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Planning Exercise

Industry Trends Exercise
Why is Wayne Gretzky one of pro hockey's all-time greats? Gretzky says the trick is "skating to where the puck's going to be, not where it is." Anticipating his teammates' moves and competitors' reactions, he dynamically positions himself to take the shot. This time-tested strategy landed Gretzky among the National Hockey League's leading scorers for over ten years.

Your company can glide to the top using a similar approach, dynamically positioning itself to anticipate the market's direction and competitors' responses. That's one way strategic planning gives you an edge. Unlike operational planning, strategic planning focuses on where you need to be in three to five years.

Failing to look ahead is like skating blindfolded. You never know how close you are to the goal.

Understanding industry trends There are various approaches to understanding trends in your industry-gathering and analyzing secondary data already available, for example, or collecting primary data from your customers, suppliers, and other key stakeholders.

Too many companies overlook one of the best and most convenient sources of industry insight-the management team. If your managers are up on your industry, you have a storehouse of information at your fingertips.

You can do the same Industry Trends Exercise that enables our clients to tap the knowledge and expertise of their managers. Through this structured exercise the management team

  • Identifies and prioritizes key trends that are likely to affect the company - for all key stakeholder groups within the industry (customers, suppliers, governments, and others).
  • Outlines strategies to take advantage of favorable trends.
  • Develops strategies to minimize the impact of unfavorable trends.

If your industry is in flux, facing environmental changes that could affect your future success, try the Industry Trends Exercise. It will help you reach your goals as you grow and your industry evolves.

Using the Industry Trends Exercise with your team Simply download the instructions, available in both Acrobat (.pdf) and Microsoft Word (.doc) formats. The instructions include a facilitation outline, discussion questions, a prework assignment, and an output report format. To save time before and during the session, your team can complete the prework assignment online in about 20 minutes.

Click here to try the Industry Trends exercise and see what type of information you will get from your team.

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Strategy Quote Of The Day

"Denial ain't just a river in Egypt"

- Mark Twain (1835-1910)

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