Self Inflicted Wounds to profits -Part 1: Tactical Seduction

Before speaking at a conference in Miami, I slipped in early to hear Tom Peters talk. Always entertaining. Surprisingly he described the 10% success rate of strategy planning (that’s right, only 10%) as “wildly inflated”. 

More surprising is that after this data was published the experts didn’t rush in, find the source of the problem, and fix it. Instead, they withdrew, denied, avoided, fantasized, or blamed the client for the high failure rates. 


Well, that’s a good question. First, let’s look at the first clue. 

After doing autopsies on a number of companies struggling with the failure rates of their strategic planning, we uncovered a shocking insight: 

Most Strategic Plans Aren’t Strategic. 


When you open up you strategic planning documents chances are we won’t see a strategic plan. Instead we’ll only see tactics and analysis. 

The problem is that many confuse strategic planning with analysis. But it’s not. 

Kenichi Ohmae said it best: True strategy lies beyond analysis, it lies in the domain of intuition. 

We teach analysis in business schools, and consultants promote it, but they never touch intuition. 

And that’s the problem. 

The strategic planning failure rates leave you in a tough spot. 

One reason for such failure is you hire Strategic Planning Imposters. 

These imposters aren’t doing it on purpose. They think they are strategic planning facilitators, and they might be, there are good ones out there. 

But the imposters are easily exposed. Can they reference the top strategic texts from the past 2,500 years? Have they taught strategy at the graduate level? Have they published in strategic journals? 

If not, then you smell an imposter. 

Imposters give good meeting but bad strategy. 

That’s why it’s hard to do strategy with industry experts. They only know what is already known. You’re job is to out-intuit the experts

Next time you have a strategic planning session, select your facilitators carefully. For a Facilitator Selection Tool, click here