Strategic Planning Kit For Dummies
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As far as strategic planning goes, no one has a crystal ball that can peer into the future, but certain trends appear to be in the making and are worth considering now. Although knowing how environmental forces are going to impact your business is difficult, they really do matter.

Take the weather, for example: You’re subconsciously aware of the force, but not until a big storm comes do you really pay attention. The important part, like everything in strategic planning, is to figure out which trends matter to your business. Huge successes can come from being aware of environmental forces.

Your operating environment is influenced by several general areas. These areas summarize the external environment every organization operates in, as shown in the figure. Remember your operating environment is the outside circle influencing your business. Some of these trends and issues may even appear to come and go in slow motion. You may not need to watch them religiously, but having an eye on them can be the key to your company’s boom — or bust. Although some of these issues may seem ridiculous to you, they may be someone else’s reality.


About This Article

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About the book author:

Erica Olsen is cofounder and COO of M3 Planning, Inc., a firm dedicated to developing and executing strategy. M3 provides consulting and facilitation services, as well as hosts products and tools such as MyStrategicPlan for leaders with big ideas who want to empower and focus their teams to achieve them.

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