Center for Simplified Strategic Planning

Simplified Strategic Planning

Available dates

This course has no confirmed dates in the future. Subscribe to be notified when it is offered.

About the course

Frustrated with your Strategic Planning efforts? Are you annoyed by a lack of results and lack of focus even after you have finished a strategic planning effort? Are you concerned that your strategic plan doesn't help differentiate your comp ay from the competition? Do you want to get the team to prioritize and focus on the areas that will truly impact our future success? Decisions are often based on top of mind thinking rather that fact based analysis. "Me-to" strategies are all too common. There is frequent failure in turning intentions into results.

Poor strategic planning is worse than no strategic planning. It can be a big waste of time and money. Even worse, it can lead to poor strategy. Avoid all this with Simplified Strategic Planning - a proven process to focus for superior performance without straining your resources.

This seminar is perfect for you if your existing strategic planning is not giving you the results you need.

If your process is virtually non-existent or fails to attain the intended results you will be interested in the following.


There is no denying that strategic planning involves complex issues. But developing your strategy (course and direction) doesn't have to be complicated. Good strategic planning should be simple, but not simplistic.

The Three Key Questions

The Simplified Strategic Planning process is a lean, thorough step-by-step roadmap for answering the questions at the heart of the matter. The three key questions are:

  • What are you going to sell?
  • To whom are you going to sell?
  • How can you beat or avoid the competition?

The first two questions define the breadth, scope and focus of your business. The process will help you decide what you will do or will not do (products and/or services), and whom you will serve in the marketplace. These questions determine your appropriate focus.

We have found that many companies do not want to be focused and seem to go out of their way to avoid narrowing things down. The leaders of such companies usually can't stand the idea of not pursuing a sale. Often, when asked the question, "What are you going to sell?" such leaders answer "Everything we can." That's not focus. That's a pursue-everything approach - often that person will also answer "Everyone we can," to the question, "To whom are you going to sell ?" The problem to these two answers, of course, is the third question that necessarily narrows things down.

It's that third question that brings realism to your strategy. When you get into the third question and begin examining your competencies, strengths, capabilities and infrastructure, you will really understand the importance of focus. You cannot profitably sell everything you can to everyone you can. Instead, you need to focus on applying specific strategic competencies to target markets. This will allow you to use your resources to your advantage instead of just using them up.

These questions are the heart of the Simplified Strategic Planning model because at each step along the way you will be working towards answering them. As you do so your team will learn and grow. And as you learn and grow, you will create a well-considered plan. In the end, you will have a strategy that works and gives specific answers those three questions.

Simplified Strategic Planning Process Structure

At the broadest level, the Simplified Strategic Planning process is a series of structured meetings in which your team starts by gathering some basic data and facts about your external and internal situation. Then you hypothesize key assumptions about the future. You make sure everyone understands it and agrees with the facts and assumptions. They shape all further discussion about strategy.

You will then identify key issues that affect strategy. From there, you go on to develop your strategy (course and direction). Then you define goals and objectives and get into the questions of:

  • How do we get there?
  • Who will be involved and will they have the time required?
  • How much is it going to cost?
  • When do we arrive?
  • Who is responsible?

The whole purpose of the Simplified Strategic Planning process is to formulate sound, appropriate strategy and to make it happen. If you want to create a beautifully-bound bookend that everyone has and no one uses, you'll probably spend a lot of time and money. But if you want to create a real, workable plan that gets things done, the Simplified Strategic Planning process is for you.

Remember the entire purpose of strategic planning is to get results. Implementation must be specific because when it is not, it will inevitably fail. The Simplified Strategic Planning process leads to specific implementation of your strategy.

In total, the Simplified Strategic Planning process works out to about seven days of meetings, spread out over twelve weeks or more so that it won't interfere with your day-to-day business.

Sound Strategy + Effective Implementation = Solid Success

At the end of the Simplified Strategic Planning process, you end up with 6 to 10 action plans that support your objectives which will be accomplished on time and on budget. Simplified Strategic Planning is a lean, thorough, effective process that has been honed and improved for over 35 years.

Simplified Strategic Planning will assure:

  • balanced input,
  • thoughtful strategic thinking,
  • selection of a course and direction that fits your unique competencies, differentiates your company and leads to profitable growth,
  • highly focused action on a few strategic objectives in support of that course and direction.

Trust the experts

Dana Baldwin

Dana brings more than 30 years of business experience to his seminar participants. He has held senior management positions, including Chairman, CEO and COO, in mid-sized companies. He is familiar with all functional areas, having also served in sales, sales management, production, and engineering...


Robert Bradford

Robert Bradford is the keenly creative and insightful CEO of the Center for Simplified Strategic Planning and co-author of of the Simplified Strategic Planning Manual and Simplified Strategic Planning -- A No-Nonsense Guide for Busy People Who Want Results Fast! Robert has assisted many clients ...


Course reviews

Strategic Planning - Setting and Reaching Your Goals with Robert Bradford part 1

Cssp Testimonial

Strategic Planning at Vista with Dana Baldwin

Strategic Planning, Tom Stenoien, COO Stratasys

Tom Erickson, CEO, BBS

Strategic Planning - Setting and Reaching Your Goals with Robert Bradford

Strategic Planning - Setting and Reaching Your Goals with Robert Bradford