Tag Archive for: strategic planning

Soul Searching SPOC Analysis for Strategic Planning: Strengths, Possible Improvements, Opportunities, ChallengesIt’s time for spring cleaning and business soul searching.

Business soul searching using the SPOC Analysis is a quick and easy way to assess where you’ve been, where you are, and anticipate the future.


What is Business Soul Searching?

“In the business world, the rearview mirror is always clearer than the windshield.”

~Warren Buffett

  • To better understand where you are in business it’s helpful to know what got you here.
  • When you are clear about your current position you can more effectively chart the best course to achieve your company’s values, mission, and vision.
  • During the past 35 years I have guided companies through a quick and simple discovery process I call the SPOC Analysis (a derivation of the SWOT Analysis).
  • The SPOC analysis offers a great, revealing way to assess where you are right now and then to scan the business environment in order to anticipate the possibilities that might present themselves on your journey toward achieving your values, mission and vision.
  • It also identifies key areas that you may want to focus attention upon in the form of goals, objectives, or strategies.

Here’s how the SPOC Analysis process works:

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Strategic Alignment Model for Employee Engagement in the Strategic Planning ProcessDo you have strategic alignment such that your employees are on the same page,

moving in the same direction,

toward the same common goals?



Engage Employees in the Strategic Planning Process

What I love about a well-done strategic planning process is that it accomplishes collaboration and cooperation throughout your organization.

Having everyone participate in the process naturally creates enthusiastic buy-in and support all the way from the top tier of the organization to the frontline.

Create Strategic Alignment

The Strategic Alignment Model above shows what’s possible with respect to involving more and more people in the process as it unfolds. It is a natural, cascading effect—similar to water flowing down terraces in a mountain stream. Here are the steps: Read more

Focus decision-making on what matters most; Focus your attention on your intention (Purpose, Values, Mission, Vision, Goals, Objectives, Strategies, Action Plans)Are you focusing your attention on what matters most?

Or easily distracted by unwanted circumstances?

This article will provide you valuable decision-making tips to focus your attention on what you want because…

What You Focus on Expands and Grows Stronger.

How do you decide which opportunities are most important to you and your organization with the vast number of possibilities that compete for your and your team’s precious resources?

It’s helpful to have a reliable method for determining which opportunities to focus on. Then you can focus your attention on your intention. Those things you are passionate about that will generate the results you desire.

“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.” ~Oprah Winfrey

I have found that understanding scientific principles helps me immensely.

During my 35 years of professional facilitation and personal experience, I have grown to know the value and power of a universal principle that has helped me and my clients to make effective, timely decisions that yield phenomenal results.

Here is a law that I like to consciously apply to my decisions, The Law of Attraction:

  • It states that “whatever we focus our attention upon gains strength and attracts more of the same.”
  • It is perhaps the most consistent and visible demonstration of the scientific Law of Cause and Effect—where every action has a reaction.
  • In essence, what you focus on expands and grows stronger. Its law!
  • So, doesn’t it make sense to focus upon what you want, rather than upon what you don’t want?

When you focus your attention (thoughts, feelings, words, and actions) upon your intention (Purpose, Values, Mission, Vision, Goals, etc.), you send a clear message to your employees and customers about what’s important to you and your organization.

Focus on the Solution, Not the Problem

This story might help shed more light on the power of focusing on what you want (desires and aspirations) instead of what you don’t want (fear and problems). Read more

Cone of Influence-Core Purpose, Core Values, Mission, and Vision.What is the expansive Vision for your company?


Benefits of Defining a Clear Vision

  • A powerful Vision EXPANDS THE COLLECTIVE THINKING of your organization to encompass greater possibility and influence.
  • A lofty vision is ENERGIZING. It EXCITES everyone involved. It generates HOPE for the future.
  • An expansive Vision has everyone ASPIRE TO REACH NEW HEIGHTS with a clear picture of what you are striving to achieve as an organization.

Creating Your Cone of InfluenceTM

In my previous three articles, we explored the power of Purpose, Values, and Mission.

In this article we will “tackle” Vision (tis’ the season for a little Superbowl lingo), the other element that together forms the “Cone of InfluenceTM” of your organization.

These elements DEFINE THE DEPTH AND BREADTH OF WHAT IS IMPORTANT to your organization.

The loftier your vision, the wider your Cone of InfluenceTM.

Knowing What to Say “Yes” To and What to Say “No” To

Your Cone of InfluenceTM IMPROVES DECISION-MAKING so you quickly know what to say “yes” to, and what to say “no” to. Read more

Generate Mission-Centered Enthusiasm by Crafting Your Company Mission-StatementIs your organization powered by mission-centered enthusiasm?

“When you discover your mission, you will feel its demand. It will fill you with enthusiasm and a burning desire to get to work on it.” 

~ W. Clement Stone


A Mission Statement Defines “The Business You Are In Or About”

A mission statement is an UMBRELLA PROPOSITION that encompasses all you chose to do. It should answer the following questions:

  1. How do you want employees to behave (uppermost Core Values)?
  2. Why does your organization exist (Core Purpose; the heart of your mission statement)?
  3. What does your organization do (Products and Services you provide)?
  4. Who does your organization serve (your Customers/Clients)?
  5. What results do you desire (beyond just making money)?

The Key to Crafting a Good Mission Statement Is To Make It…

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Core Values create and enduring organizational cultureWhat does your organization stand for—your Core Values?

Create an Enduring Company Culture

Successful business owners understand how vital a company’s Core Values are to creating a company culture that results in HAPPY, PRODUCTIVE, SUCCESSFUL EMPLOYEES, which, in turn, leads to HAPPY CUSTOMERS and a healthy bottom-line.


“The only truly reliable source of stability is a strong inner core [purpose and values] and the willingness to change and adapt everything except that core.”

~Jim Collins & Jerry Porras, authors of Built to Last


Your Core Values…

  • are your guide for WEATHERING ETHICAL DILEMMAS.
  • become the fabric for weaving GOOD SOUND DECISIONS.
  • serve as your employees’ MORAL COMPASS.
  • form your lasting LEGACY.

Read more

Martin Luther King Jr Power of Core Purpose and the Big Why

Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Inspiring Core Purpose

Martin Luther King, Jr. clearly understood his “BIG WHY?”—his inspiring purpose to create equality for all through one of the most successful Civil Rights movements humanity has known.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., visited India in the early 1960s to learn satyagraha principles first-hand from Mahatma Gandhi’s family and followers.  He used these principles of nonviolence to lead the civil rights movement of the 1960s. This resulted in improving privileges and rights of African Americans throughout the United States.

Like Gandhi, King saw injustice being imposed on people because of the color of their skin.  Martin held dear the words crafted by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are LIFE, LIBERTY, AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS.”

Dr. King chose to take a nonviolent stand and create a movement attempting to bring our society back into alignment with our founding principles of equality.

Why Understanding Your “Big Why?” Is Important

Do you know your “BIG WHY”—your CORE PURPOSE? If not, LASTING SUCCESS AND FULFILLMENT may elude you.

Knowing your core purpose keeps you centered on what’s most important—during good times and challenging times.

The Core Purpose of your organization is like the seed of an apple. “You can count the number of seeds in an apple, but you can’t count the number of apples in a seed.”

No one knows the potential IMPACT your purpose will have in the world.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Cause and effect, means and ends, seed and fruit, cannot be severed; for the effect already blooms in the cause, the end pre-exists in the means, the fruit in the seed.”

Your organization has a unique Core Purpose for SERVING THE WORLD. This is your “Big Why?”—why your organization was started in the first place—beyond just making money.

Clarifying Your Organization’s Core Purpose

What’s your organization’s Core Purpose? Read more

Creating Certainty in the Midst of Uncertainty

A strategic plan provides a flexible compass and roadmap for your organization. It has you analyze present and emerging circumstances and project into the future.

These days, I coach leaders to look at planning like molding clay. Continuously molding the plan as circumstances shift.

Done right, strategic planning can be an easy, fun, and inspiring process for involving all team members. It amplifies and accelerates the success of any team and organization.

Here are the 4 overarching phases of the process…

The 4 Phases of  Strategic Planning

  • The 4 Phases of Strategic Planning and the 12 Step Strategic Planning Process1st Phase: You and your team Clarify the direction to take the organization and why to do it.
  • 2nd Phase: Organize so that all team members are on the same page, moving in the same direction, toward the same common goals.
  • 3rd Phase: Your team Acts together collaborating to implement the action plan and keeping the plan alive.
  • 4th Phase: Monitor and adjust the plan to ensure the team is Realizing results that fulfill mutual desires and expectations.

Here are the 12 steps of the strategic planning process within each of the 4 phases… Read more

Wildflowers at Picacho Peak State Park, AZ

Spring has nearly sprung to life. Here in Arizona, wildflowers are bursting into bloom. Soon the rest of the country will follow suit.

Spring is also a time for cleaning and organizing our lives—and our businesses. It’s the perfect time to refresh your strategic plan.

Strategic planning is one of the best ways to truly engage your employees in the success of your organization. Done right, it can be an easy, fun and inspiring process for involving everyone. It will amplify and accelerate the success of any team and organization.

A strategic plan is both the roadmap and the compass for your organization. It enables you to clarify, organize, act and realize your organization’s intentions as quickly as possible—so you can get on with operating your day-to-day business.

4 Phases of the Strategic Planning Process 

  • 1st Phase, you and your team to clarify the direction to take the organization and why to do it;

    The Strategic Planning Process

  • 2nd Phase, you will learn what will motivate your team to organize and be on the same page, moving in the same direction, and understand what to do and who’s to do it;
  • 3rd Phase, you will learn what will cause your team to act efficiently and effectively with implementing your action plans and why it’s important to keep the plan alive;
  • 4th Phase, you will learn how to ensure that your teams realize results that exceed your desires and expectations.


12 Steps of the Strategic Planning Process

Here are the 12 steps that move you through the 4 Phases of the strategic planning process cycle: Read more

With 2016 nearly wrapped up, I hope that you are taking a deep, contemplative breath and a little time for personal reflection.

Every year we weave a unique tapestry of adventures we have experienced, successes we have accomplished, and setbacks we have suffered.

Reflect on the Past Year

Part of my ritual this time of year is to list these significant events that have occurred in my life, both personally and professionally, so I can fully view and appreciate the tapestry I co-created. It includes projects completed, activities enjoyed, problems faced, milestones reached, unforeseen circumstances overcome, etc. Some within my control, some not. What I have grown to know is that each experience was necessary to bring me to the present moment.

Jump Start Your New Year

Whatever our past year’s tapestry looks like, the beauty of the dawn of a New Year, is that we get to envision a new tapestry. It is time to begin selecting some of the threads and colors, and identifying the themes we desire.

Our greatest opportunity for 2017 is to apply our talents, skills and abilities more fully to make the finest tapestry possible.

Personal goal setting and strategic planning are creative tools that enable us to design our personal and professional tapestry.

If you are a business owner, thinking of starting a new business, or are a leader in an organization this upcoming class will help you to jump start your strategic planning process and make your 2017 tapestry your best yet. It is my honor to partner again with Greater Phoenix SCORE to facilitate this engaging how-to class, A Strategic Planning Process that Energizes Your Business. Read more