Featured course  Best-practice strategic planning


Download the PDF with an executive summary of this tailored learning concept.


Course background

Could we have anticipated that a Tunisian street vendor´s protest was the precursor of major unrest in a number of Arab states? Or that an earthquake in Japan would play a role in the German exit from nuclear power generation? Our business environment is becoming more complex, which has resulted in a rise in the number of unexpected events and accompanying uncertainty. As a result, planning for the future seems to become more and more difficult. One thing that is certain is that our strategic planning processes and techniques need to evolve in line with today´s more fluid business environment. This course will help you doing just that.

Course director Dr. Klaus Heinzelbecker will pass on his wealth of experience as the former Director of Strategic Planning with BASF, by introducing you to best-practice strategic planning techniques and processes that are relevant to your business. The course will be tailored to fit your organization´s needs and we recommend using a current strategic issue from your own company as a case study that can be used throughout the training. Furthermore, the course is where possible supported by Eidos, a suite of software tools that supports strategic planning.


Course objectives

On completion of this course you will:

  • Understand the strengths and limitations of various professional planning methods.
  • Master tools such as multi-dimensional portfolio analysis, realistic core competency analysis, the STEEP method, in-depth analysis of blind spots and scenario analysis including wild cards.
  • Be able to correctly assess strategic options and their risks.
  • Get an insight into the use of concepts such as blue ocean, beyond budg-eting, early warning systems, use of think tanks and stress testing.
  • Be aware of the challenges of strategy implementation and controlling.
  • Gain new insights into a current strategic issue of choice, which you have worked on throughout the course.


Course content will be tailored to your organization´s requirements and the following agenda serves as an example only.

Challenges in strategic management

  • How to grow profitably in saturated markets
  • Successfully entering foreign markets
  • Introduction of new business models
  • Participants will work in groups to discuss and subsequently present their experiences.

Limits of conventional planning methods and demands on strategic planning

  • From the perspective of controlling
  • From the perspective of finance
  • From the perspective of marketing
  • From the perspective of production
  • From the perspective of management

Strategic dialogue that leads to future oriented strategies and planning

  • Objectives versus strategic gaps
  • Top-down approach versus bottom-up concept
  • Strategy workshops versus strategy template
  • Practical example: organization of strategic planning and strategic dialogue.
  • Working in small groups, participants will come up with a plan how to initi-ate and embed strategic dialogue in their organization. Results will be then presented and discussed.

Strategic planning toolbox

  • Multi-dimensional portfolio analysis
  • Realistic core competency analysis
  • Trend analysis using the STEEP Method
  • In-depth analysis of blind spots
  • Case study: Megatrends and crucial strategic questions

Using “networked” thinking to determine your strategic position

  •  Present and future demands
  • Available and desirable core competencies
  • Using Parmenides Eidos strategic reasoning software, participants will work on analyzing their strategic position

External environment scenarios and corporate development

  • Base scenario
  • Possible alternative futures?
  • Wild cards and “management by surprise”?
  • Using the Parmenides EIDOS suite, participants will develop and analyse external environment scenarios.

Strategic options

  • “Red ocean” concept and the limits of conventional strategies
  • “Blue ocean” concept and strategic creativity
  • Assessing opportunities and risks
  • With the help of Parmenides Eidos, participants will work on the development and assessment of strategic options

Strategy implementation as a core function of strategic management

  • The challenges of strategy implementation
  • Limitations of the “balanced scorecard”
  • Exchange of experiences and discussion

Strategic controlling as the starting point of strategic dialogue

  • Portfolio management and crisis management
  • Early warning systems versus think-tank monitoring

From strategic planning to strategic management

  • Closing remarks and feedback

Who should attend

This course has been developed for all executives involved in strategic planning including:

  • Senior executives, general managers, regional and divisional directors
  • Heads of strategic planning, members of strategy units and business devel-opment executives
  • Senior public sector executives involved in policy making
  • Anyone involved in strategic planning, who wants to learn more about this field of knowledge

Course director

Dr. Klaus Heinzelbecker was the Director of Strategic Planning with BASF until 2009. BASF is the world’s leading chemical company, with about 110,000 em-ployees and close to 385 production sites worldwide. Today he is Chief Strategy Adviser with Z-Punkt (the foresight company). After his business studies at the University of Mannheim he was awarded a PhD at the University of Aachen in 1977.

He started his professional career as a marketing consultant with ABB. In 1982 he moved to BASF where he worked in the areas of market research and market information systems prior to transferring to the strategic analysis and planning department. From 2004 until 2009 he was the Director Strategic Planning where he mainly focused on BASF’s international strategies for Asia, North America, Eu-rope and Africa.

Dr. Heinzelbecker is a council member and vice president of the European Marketing and Strategy Association (ECMSA), speaker for the German members of the European Chemical Marketing Research Group (ECMRG) and member of the Commercial Development and Marketing Association (CDMA) as well as a member of the World Future Society.


Next step

The next step is to determine what your organization’s exact training needs are and how this course can be tailored to best fit these needs. For more information please call Edwin van Eijbergen, Managing Director, Parmenides Academy on +49 (0)89-452 093 550 or email: academy'at'parmenides-foundation.org.


Download the PDF with an executive summary of this tailored learning concept.