The Strategic Elephants
The Argenti System is designed to concentrate your thoughts on the truly strategic issues. These are the ones you must get right if your organization is to prosper in the long term. All your other decisions, yes, hundreds of them, will follow in a logical cascade from these key strategic ones. The hallmark of effective strategic planning is the small number and the great significance of the decisions it tackles.
The most important of all its many special features is the way The Argenti System conducts the strategic review to find and address just these few key issues. We believe this rule is unique to our system. We define a strategic elephant as a strength, weakness, threat or opportunity, or a combination of these, which will affect your organization’s performance by more than 30% now, or in the future. Your executives will search for the strategic elephants in The SWOTE Workshop, one The Argenti System’s key stages.
Suppose you experience high labour turnover, poor productivity and high sickness absences. You have not got three problems, you only have one – your poor Human Resource policy. Get ‘How You Treat Your Employees’ right, which is obviously the elephant here, and all these detailed problems will go away.
So The Argenti System sees the strategic planning exercise as an elephant hunt - the Chief Executive and his team join together as a hunting party to search through their organization and its forecast environment for those issues that are of elephantine long term significance.
Because the Argenti System teaches them to ignore anything that is not of this huge gravity the exercise never becomes bogged down in detail as so many systems of planning do. It is very difficult for busy executives to stop ‘fighting fires’ and to take the time to peer into the future. The Argenti System is designed to help them concentrate on the elephants.
Once these strategic elephants have been identified The Argenti System then invites the planning team to determine a small set of highly effective strategies to deal with these key issues. Get these right and all the lesser problems fall into perspective. Why only six? The Argenti System has never seen an organization - even those in very serious difficulties - with more than six.
This is just one out of several highly significant differences between our process and all the others. These are described briefly below.