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Strategic Planning Kit For Dummies®, 2nd Edition by Erica Olsen

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Futurecasting: Looking to the Future

In order to make the most of your planning effort and the work you've put into your vision statement so far, put your strategic thinking hat on and envision the future. Companies spend a lot of time predicting what sales will be like in the future, but little time actually thinking about the factors that impact that future. These factors include the following:

  • Underlying dynamics
  • The sweeping trajectory of new competition
  • The way customers evolve
  • The collision course one industry may be on with another

Consider starting your annual strategic planning retreat by futurecasting — the practice of trying to envision your company's future. Really push your team to think about what will be happening in five or ten years. I walk you through several exercises in the following sections that help you focus your viewpoint on your company's future.

image A strategic plan is as much about the planning as it is about the strategizing. Futurecasting helps you really push your big-picture thinking to develop a strategic plan that's truly, well, strategic.

Getting into the right frame of mind for futurecasting

Unfortunately, most people can't just jump mentally from now to the future. In this section, I show you a mind-bending exercise that can help your team get its creative juices flowing.

Ask your team the following questions in a group setting. Read the answers ...

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