Every journey of 1000 miles starts with someone saying,
“I know a shortcut!”
Management consists of two inversely proportional activities:
Planning and Control. If you do a lot of Planning, you have less Controlling
to do. If you shortcut your Planning, all those things that didn't get planned
will have to be controlled as they come along.
At Vector Associates, we advocate strong Planning. In the
long run, it takes far less time and effort. And rather than trying to
control a chaotic situation, managers are able to anticipate new
challenges as they emerge -- responding rather than reacting.
Our proprietary 9-step process results in an exceptionally
strong plan with the flexibility to respond nimbly as your business
environment shifts and changes. It includes
A rigorous environmental scan
An inventory of internal strengths and capabilities
A Grand Strategy oriented to those observations
Predictive scenarios that map the future landscape
Strategic policies for the full range of possibilities
Goals and milestones to register progress
Operational plans to achieve those milestones
Tactical steps that ensure movement
The process is rigorous and comprehensive. It’s not easy. But
as Henry Ford once said, “Thinking is the hardest work there is… which
probably explains why so few people engage in it."
If you’d like to construct a strategic plan that will actually serve
you and your organization, rather than one that sits on a shelf collecting
dust until your next planning session, then you should consider our
Center of Effort™ methodology. Your stakeholders will notice the difference.
In sailing, the Center of Effort is a vector. Its symbol is a
pair of concentric circles with crosshairs through the center. There’s
one right above this paragraph.
Most people are more familiar with the Center of Gravity.
The Center of Gravity vector points straight down from an imaginary
point where all the forces of the boat’s weight and balance seem to
congregate. It’s as if a string were pulling straight down from that point
making the boat float level or tilted one way or another.
Instead of pointing down, the Center of Effort points
in the direction the boat is going. It originates at an imaginary
point on the sail where all the forces moving the boat forward
seem to congregate. It’s as if a string were attached to one
point on the sail, pulling the boat forward in the water.
Many strategic planners will help you chart a course, and wish
you luck on your journey. Our Center of Effort™ process will help you
determine where you want your organization to go and, more importantly,
how to trim your sails to get there.