Creating a Strategic Plan that Addresses Your Organization’s Most Critical Issues

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    Speaker: Pete Tosh

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    Duration: 60 Minutes
    Product Code: 51345
    Level: Intermediate

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There is a proactive approach – the Action Research Strategic Planning Process - that allows teams to react to and address organizational issues, changes and challenges while generating the necessary buy-in and follow through. The Action Research Strategic Planning Process is a planned series of process steps that:

• Obtains from the team their action/improvement-oriented proposals regarding the priority issues
• Facilitates with that team the development of organizational change management strategies to improve its performance by understanding, discussing, developing and implementing a strategic action plan that addresses the team’s priority issues

The objectives of the Action Research Strategic Planning Process are to:

• Provide the team a forum for voicing the organizational issues of greatest concern to them as well as their proposals for addressing those issues
• Take advantage of the team’s perceptions, experiences, and insight in order to enhance the organizational performance relative to its critical issues
• Improve the working relationships between the team members who “must work together” in order to implement the plan

The benefits to using the Action Research Strategic Planning Process are:

• The issues addressed are ‘real world’, current and of the highest priority to the team – versus ‘top of mind’ reactions during meetings
• Everyone has an equal voice in the process throughout each step which creates maximum buy-in, participation, ownership and follow through
• There is maximum candor through confidentiality because names are never associated with any of the participants’ responses
• The process takes advantage of participants’ experience, knowledge and suggestions - the people who know better than anyone else - what should and needs to be done
• The process saves meeting time by being able to immediately display and begin discussing the team’s prior best thinking
• The process results in action steps with accountabilities and timelines for addressing the critical organizational issues - that have a ‘life’ after the planning meeting


Organization are sometimes challenged with having the agility to respond rapidly and effectively to their key business issues. Many formerly very successful organizations lacked agility – do you remember: A&P, Blockbuster, Circuit City, Borders, Ringling Brothers and Toys R Us?

The larger an organization the greater its talent base and capabilities – but as the number of participants increases communication and problem resolution become more challenging. Lacking is not the talent but a means of tapping into the knowledge, skills and experience of that talent – in a manner that generates their buy-in.


The Action Research Strategic Planning Process is a purposeful, planned series of steps that:

• obtains from a team their input relative to their critical issues
• then facilitates with that team the development of a strategic plan to improve its performance by discussing, understanding, and acting upon those critical issues

Action Research Strategic Planning Process Methodology:

Step #1. The participating members of the team receive an introductory email and an open-ended request for them to submit their issues of greatest concern/importance relative to the team’s performance

Step #2. A questionnaire is developed which seeks/probes for action oriented, suggestions for improvement - relative to the previously identified critical issues

Step #3. Individual, confidential interviews are conducted with each participant obtaining their proposed improvement steps/initiatives related to each of the critical issues

Step #4. The interview responses are compiled, collated and built into a power point presentation

Step #5. A planning meeting[s] is conducted allowing the team to:

• review and discuss their responses to each question
• develop an action/improvement plan with champions, accountabilities and due dates for each improvement initiative

During the planning meeting[s] the participants are encouraged to:

• be involved and take advantage of the opportunity
• be candid yet remain open minded to the opinions of others
• maintain an action orientation – recommend solutions versus voicing complaints
• assist in the development of a practical and focused strategic plan

Step #6. The key comments, action plan steps, champions, accountabilities, and due dates as developed during the planning meeting[s] are captured and submitted to the participants allowing them to follow through on ‘their’ strategic plan.


The Action Research Strategic Planning Process is effective in a variety of situations:

• Team building
• Change management process and organizational transitions
• Conflict resolution strategies
• Customer service improvement ideas
• Organization or function strategic planning
• Customer advisory boards

This webinar will walk through each of the steps in utilizing this practical and effective Strategic Planning Process for improving organizational performance.


Anyone with supervisory, managerial and/or leadership responsibility


Years of Experience: 25+ years

Areas of Expertise: Leadership Development and HR Management

Pete Tosh is Founder of The Focus Group, a management consulting and training firm that assists organizations in sustaining profitable growth through four core disciplines:

  • Implementing Strategic HR Initiatives
  • Maximizing Leadership Effectiveness
  • Strategic Planning
  • Enhancing Customer Loyalty

The Focus Group has provided these consulting and training services to manufacturing and service organizations across the U.S., Canada, Europe and the Middle East. Pete has worked closely with the leadership teams of organizations such as Exxon, Brinks, EMC, State Farm, Marriott, N.C.I. and Freddie Mac.

Prior to founding his own firm 25 years ago, Pete had 15 years of experience — at the plant, divisional and corporate levels — in Human Resource and Quality functions. Pete held leadership positions — to include the V.P. of Human Resources and Quality — with Allied Signal, Imperial Chemical Industries, Reynolds Metals, Charter Medical and Access Integrated Networks. 

Pete also frequently facilitates a variety of leadership development programs for organizations such as the American Management Association — including Strategic Planning, Moving from an Operational Manager to a Strategic Leader, Strategic HR Management and Utilizing HR Metrics. Employees from over 3,000 organizations have benefited from Pete’s experience and perspective. Pete is co-author of Leading Your Organization to the Next Level: the Core Disciplines of Sustained Profitable Growth. 

Pete holds a B.A. degree in Psychology from Emory and Henry College and Masters degrees in both Business Administration and Industrial Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University.

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