The Little Black Book of Strategic Planning for Distributors

by Brent R. Grover

Strategic Planning-Generated Ideas: Survival of the Fittest

Strategic planning meetings are an ideal setting for forming creative and innovative ideas to move companies forward. The meetings, especially those held away from the constant interference of email and other digital distractions, help planning team members break away from the day-to-day mindset to think outside the box.

Because companies have limited resources, though, not all ideas generated in the planning process can make it past the drawing board. To transition the best ideas into actionable initiatives, the planning group must somehow select the most realistic ideas with the highest potential ROI from all of those suggested.

In The Little Black Book of Strategic Planning for Distributors, Brent Grover gives distribution strategic planning teams a system for evaluating ideas generated during the process. Brent recommends breaking the planning group into small teams to assess the ideas based on the planning process to date. Each team rejects some ideas, modifies others and creates totally new ones.

The teams then take turns pitching their favorite ideas to the group during a winnowing process, with participants vetting each idea against certain criteria. Brent says the group should ask questions such as “Is the idea big enough to make a difference? Will it ‘move the needle’? Is the idea realistic? Can the company afford to finance it?”

Brent offers more questions to help in the winnowing process and explains what to do next in The Little Black Book of Strategic Planning for Distributors, available now.

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