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Strategic Planning Kit For Dummies Paperback – November 15, 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

The fast and easy way to think and act strategically

Are you a business owner or management professional looking to weather current economic storms while planning for future growth? Providing practical, field-tested techniques and a complete 6-phase plan, Strategic Planning Kit For Dummies shows you how to make strategy a habit for all organizations, no matter the size, type, or resource constraints.

  • Strategic Planning 101 — get plain-English explanations of the who, how, why, and when of strategic planning

  • The nuts and bolts — discover your core DNA, identify your strategic issues, find your competitive advantage, and develop your mission, vision, and values

  • Collect your data — gather information that's critical for your strategic decision making, assess your business and its capabilities, and see your company through your customers' eyes

  • Pave a clear path — plan for the future, determine how to grow and be sustainable, and identify and evaluate opportunities

Open the book and find:

  • Why strategic planning works

  • The elements of a strategic management process

  • How to establish clear goals and measure your progress

  • Ways to execute your plan

  • Tips to find new customers

  • How to plan for what-ifs

  • Strategies for growth and sustainability

Interactive tools and templates available on the bonus CD-ROM for individual and group exercises designed to help guide you through each step of the strategic planning process.

Please see the CD appendix for details and complete system requirements.

Learn to:

  • Be agile in a continually shifting environment while planning for long-term sustainability

  • Make strategy a habit for all organizations

  • Improve efficiency, focus, and execution

Worksheets and templates on the bonus CD-ROM

About the Author

Erica Olsen is cofounder and COO of M3 Planning, Inc., a firm dedicated to developing and executing strategy. M3 provides consulting and facilitation services, as well as hosts products and tools such as MyStrategicPlan for leaders with big ideas who want to empower and focus their teams to achieve them.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 2 edition (November 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118077776
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118077771
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,315 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Joe American VINE VOICE on January 19, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Don't let the name fool you, this is a pretty thorough look at the Strategic Planning process, by someone with experience at helping people think through the future of their organization. What I appreciated most was that the author is not lost in theory, but rather works you through a practical approach, under the assumption that you are going to use the material, not just read about it. Included with the book is a CD with templates to help you do just that. So many books on strategy are theoretical; this one is practical.

If you are looking for a book on the latest MBA ideas, this is not it (as its name implies). But it's ideal for someone with a small organization to run, who doesn't want to get knee deep in planning as a hobby, but needs practical help. Good work.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
We hear a lot about strategic planning. However, many of us probably are not very well versed on the subject. If you want a quick and dirty introduction that provides some tools, this book will suffice. While the book focuses on planning in the private sector, some elements are applicable to nonprofits and the public sector (for instance, SWOT analysis is widely used). However, one should know that the primary focus is on business.

What is the book about. Quickly to summarize in the author's own words (Page 1): "This book is about getting from Point A to Point B more effectively and having more fun along the way. Part of that journey is the strategy and part of it is the planning, development, and execution."

The book features 20 chapters and has a CD that can help understand and use basic tools of planning. To illustrate, consider SWOT analysis. This is an evaluation of the internal aspects of an organization--its strengths and weaknesses. There is also an external evaluation of opportunities and threats. Hence, SWOT--strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. The CD provides a template for SWOT.

There is discussion, too, of other aspects of strategic planning, such as benchmarking.

In short, a reasonably good introduction to strategic planning in the business world.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
As with most Dummies books, I like the way that layout of important information are organized; the symbols and icons used to make the guide very readable.

This book is probably a one-stop theoretical book for someone who wants to learn more about business ideas, and is more like a textbook that a student uses to study for Business Administration or Organization Development. It basically combines both information into a book that is useful for someone who has little or no background in Business Studies, and will be useful to someone who does not have a corporate background.

I was not too impressed with the software that was provided as the templates were based on the information that could be found in the book and could fairly easily be typed onto a template or be incorporated into the book in the first place. I was hoping that they have templates either in the form of Word or Excel where you could make changes - something more dynamic than a PDF file.

However, it has some useful videos links for people who may not have the time to run through the chapters and instead opt for a audio-visual experience provided. Again, these videos are based on theories that are in the book and are the typical facilitation sessions that one will receive while working in a corporation.

Overall, I would say that this book is good for someone who:

(a) has no business studies background and wants to have some business/marketing knowledge.
(b) is working in a corporate setting and wants to understand the business culture of the organization.
(c) intends to have a small business - some ideas like SWOT analysis, competitor analysis etc are quite useful.
(d) a facilitator or CON-SELLtant who wishes to sell their solutions to their audience.
(e) a job-seeker who wants to sound intelligent during an interview.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I am a Director for an agency and we have always done strategic planning and pretty much once its over, we rarely bring it up again. Also, I have been working on some personal goals and little did I know that with this book not only will it help with my work but also my own personal objectives.

My main takeaway from the book is that the plan has to have an action to do list and there have to be people accountable to make it happened and the person in charge of the plan has to have someone they are accountable to. The people have to buy in from the get-go otherwise is a major waste of time and money-that includes the board.

There are so many gems that I got from this book so I will highlight the main ones:

Write a one, three and five year plan with all the details from day one to the day you achieve your goals

Celebrate small wins along the way

At least once a month review the plan -never cancel it will destroy the momentum

Have people accountable including you who is overseeing the plan
and have a brain trust of people you trust and admire to monitor the progress of the plan

Have changes and worse case scenario in the plan, change is part of the plan and
have alternative plans: plan 1 plan 2 plan 3 -things change so be ready to adapt and change too

Analyzing your time for a week and see where you can cut time out on low priority things and concentrate on the big picture i.e strategic plan.

As you can see there are so many insights that I discovered and one of the recommendations which I like is don't try to do everything in the book but get one main idea from each chapter and implement it.

Again, I loved this book and I highly recommend it.
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