When we work in the planning mode we start off anchored in the current reality of today’s organization (1) and we project into the future constrained by all the associated limitations and restrictions. Working like this we arrive at the incremental future organization (2) that will not be so different from today’s organization. For this reason, “strategy” done from a planning focus often fails. Doing planning is not the same as doing strategy and therefore “strategic planning” is a contradiction in terms.

Graphic Representation of Planning



True strategy, on the other hand, is done by moving in the opposite direction. First, the envisioned future organization (3) becomes the goal, without regard to the constraints of the current organization, which then becomes yesterday’s organization (4). The mental process is precisely the reverse of that used when doing planning. We start the process with the vision of the future organization, liberated of the current limitation and constraints, and we determine what needs to be changed to turn that vision into reality.

Graphic Representation of Strategy




These diagrams have been adapted from the book The Great Big Book of Process Visuals written by Dr. Alan Weiss


Patrick Daly

Managing Director, Alba Consulting

Supply chain excellence to accelerate the growth of our clients’ businesses


Author of the book International Supply Chain Relationships:

Creating Competitive Advantage in a Globalized Economy


21st Century Warehousing: Strategy and Operation

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