Strategic Planning & Facilitation

Taking an excerpt from an interview with Michael Porter in Dec 21, 2011 conduct by Joan Magretta, Joan asked:

“What are the most common strategy mistakes you see?”

Michael Porter: The granddaddy of all mistakes is competing to be the best, going down the same path as everybody else and thinking that somehow you can achieve better results. This is a hard race to win. So many managers confuse operational effectiveness with strategy. Another common mistake is confusing marketing with strategy. It’s natural for strategy to arise from a focus on customers and their needs. So in many companies, strategy is built around the value proposition, which is the demand side of the equation. But a robust strategy requires a tailored value chain—it’s about the supply side as well, the unique configuration of activities that delivers value. Strategy links choices on the demand side with the unique choices about the value chain (the supply side). You can’t have competitive advantage without both.

The granddaddy of all mistakes is competing to be the best, going down the same path as everybody else and thinking that somehow you can achieve better results.

Another mistake is to overestimate strengths. There’s an inward-looking bias in many organizations. You might perceive customer service as a strong area. So that becomes the “strength” on which you attempt to build a strategy. But a real strength for strategy purposes has to be something the company can do better than any of its rivals. And “better” because you are performing different activities than they perform, because you’ve chosen a different configuration than they have.”

Considering what Michael Porter had said, and in addition to other drawbacks in creating effective strategy is a clear distinction between your competitors. Some of the question should be asked are:

Is there a single word that comes to mind when you asked your customers about your company?

What are the brand promises you are making to them?

How are you guaranteeing that promise will be delivered?

Do you have three to five distinct activities that fit Michael Porter’s definition of the essence of differentiation?

Do you have one “X- factor” termed by Verne Harnish, that would give you 10 to 100 times advantage over your competitors?

Submit RFP Form

Why SAF International

 Performance based services delivery

 Experienced in the industry

 Highly sought-after consultants in the industry

 Ability to consult cross industry approaches for distinction ideas

saf international strategic planning1

Breaking away from the crowd

We at SAF International help create strategies that have proven record and have been used successfully implemented by many organizations. The resulting strategy addresses and defines all the questions posed above as it relates to the distinction in your strategic approach and the distinction in the eyes of the customers, thereby giving you an edge in the market place.


Taking the same approach in creating strategies as other companies

No clear distinction in approach

No clear distinction from the eyes of the customer

Same old methodologies applied in creating strategies themselves

saf international strategic panning & facilitation2


Create strategies that gives you the distinction

Create strategy that gives you an edge in market place

Create strategy that is easily and methodically executed

Create strategy that not only see long term goals and objectives, but also day to day, week to week, month to month view or prioritized tasks that keep you focused


Multiplied rate of cash flow (double in some cases)

Multiplied industry average of profitability (Tripled in some cases)

Increased valuation of the firm relative to competitors