2.1. Strategic management skills for senior managers and directors


Who should attend?

This intensive 2 day program is designed specifically for those in senior management and director positions who are responsible for developing and implementing business strategies and business plans. Line managers moving into general management positions should also attend.


Delegates will discover techniques for understanding their strategic positions, analysing competitors, and identifying critical success factors for their industry. Recommendations will be offered for designing and running a strategic planning conference as well as guidelines for preparation of mission statements and strategic plans.

Concepts such as value chain analysis, PEST analysis and the 5 forces will also be covered, and tested against examples of leading companies and delegates’ own organisations.

Finally the strategic implications of growth, including growth through acquisition, will be considered in some depth.

Course Outline:

Day One
  • The outputs of strategy,
  • Customer and competitor analysis,
  • Industry and socio-economic trends,
  • Analysing strengths and weaknesses,
  • Financial appraisal of past performance and review of current financial strategy.
Day Two
  • Developing mission and objectives,
  • Setting strategies,
  • The strategic analysis of mergers and acquisitions,
  • Turnaround strategies for underperforming businesses,
  • Ten golden rules of strategy implementation,
  • Change management,
  • Performance management and strategic scorecards,
  • Incentives as tools for implementing strategy.


How will you grow sales and profits this year? Your company’s business plan should focus on growth: the amount of growth, the sources of growth, and the recipe for growth.

The growth question requires choices about future PRODUCTS and MARKETS. Akio Morita, the founder of Japanese business empire Sony, said that when his managers decided which product categories and market segments they would focus on for profits and growth, they had formulated their strategy. Everything else was a consequential decision. By implication, Sony’s managers also devoted long hours and detailed analysis to deciding which product categories and market segments they would NOT be focusing on, and were staking their careers and the investment of future capital on the correctness of their choice.

Similarly, a business plan for a new venture should answer 3 questions :

  • What is your product?
  • Who is your market?
  • How will you get your product to the market?

Will your planning this year involve the right people? Most important, will your planning answer the questions of growth?


Case Study

When a director of a global mining group was asked, “How important is strategic planning?" he tersely replied, “Strategy is everything.” His organisation’s planning process is key to its long lasting success. The executives spend a great deal of time in planning meetings. Every manager understands and supports the principles of strategic management. These include ongoing strategic planning, formal control systems, an insistence on being the safest producer in each region of the world, and a passion for action and results. The planning process begins with the heads of each operating division presenting their strategic plans in small, intense, meetings. Once approved, performance is measured by carefully selected financial ratios that are closely followed, particularly free cash flow and return on capital.

John Stretch

2.2. Intergrating strategy, budgeting and reporting (ISBAR)

Economist magazine reports that 80% of companies in the UK are unhappy with their planning and budgeting systems. Managers comment that planning takes too long and costs too much. They say that traditional, once-a-year, fixed performance contract budgeting doesn’t work in today’s rapidly changing world. And in some organisations, key parts of the management system aren’t linked together: strategy, budgeting, forecasting, performance measurement, management reporting, incentive compensation and corporate governance, all take place in separate parts of the business, and are managed in functional silos.

Who should attend?

Board members and managers with profit responsibility, who want to review their processes and leadership styles for providing direction, and driving financial performance.

Anyone responsible for developing and achieving strategic plans and budgets will benefit from attending.

It’s recommended that the entire top management group attend as one team.



  • Provides a framework for analysing and benchmarking your planning processes to verify that they add maximum value , take place in the right sequence and involve the right people,
  • Discusses latest practices in world class planning, budgeting and reporting,
  • Identifies and explains the use of linking tools such as rolling forecasts, scorecards and incentive compensation, to strengthen the relationship between strategy, budgeting and management control,
  • Examines new approaches to presenting and reporting information to managers.

Course Outline:

Day One Defining Business Strategy
  • Investigating the components of strategy,
  • Examining products and markets,
  • Distinguishing between corporate strategy and business strategy,
  • Understanding the linkage between strategy and personal values.
Strategic Analysis
  • Developing your mission statement,
  • Setting clear achievable objectives,
  • Implementing corporate strategy to grow and increase the value of your organisation.
Developing Strategy
  • Investigating the external environment,
  • Evaluating internal environment strengths and weaknesses,
  • Looking at the role of culture in an organisation,
  • Analysing past financial performance.
Implementing your Plan
  • Ensuring a credible planning process,
  • Gaining top management buy-in,
  • Documenting your strategy,
  • Communicating your strategy in an effective way,
  • Setting up project teams and developing action plans.
Day Two Budgeting
  • The need for rolling forecasts,
  • How rolling forecasts work,
  • The benefits of rolling forecasts,
  • Using rolling forecasts for management control,
  • Designing and implementing a rolling forecasts system.
Rolling forecasts
  • The need for rolling forecasts,
  • How rolling forecasts work,
  • The benefits of rolling forecasts,
  • Using rolling forecasts for management control,
  • Designing and implementing a rolling forecasts system.
Performance measures, dashboards and scorecards
  • The balanced scorecard,
  • Performance measurement as a linking and integrating tool,
  • Dashboards.
Measuring and reporting business performance
  • World class reporting,
  • Graphics and pictures,
  • Comparative data,
  • Ratios and benchmarks.
  • Linking planning to recognition of individual performance and incentives,
  • Alternative incentive schemes,
  • Conditions for successful implementation.