New Book by MSLOC Faculty Member Offers Advice on Strategic Planning

New Book by MSLOC Faculty Member Offers Advice on Strategic Planning

B. K. Simerson
B. K. Simerson is an adjunct faculty member in SESP’s Master of Science in Learning and Organizational Change program, and his newest book, Strategic Planning: A Practical Guide to Strategy Formulation and Execution, offers practical guidance on strategic planning and its relevance in the current economic climate.

MSLOC: Why did you write this book? Why now?

BKS: During these turbulent economic times, individuals must think and act in a responsible manner when investing, allocating or diverting any/all forms of organizational, human and financial resources. This book helps individuals think and act in such a responsible way. Rather than providing a formulaic “one-size-fits-all” solution, it provides concrete information and options individuals can use when conducting or assisting with strategy formulation.

MSLOC: Why will your book on strategic planning likely prove interesting and useful to readers?

BKS: Readers find this book full of practical and useful strategic planning methodologies, tools and techniques. To ensure optimal benefit, this book provides guidelines (many in the form of checklists), templates (which can be used “as is” or be modified to meet the reader’s needs), examples and case studies (which help readers relate to the information), and reference materials (to help readers further explore this important topic).

Strategic Planning

MSLOC: What differentiates your book from other strategic planning books?

BKS: From my perspective, most books written on strategic planning provide formulaic solutions that ignore the broad-based and multifaceted reasons individuals in different organizations, industries, and professions, under different circumstances, within different contexts, and with different purposes in mind, create plans. My book is different in that it provides background information readers can use in deciding their overall approach; guidelines that readers can apply regardless of their position or circumstance; and useful tools and techniques readers can select to aid in their strategic thinking, strategy formulation and strategy execution.

MSLOC: What skills and abilities increase the likelihood of effective and efficient strategic planning?

BKS: Regardless of your role in strategic planning, strategic planning requires strategic thinking.

Strategic thinking involves your taking a broad set of facts and information into consideration as you strive to understand the present situation and circumstance; identify future trends and formulate future possibilities; decide on your organization’s core values and value proposition; develop or firm up your organization’s mission and vision; determine the means you will employ to attain your vision and accomplish your mission; identify ways to mitigate or address challenges or obstacles likely to impede your progress or sub-optimize your overall success. …

Strategic thinking involves your focusing not only on the present but also the past (to identify “lessons learned” to apply now and into the future) and future (to anticipate changing customer and client needs, changes in technology, and external forces likely to impact the organization in a positive or negative way).

MSLOC: What key elements should a sound strategic plan encapsulate?

BKS: Sound strategic planning involves strategy formulation and execution; it involves the following for an individual, a team or an entire organization:

  • Properly preparing for the strategic planning session
  • Analyzing internal and external information
  • Formulating or refining the organization’s strategic intent and goals
  • Deciding on a course of action
  • Taking other actions during strategic planning to increase the likelihood of the plan being successfully executed
  • Assessing progress and the overall success of execution to determine how to improve the next strategic planning cycle
By Master of Science in Learning and Organizational Change Program
Last Modified: 5/12/11