Book Review: Strategic Planning and Performance Management

A new book from Elsevier, Strategic Planning and Performance Management (Elsevier, 2005), by Australian Graham Kenny, CEO of consultancy Strategic Factors, posits that successful businesses must view their own performance from the point of view of stakeholders. The key to Kenny’s version of performance analysis is what he terms the Strategic Factor System, which emphasizes links between such strategic elements of a business as customer service and product quality. Kenny’s thesis is that “Strategic factors supply us with a system for typing all the diverse strategy concepts and activities together.”

The book includes chapters on corporate self-analysis, stakeholder analysis, and avoiding “naïve strategy.” Kenny urges readers who want to develop their business—as who does not—to identify key stakeholders, assess performance on strategic factors, set targets, and write a strategic action plan. Kenny’s book differs from most of its ilk by insisting on “writing clear and focused strategy,” and on the clarity of value definitions.

The book includes appendices on strategic versus operational plans; involving a board in strategic planning; and competitive advantage along value chains. A brief glossary of words and phrases related to usage in the volume at hand is also included, and a useful annotated bibliography provides further avenues for research on the general subject of strategic business planning. For more information visit http://books.elsevier.com.

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