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Change Designs


September 2014
Practical expertise @ work.
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Formulating strategy

Develop a high quality strategic plan




It is strategy season. During the next few months executives will spend days in strategy workshops or retreats in order to develop new strategic plans to guide their organizations into the future. Yet only a small percentage of strategy workshops actually deliver the results people expect. Most of them will be a monumental waste of time.

In our first article, we begin with an article on planning to plan. What you need to plan before running a strategic planning workshop or retreat.

A group can't plan for the future, if they don't know how the world is changing around them. They can't identify new opportunities or threats, if they aren't aware of the latest strategic trends. Our new gold premium tool in our member zone, Strategic Trends 2014, provides up to date research on global political, social, economic, technological and business trends in an attractive, easy to use pinboard. Use this practical tool to ensure the strategic plan your organization develops is relevant for the future.

Many successful strategy workshops result in a number of projects that cut across different organizational divisions, or business units. In his article on the essentials of project management, Anton van den Berg provides the essentials you need to deliver any project successfully.

We hope that these articles and tools will help you to achieve success in planning for the future.

The Change Designs team

New articles:



Plan to plan.

How to plan your strategic planning workshop.

A successful strategic planning workshop doesn't just happen. For the strategy workshop to deliver the benefits you want, you need to plan before you plan. The more effort you invest in planning your strategy workshop, the more likely it is that your workshop will be successful.

This practical article provides 9 action steps you can use to plan for a successful strategy workshop

Plan a strategy workshop.


Project management essentials.

The minimum you need to deliver any project successfully.

Once you have developed your strategic plan, you will use cross functional projects to implement your strategy. However project management can be daunting and even intimidating. In this practical article, Anton van den Berg cuts through the jargon and explains the essentials of project managment in a practical, easy to understand way.

He provides 6 essential questions any project manager needs to answer. He explains the basic rule of shaping stakeholder expectations about a project. Then he lists the 5 documents you need to work on, in order to plan and control your strategic projects successfully.

Project management essentials.

What's new in our member zone


Strategic trend


Strategic Trends 2014

Up to date research on political, economic, social, technological and business trends.

Strategic Trends play an important role in any strategic planning process. You can't plan for the future, if you don't know how the world around you is changing, or how these changes are likely to impact on your industry or your markets.

Up to date strategic trends research helps a group to think outside of the box and to come up with innovative new opportunities. Trends are used to develop scenarios of the future environment, and to identify key success factors the organization needs to follow in order to succeed in the future.

Our new gold premium member tool - the Strategic Trends Tool consists of:

  1. A pin-board of strategic trend cards which can be filtered according to various categories: political, social, economic, technological and business trends. The pin-board shows a summary of each card. Groups can choose the cards they want to work with during a workshop, and pin these cards to their own trends pin-board
  2. 42 on-line trend cards. These contain up to date research on each trend. In a workshop groups can edit the cards, adding their interpretation of how each trend will impact on their organization, or what opportunities and threats the organization could experience as a result of each new trend.
  3. A report function to save precious workshop time. During a workshop, groups can produce a summary report of the trends they pinned to their own trend pin-board, as well as the notes they made on how the trend will impact on their organization. All at the click of a button. The facilitator can simply copy and paste their reports into a word file or directly into the final strategic planning document.

We are proud and excited about our new gold premium member tool. We know this will add incredible value to any strategic planning, business development or innovation workshop you may run.

Go to Strategic Trends 2014 - a PEST analysis tool.

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