Close this search box.
Close this search box.

Mid-Markets can Leverage More Strategic Planning to Drive Growth

While mid-market organizations continue to drive record growth, many could still be selling themselves short by not fully taking advantage of integrated business planning.

One thing successful mid-marketers all have in common is that they embrace best practice business management principles and implement key elements of the value chain through integrated business planning (IBP). But while mid-market organizations continue to drive record growth, many could still be selling themselves short by not fully taking advantage of IBP.

Integrated business planning extends the principles of sales and operations planning throughout the supply chain, customer portfolios, consumer demand and strategic planning, to deliver on seamless process. It involves aligning company plans every month to achieve the most effective and profitable outcome, according to consultancy Oliver Wight.

Some of the main challenges mid-marketers face is establishing disciplined financial planning and execution, sustaining growth, and attracting and retaining talent. OW said mid-market firms can use an IBP process that aligns strategy, portfolio, demand, supply and financials through a driven, monthly replanning process. “The result is a single operating plan over a 24+ month horizon, to which the senior executives hold themselves and their teams accountable for achieving,” the company said.

In their latest study, Oliver Wight noted that many companies postpone formal planning initiatives because executives feel there are “too many things going on.” Yet the consultancy equates such procrastination to continuously chopping wood and forgetting to sharpen the axe.


Not every organization is ripe for IBP, however. Oliver Wight uses a maturity model with 4 key phases of maturity that includes:

  1. Integration of business processes and technology
  2. Knowledge-based automation of processes
  3. Eliminating failure in processes, and
  4. Eliminating unplanned events

The firm said companies need to move along the proven path to the “Class A standard” of business excellence. “Your progression to fully integrated business planning is made through a series of 5 transitional steps, each of which will produce nothing less than a transformation in your organization,” said the consultancy.

Many organizations have to work more on basic strategic planning before they’re ready for IBP. James Cassel, co-founder and chairman of investment banking firm Cassel Salpeter, said many mid-markets fail to devote the necessary time, energy and resources to design an effective strategy. “Plans often sit on shelves garnering more attention from dust and mites than from company executives,” said Cassel.

He said mid-market executives should first identify the right management team members to participate in developing the plan. Executives should seek broadly-diversified teams that include members who may have previously worked for other companies. Directors should then consider where they want their business to be in the next 12 months, 24r months and 5 years. “Envision revenues, growth, employees, locations, [and] products and services offered. A good strategic plan should cover 5 years and be continuously reviewed and modified,” Cassel said.

Key elements of a strategic plan should generally include a bold vision, a mission, values, a SWOT analysis and goals. Finally, there should be key performance indicators to enable evaluation and adjustment of objectives. Cassel said creating the plan is only the first part of the battle and that “the real challenge is implementing it and keeping it updated.”

You might also like:
The 3 Strategy Questions Every CEO Should Ask Regularly
The Secret to a Successful Strategic Planning Process
3 Strategies from the 2016 CEO Digital Transformation Summit


  • Get the CEO Briefing

    Sign up today to get weekly access to the latest issues affecting CEOs in every industry
  • upcoming events


    Strategic Planning Workshop

    1:00 - 5:00 pm

    Over 70% of Executives Surveyed Agree: Many Strategic Planning Efforts Lack Systematic Approach Tips for Enhancing Your Strategic Planning Process

    Executives expressed frustration with their current strategic planning process. Issues include:

    1. Lack of systematic approach (70%)
    2. Laundry lists without prioritization (68%)
    3. Decisions based on personalities rather than facts and information (65%)


    Steve Rutan and Denise Harrison have put together an afternoon workshop that will provide the tools you need to address these concerns.  They have worked with hundreds of executives to develop a systematic approach that will enable your team to make better decisions during strategic planning.  Steve and Denise will walk you through exercises for prioritizing your lists and steps that will reset and reinvigorate your process.  This will be a hands-on workshop that will enable you to think about your business as you use the tools that are being presented.  If you are ready for a Strategic Planning tune-up, select this workshop in your registration form.  The additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    New York, NY: ​​​Chief Executive's Corporate Citizenship Awards 2017

    Women in Leadership Seminar and Peer Discussion

    2:00 - 5:00 pm

    Female leaders face the same issues all leaders do, but they often face additional challenges too. In this peer session, we will facilitate a discussion of best practices and how to overcome common barriers to help women leaders be more effective within and outside their organizations. 

    Limited space available.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $495 will be added to your total.

    Golf Outing

    10:30 - 5:00 pm
    General’s Retreat at Hermitage Golf Course
    Sponsored by UBS

    General’s Retreat, built in 1986 with architect Gary Roger Baird, has been voted the “Best Golf Course in Nashville” and is a “must play” when visiting the Nashville, Tennessee area. With the beautiful setting along the Cumberland River, golfers of all capabilities will thoroughly enjoy the golf, scenery and hospitality.

    The golf outing fee includes transportation to and from the hotel, greens/cart fees, use of practice facilities, and boxed lunch. The bus will leave the hotel at 10:30 am for a noon shotgun start and return to the hotel after the cocktail reception following the completion of the round.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $295 will be added to your total.