Go-to strategic planning tools

August 8, 2011



I thought I’d kick-off the StrategyDIY blog with a little ‘proof source’.  Maybe something to stimulate the mind in considering how strategic planning can be simplified.

My favorite strategic planning tools are the pen and paper shown here (sorry this is a little grainy).  And just in case there is any doubt that I do use them, I have posted an image of the “tools” in use in part of the actual strategic planning of this site.

StrategyDIY go-to Planning Tools

Levenger® Oasis Pad

These pads are called “Oasis” pads from Levenger® (not an affiliate link).  The marker, well nothing special.  The double-sized pad with whitespace and the included note section has become my go-to planning tool to the point that both are on my conference table in my office.  I grab these for strategic planning, teaching, coaching and idea generation.

But, in getting to the point, these simple tools represent the philosophy that I have for strategic planning.  That good strategic planning does not come from the tools, it comes from a process.

As you research the topic of Strategic Planning or Business Plans (which, if you hit this site, I guess you are researching) you’ll often find that building a business strategy is explained and taught as a series of ‘things-to-do’ (e.g. create your vision, create your mission, analyze your competition, find your core competency. . .).   But what we want to do is to get answers to questions, to get guidance and clarity on the actions we need to take, not just walk through a series of activities more or less blindly hoping for a clear picture to jump out at the end.  And, honestly, I’m guessing most of us don’t have time to waste and we probably only want to work on the pieces of the puzzle that affect each business specifically.

The clarity we seek, will come from a strategic planning process that tells us how (or why) to use the tools common in strategic planning so we know we will get the answers we are looking for.  The good strategic plan will come from “how” you do it, not which templates or tools you use.

By the way, here’s the Oasis in action!

Levenger Oasis Pad in use

StrategyDIY courtesy of the Levenger® Oasis Pad

What is your “go-to” business or strategy tool?

Let everyone know in the comment section below.


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