Strategy: thriving in challenging times

A one-day workshop

Day-to-day pressures in many organisations may mean that operational items force strategy off the agenda or are delegated to the few. However, the firms that outperform the competition have found a way to respond to the challenge of balancing operational excellence while keeping a focus on strategy. The failure to balance the tensions between strategy and operations is pervasive.

Various studies done in the past 25 years indicate that 60% to 80% of companies fall short of the success predicted from their new strategies. However, some firms can succeed in difficult industries, while others struggle in sectors where competitors do well. For example, the airline industry is notoriously unprofitable and therefore unattractive but some firms, such as Southwest Airlines in the USA, are significant profitable exceptions.

This course will help you understand how a different mindset and approach can help these successful organisations to pull ahead of the competition. In recent years it has become evident that developing strategy is important but only if attention is also paid to implementation.

This course provides you with the information to understand the latest thinking in the field strategy and challenges you to use the latest methods and tools to gain a deeper understanding of your own organisation’s strategic strengths and weaknesses. You will be encouraged to consider the challenge of exactly what is the ‘performance’ that management seeks to improve. An integrated set of processes and tools will be presented, often used to develop strategies.

You will then be asked to consider the human and behavioural aspects of implementation and how these translate into operational actions. Plans are the written or articulated forms of strategic plans, useful to record and monitor progress. You will be asked to review their effectiveness and how they can be improved.

Learning objectives

This workshop will help you to:

  • Recognise how businesses have used strategic thinking and planning to build success
  • Identify relevant measures to monitor the success of strategies being implemented
  • Use a systematic approach to formulate and implement strategy
  • Develop your ability to think strategically – a key competency for the 21st century
  • Create strategic plans that can be implemented

As a result of attending:

  • You will be a much stronger strategic thinker and leader
  • You will be able to communicate your strategy with your team: through influence, support and challenge
  • You will learn the value of getting your people aligned and engaged: motivating yourself and others
  • You will increase your level of confidence and influence at more senior levels
  • You will develop strategic leadership skills over and above those of a manager

Who should attend?

The course has been designed for those managers who have a serious desire to become better strategic leaders. It is as useful to those just starting to become more strategic in their thinking or role as for those who have been a strategic leader for many years and would like to refresh and update their knowledge and techniques. The course can boost you to the next level of strategic management.

  • Team leaders
  • Supervisors
  • Managers
  • Senior managers
  • Directors


This one-day workshop is highly participative.

Expert trainer

James Talbot is a multi-skilled and knowledgeable strategy expert and business planning and performance improvement professional with over 20 years’ experience, who is self-motivated, energetic and adaptable, a strategic thinker and consultant qualified as a (CMC) Certified Management Consultant, having in the last 12 years worked almost exclusively overseas in the Middle East, European and Asian markets.

Advising, consulting and delivery of strategy, business planning and performance improvement working from top to bottom in a variety of organisations, and acting as consultant to a number of industries in the Middle East, he has delivered numerous training seminars and international conferences as a keynote speaker.

1 Strategic challenges faced by leaders

  • What is strategy?
  • How do we measure success?
  • Corporate strategy and competitive strategy
  • The problem with strategic planning
  • Popular strategy tools – understanding their limits
  • New approaches to strategy
  • Understanding your business environment

2 New approaches to strategic development

  • Competitive strategy – analysis techniques
  • Resource-based strategy
  • Blue ocean strategy
  • Disruptive strategy
  • Emergent strategy
  • Strategic thinking – the state of the art
  • Strategic thinking methods and tools

3 Strategic leaders influence and decision making

  • Setting your direction: mission, vision and values
  • Strategic analysis
  • Strategy formulation
  • Develop a strategic plan
  • Define strategic objectives, measures and targets
  • Strategy maps – behaviours and outputs

4 What you measure is what you get

  • Design and improve management and business processes
  • The balanced scorecard
  • Develop operational plans
  • Resource planning
  • Dashboards
  • Budgets, profit & loss accounts
  • Learn from operational data
  • Revise and strengthen your strategy

5 Personal challenge – plan to act

  • Your organisation’s mission, vision and values
  • Analysing your business
  • Developing your strategic plan
  • Review of key learning points

Any questions? Please just give us a call on 01582 463463 – we’re here to help!