10 Questions to Sharpen Your Strategic Thinking


10 Questions to Sharpen Your Strategic Thinking

Here are 10 questions that can be used to help develop a strategic plan:

  1. What are our primary customer segments today—the people for whom we are trying to create the most value? What will they be in five years or ten years? (Pick a planning horizon.)
  2. What is our current business model? How does it translate into profitability? How will it change in five years?
  3. What trends are affecting our customers? How will they perceive the value of our products and services changing over the next five years?
  4. What alternatives to our products and services do our customers have? How are those alternatives changing?
  5. Are we focusing on the right customers? Are our competitors also focused on the same customers? What would happen if we shifted our customer focus?
  6. What could we do more of (or less of) to create increased value for our customers?
  7. What might be some essential innovations in our way of doing business that would create added value for our customers? How could we redefine our way of doing business?
  8. Based on the above, what should be our vision? What outcomes are we trying to achieve? What are the rationales for that vision?
  9. Based on the above, what is our internal plan—how do we envision our organization changing over the next five years to support our vision?
  10. What are the major priorities for change and investment we need to make in order to realize that vision?

Related Tool: Keys to Successful Strategic Thinking