TSI Consulting Partners, INC.
Strategic Effectiveness

"TSI has helped MGH Institute of Health Professions through two strategic planning cycles. Unlike many consultants, they did not arrive with a predetermined boilerplate of what our institutional priorities should be. Rather, their approach is one of “guide and facilitate,” not dictate. TSI’s consultants were masterful in drawing out the voices of even the quietest members of our faculty and staff, engaging them in the process of defining our core challenge, strategic priorities, and eventual action plans, and thus ensuring that the final product – our “strategic map” – reflects the Institute community’s collective will, vision, and plans for the future. As one of our academic leaders said – “They are the first consultants we’ve worked with who ‘get’ who we are."

Janis P. Bellack
President, MGH Institute of Health Professions
Strategic Effectiveness
Top 10 Myths About Strategic Planning


Myth:
The more you plan, the better your results.

Reality:
There is little relationship between the length of time spent formulating a strategic plan and the likelihood of success with implementing it. In fact, our research has shown that there's a negative correlation. Often, the longer organizations spent in planning, the worse their results were-because they got stuck in the planning "loop" and were unable to move on to effective implementation.
Myth:
Strategic planning is a painful and arduous process.

Reality:
It doesn't have to be. In our experience, the right planning group using the right approach leads to enthusiastic commitment to a solid strategy.
Myth:
A perfect plan gets perfect results.

Reality:
The time and energy spent in getting a plan "just right" are rarely worth the effort. In fact, we've seen the "search for a perfect plan" lead to excessive planning time, diminishing results, and reluctance to modify the plan as conditions change
Myth:
Strategic plans end up on the shelf collecting dust. They don't help guide the business day-to-day.

Reality:
Many plans are "thick and heavy" and do end up on the shelf. We've worked to distill an organization's strategy into a clear and simple one-page visual display. This strategic map becomes a powerful tool for communicating the strategy, guiding implementation, and making regular adjustments.
Myth:
Consultants must be experts in my business to really help me develop a good plan.

Reality:
That depends. If your senior team doesn't understand the future direction of your business, you may need experts in your industry. But, if your senior team is smart enough to figure out your future direction, you need consultants that can help them make the right decisions in the right order-in a reasonable cycle time. That's our expertise.
Myth:
The best way to ensure you have a great strategic plan is to exhaustively analyze the market.

Reality:
Of course you must begin with a solid understanding of internal and external environments. But time and again, we've seen that implementation-not more planning-is the best teacher. You can only learn how effective your plan is by putting it into action.
Myth:
It's negative to always be looking for what isn't working; it's better to focus on the positive.

Reality:
In our research, a key difference between those companies that were effective and those that weren't was their ability to be completely honest with themselves about what was working and what wasn't in the implementation of their strategic plan. They weren't pointing fingers-they just recognized that you can't fix what you don't understand.
Myth:
The key to strategic success is hard work-if you're getting things done, you're making progress.

Reality:
Hard work helps, but there's a big difference between completing activities and achieving results. We've found that what matters is not how much you do, but whether you achieve the few critical things that are strategically important.
Myth:
Once you have a plan, you should stick with it. Consistency is the most important thing.

Reality:
Consistency is important, but our research has shown that the best plans are flexible enough to evolve over time through a series of improvements as the organization tries, learns, and adapts.
Myth:
A good strategy is the key to success.

Reality:
Our work has shown that a good strategy is one key to success. However, leadership is also a critical ingredient to success. Strong leadership can fix a weak strategy; but even the best strategy won't lead to results without solid leadership to drive its implementation.
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