Editor's Note: Take a look at our featured best practice, Strategic Planning: Process, Key Frameworks, and Tools (79-slide PowerPoint presentation). This document provides a holistic approach for undertaking strategic planning. While covering the traditional strategic planning approach, the document touches on adaptations that may be used in an unpredictable environment. Contents: 1. Strategic Planning Overview - Key questions and [read more]
The Strategic Goals Grid, an Alternative Framework to SWOT Analysis
Also, if you are interested in becoming an expert on Strategy Development, take a look at Flevy's Strategy Development Frameworks offering here. This is a curated collection of best practice frameworks based on the thought leadership of leading consulting firms, academics, and recognized subject matter experts. By learning and applying these concepts, you can you stay ahead of the curve. Full details here.
* * * *
One of the most popular Strategic Planning tool among executives is the SWOT analysis (or SWOT matrix). However, sometimes assessing the organization’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats is not enough to set the direction for the planning process or to implement Business Transformation.
An alternative framework to SWOT analysis is the Strategic Goals Grid (SGG). The SGG gives planners a different perspective to view the organization, the direction it has taken, the course that the collective wisdom of the organization wants to take, and to set goals. SGG is an extremely effective overall Organizational Analysis tool for senior leaders responsible for Planning, Strategy Development, Transformation, Growth, and Profitability.
SGG is a 2×2 matrix, fashioned by examining the “Yes” and “No” answers to 2 critical questions:
- Do you want something?
- Do you have it?
The combination of the “Yes” and “No” answers to these questions define 4 basic categories for goals and objectives:
- ACHIEVE – if you want something you do not have, your goal is to obtain it.
- PRESERVE – if you want something you already have, your aim is to keep it.
- AVOID – if there is something you do not want and do not have, your goal is to avoid it.
- ELIMINATE – if there is something you do not want but have, your goal is to get rid of it.
These 4 categories of goals—ACHIEVE, PRESERVE, AVOID, and ELIMINATE—constitute the Strategic Goals Grid when drawn on a 2×2 grid.
The Strategic Goals Grid can be used to facilitate discussions and to record and communicate the results of such discussions. Individuals can complete the grid separately and then compare, discuss, and integrate their individual efforts into a consolidated matrix.
SGG can be employed for kick-starting the Strategic Planning process in 3 progressive steps:
- Visualize and Document
- Synthesize and Align
Let us dig a little deeper into the individual framework steps.
Visualize and Document
The 1st step in formulating the Strategic Goals Grid is an individual exercise, which takes about 15 minutes to accomplish. The step entails taking input from all relevant participants of the Strategy Development workshop. The activity requires from the participants to write their responses on individual copies of the Strategic Goals Grid. The participants record their input regarding the critical questions of what to ACHIEVE, PRESERVE, AVOID, and ELIMINATE.
The question, “What do we want to eliminate?” is very effective in triggering group discussions on any issues that exist across the organization. The question, “What do we want to avoid?” focuses the group’s discussion to anticipated issues and/or threats to the organization.
The 2nd step is a group activity, where the strategy development group engages in an exercise in which individual responses gathered during the first step are shared with the participants. The individual responses are projected on a large screen and recorded on a computer. Using one quadrant at a time, the group evaluates the list and repeats this process for all quadrants. The list of individual responses becomes the collective wish list or the collective wisdom accrued over a period based on realities faced on-ground.
Synthesize and Align
The 3rd step is also a group exercise that entails rationalizing the responses gathered in the previous steps through discussion and analysis. The list is carefully scrutinized and trimmed considering the objectives for the future. These objectives are aligned with the priorities and values embodied by the organization. The list of individual responses are refined and a consensus is developed on the finalized list.
Interested in learning more about the Strategic Goals Grid, its utilization, benefits compared to SWOT Analysis, and how to populate the grid? You can download an editable PowerPoint on the Strategic Goals Grid (SGG) here on the Flevy documents marketplace.
Do You Find Value in This Framework?
You can download in-depth presentations on this and hundreds of similar business frameworks from the FlevyPro Library. FlevyPro is trusted and utilized by 1000s of management consultants and corporate executives. Here’s what some have to say:
“My FlevyPro subscription provides me with the most popular frameworks and decks in demand in today’s market. They not only augment my existing consulting and coaching offerings and delivery, but also keep me abreast of the latest trends, inspire new products and service offerings for my practice, and educate me in a fraction of the time and money of other solutions. I strongly recommend FlevyPro to any consultant serious about success.”
– Bill Branson, Founder at Strategic Business Architects
“As a niche strategic consulting firm, Flevy and FlevyPro frameworks and documents are an on-going reference to help us structure our findings and recommendations to our clients as well as improve their clarity, strength, and visual power. For us, it is an invaluable resource to increase our impact and value.”
– David Coloma, Consulting Area Manager at Cynertia Consulting
“As a small business owner, the resource material available from FlevyPro has proven to be invaluable. The ability to search for material on demand based our project events and client requirements was great for me and proved very beneficial to my clients. Importantly, being able to easily edit and tailor the material for specific purposes helped us to make presentations, knowledge sharing, and toolkit development, which formed part of the overall program collateral. While FlevyPro contains resource material that any consultancy, project or delivery firm must have, it is an essential part of a small firm or independent consultant’s toolbox.”
– Michael Duff, Managing Director at Change Strategy (UK)
“FlevyPro has been a brilliant resource for me, as an independent growth consultant, to access a vast knowledge bank of presentations to support my work with clients. In terms of RoI, the value I received from the very first presentation I downloaded paid for my subscription many times over! The quality of the decks available allows me to punch way above my weight – it’s like having the resources of a Big 4 consultancy at your fingertips at a microscopic fraction of the overhead.”
– Roderick Cameron, Founding Partner at SGFE Ltd
“Several times a month, I browse FlevyPro for presentations relevant to the job challenge I have (I am a consultant). When the subject requires it, I explore further and buy from the Flevy Marketplace. On all occasions, I read them, analyze them. I take the most relevant and applicable ideas for my work; and, of course, all this translates to my and my clients’ benefits.”
– Omar Hernán Montes Parra, CEO at Quantum SFE
Want to Achieve Excellence in Strategy Development?
Gain the knowledge and develop the expertise to become an expert in Strategy Development. Our frameworks are based on the thought leadership of leading consulting firms, academics, and recognized subject matter experts. Click here for full details.
"Strategy without Tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without Strategy is the noise before defeat." - Sun Tzu
For effective Strategy Development and Strategic Planning, we must master both Strategy and Tactics. Our frameworks cover all phases of Strategy, from Strategy Design and Formulation to Strategy Deployment and Execution; as well as all levels of Strategy, from Corporate Strategy to Business Strategy to "Tactical" Strategy. Many of these methodologies are authored by global strategy consulting firms and have been successfully implemented at their Fortune 100 client organizations.
These frameworks include Porter's Five Forces, BCG Growth-Share Matrix, Greiner's Growth Model, Capabilities-driven Strategy (CDS), Business Model Innovation (BMI), Value Chain Analysis (VCA), Endgame Niche Strategies, Value Patterns, Integrated Strategy Model for Value Creation, Scenario Planning, to name a few.
Readers of This Article Are Interested in These Resources
77-slide PowerPoint presentation
86-slide PowerPoint presentation
About Mark BridgesMark Bridges is a Senior Director of Strategy at Flevy. Flevy is your go-to resource for best practices in business management, covering management topics from Strategic Planning to Operational Excellence to Digital Transformation (view full list here). Learn how the Fortune 100 and global consulting firms do it. Improve the growth and efficiency of your organization by leveraging Flevy's library of best practice methodologies and templates. Prior to Flevy, Mark worked as an Associate at McKinsey & Co. and holds an MBA from the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago. You can connect with Mark on LinkedIn here.
2x2 matrix, Achieve, Avoid, Business Transformation, Coalesce, consulting, Do You Have It, Do You Want Something, Eliminate, Guide, Management Consultant, Opportunities, Planning Process, Preserve, Quadrants, SGG, Strategic Goals Grid, strategic planning, strategy development, Strength, SWOT, SWOT Analysis, SWOT Matrix, Synthesize and Align, Threats, training, Visualize and Document, Weakness
Top 10 Recommended Documents on Strategic Planning