Business planning and strategic decision-making

Overview of ‘Business planning and strategic decision-making’

A one-day workshop for directors (and those aspiring to Board positions) who are responsible for, or contribute in a significant way to, the business planning process and who must take the strategic decisions which form the basis of the plan. The purpose of the workshop is to ensure that all the participants are able to prepare effective and credible business plans by considering:

  • the business planning process
  • the full range of tools and techniques available for preparation of the business plan
  • the decision-making processes associated with business planning

This business planning and strategic decision-making workshop is practical and pragmatic, with worked examples and an integrative case study. It is equally appropriate to private and quoted companies.

Training objectives

At the end of this business planning and strategic decision-making workshop each participant will have:

  • A clear understanding of what a business plan is, how it is structured and how it must address the needs of differing audiences
  • Knowledge of the analytical and forecasting tools which can be used to prepare and process the data on which the plan is based
  • Knowledge of the analytical tools available for handling risk and uncertainty so that scenarios and contingency plans can be developed
  • A critical appreciation of the basis of decision-making at board level


This business planning and strategic decision-making workshop has been designed primarily for recently-appointed directors (and those aspiring to a board position), although there are clear benefits to having the entire board take part.


A highly interactive one-day course involving practical exercises, role play and case studies.

Special features

This business planning and strategic decision-making course can be tailored to include any specialist topics such as advanced telephone skills, dealing with complaints, internal planning, etc, according to organisational need or the skill level of the participants.

The expert trainer

David is a consultant and trainer in corporate governance and business planning and strategic decision-making. He is a Senior Lecturer in Strategic Management and Corporate Governance at Wolverhampton Business School and was formerly Programme Director with IoD Director Development West Midlands (and was also a member of the Executive Committee and the Council of the Institute of Directors in Birmingham).

For sixteen of the twenty-five years he spent in manufacturing industry before joining the Business School in 1992, David held board level appointments, including nine years as Managing Director. He has experience of serving on the boards of a family company, of subsidiary companies within a UK plc and a foreign owned multinational, where he was a member of the European Management Group. Originally a market researcher, he has experience of setting up overseas joint ventures and has held personal responsibility for company disposals and acquisitions in the UK. He has wide experience of doing business in Europe.

His extensive practical experience is complemented by his academic work. He is visiting lecturer at two other Business Schools and lectures throughout the UK and abroad, recently in Russia, Hong Kong, the Caribbean and throughout Europe. He is also conducting doctoral research into the role of the non-executive director in private companies and has published on the role of company directors and the effectiveness of boards, especially in the context of family businesses and closely-held companies.

David is a very accomplished trainer, as the feedback from course participants shows:

‘Relaxed style but good engagement.’

‘Well balanced and easy to follow.’

‘Excellent – very thought-provoking.’

‘Lots of opportunity to discuss content of the course.’

‘Input will stimulate board discussion.’

‘Really enjoyable – participative humorous style with obvious depth of knowledge to back it up.’

‘Great pace – very inclusive style – good examples.’

‘Good balance of quiz, case studies, video and notes.’

‘Delivered a very complex subject extremely effectively.’

‘More than met my objectives.’

‘Brilliant course.’

Course outline – ‘Business planning and strategic decision-making’

  1. Introduction to business planning
    • Purpose of business planning
    • The hierarchy of strategies
    • Overview of functional strategies
    • The business planning model and the structure of the business plan
    • Relating the business plan to the needs of its audience
  2. Tools, techniques and target-setting
    • Forecasting volumes, target-setting and developing the budget
    • Break-even analysis and contingency planning
    • Pricing for profit
  3. Uncertainty and risk
    • Cause and effect analysis, multiple cause analysis
    • Data and logic models for handling uncertainty
    • Risk management, what if analysis, developing scenarios and simulation models
  4. Decision-making and problem-solving
    • Rational and non-rational decision-making
    • Structured problem-solving
    • Novelty, complexity and ambiguity
    • Phases in problem-solving
  5. Integrative case study
  6. Review
    • Case study review
    • Course review
    • Actions
    • Close

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