Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Importance of Strategic Preparation (1)

"A team that is unable to discern good fortune and misfortune in the as-yet-uninformed does not understand preparations." - Military Methods, 22 (A minor revision on a quote from Sun Bin)

Strategic preparation is not about one thing. It is about many things.

The stages of strategic preparation are:
  • Gather intelligence;
  • Assess the intelligence;
  • Develop a grand plan based on the assessed intelligence;
  • Develop an operational plan that connects with the grand plan;
  • Get the team to connect with the both plans.

"Failure to Prepare is to Prepare to Failure." - Bill Walsh, the Architect of the West Coast Offense. Former Coach of San Francisco Forty Niners (Super Bowl Champions 1981-82, 1984-85, and 1988-89).

A team that knows how to strategically assess themselves, their competition and their settings is a team with a strategic advantage.

Most competitors barely possess the attitude to prepare properly. In some cases, they do not possess the fundamentals of preparing properly. They lack the conscious to assess the opposition. They also have the skills to prepare and plan. These people would rather improvise.

With proper competitive intelligence, one assesses many things. He determines what is happening now and later. Then he builds a proper plan based on that assessed intelligence.

With our Compass AE process, your team builds a plan that enables them to do the following:
  • focus on their critical path while minding their grand settings;
  • focus on the positive situations while avoiding negative situations;
  • anticipate opportunities;
  • adjust strategically;
  • shape the plan and their grand settings; and
  • lead by strategic collaboration.

" ... Organization leads to preparation. . . . Preparation eliminates the unexpected.
Be ready for everything. . . . Overlook nothing. ... " - Brian Billick, Former Head Coach of Baltimore Ravens (Super Bowl Champions 2000-2001 season)

"If you have a plan, and if you have your direction laid out, you can chart your progress to your dreams at each stop along the way. ... And just as important, all along the way you can see how far you've come."
- Michael Shanahan, Current Head Coach of the Denver Broncos (Super Bowl Champions 1997-1998, 1998-1999)

The focus of future entries is on how to prepare your team strategically with our Compass AE process.

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