customers late fees and was unwilling to change its business model to compete with Netflix in the years that followed as online distribution of content made Blockbuster’s old business model irrelevant.  The rest is history – Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy in 2010, and Netflix continues to be a wildly successful company.

StratOp Ensures Leadership Teams Keep Their Strategic Plan Relevant

StratOp is a strategic system that helps teams clarify where they are, where they’re headed, and how they will get there. It’s used by organizations big and small, from billion-dollar global corporations to entrepreneurs and startups.  The sixth phase of StratOp is “Renewal” which ensures the strategic plan remains relevant to changing conditions and the passage of time.

Why StratOp Allows Teams To Renew Their Plan

Tom Paterson built Renewal in as the sixth phase of the StratOp process, thereby ensuring teams expect from the beginning of the StratOp process that their plan is meant to be renewed, not less than annually.  Specifically, StratOp enables plan renewal due to:

  1. Momentum from the first five StratOp phases: The first StratOp Renewal typically takes place about 12 months after the creation of the initial StratOp plan and after about one year of the company beginning to implement StratOp as their strategic operating system. By this point the team has experienced the power and value of the StratOp process, and believes the company needs to continue to utilize StratOp.
  2. Doesn’t re-create the wheel: A StratOp renewal builds upon the existing core plan by confirming, updating or tweaking where necessary. Only a few tools need to completely redone.
  3. Everyone knows that things have changed: Since StratOp is not an event, but a strategic operating system, the renewal phase ensures the system and plan does not become irrelevant or worn out.
  4. Continual renewal: While there is a formal Renewal phase, StratOp builds in ongoing renewal throughout the year. Therefore, to the extent significant issues arise during the year that require some degree of plan renewal, various StratOp tools will flag that plan renewal is warranted.

How StratOp Renews The Core Plan

Typically twelve months after the initial 3-day StratOp plan creation workshop, we gather the leadership team for a 2-day StratOp Renewal workshop and lead them through the following exercises so as to Renew their plan:

  • Facilitate a new 4 Helpfuls List
  • Review the Turning Points Profile
  • Facilitate a new Patterns & Trends Analysis
  • Review the suite of Opportunity Mapping Tools
  • Update the Strategic Control Panel (Dashboard)
  • Review, and if needed update, Core Assumptions
  • Review, and if needed update, Primary Customer and Value-Building Cycle
  • Review Mission Statement
  • Review, and if needed update, Vision
  • Review, and if needed update, Core Values
  • Review, and if needed update, Core Strategies
  • Update our Action

Visit for a full list and explanation of all of the StratOp Renewal tools.

So What?

Do you and your leadership team have a collective handle on what aspects of your business need to be renewed and changed?

Next Steps?

About The Author

  • Tom Barrett is a Nashville-based leadership team coach who utilizes proven processes such as StratOp, Scaling Up and the ValueBuilder System to help entrepreneurs get what they want from their business. 

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