UCLA Extension

Strategic Thinking and Planning for Leaders

Course No. A1, Period 1

Strategic thinking and planning is the most important skill set needed for career success, according to recent CEO surveys. Those who consciously develop these skills brings unique value and to any setting and gain a competitive career advantage.

This course equips professionals of all backgrounds with best practice concepts and systems thinking models you can apply at any level. You’ll discover the art of “backwards thinking”, which begins with creating an ideal future vision and goals, then developing the strategies and action plans needed to get there.

In this course students learn:

  • Understand why strategies succeed or fail
  • Scan the environment for key signals
  • Turn vision, mission, and values into actionable management tools
  • Appreciate and use key strategic models
  • Choose superior and sustainable positioning
  • Select meaningful performance measures
  • Choose the right mix of strategic initiatives to implement

This course includes a practical step-by-step strategic planning model that draws on the best practices of the Association for Strategic Planning. Through instructor presentations, case studies, small group discussion, and personal application to your context learn the strategic mindset needed to think big, plan smart, act fast and get great results. Course materials include numerous checklists and practical tools for application in your organization.

Note: Mr. Schmidt’s 2 courses (A1 and B2) complement each other A1 guides you in the identifying appropriate strategies, while B2 guides you in developing implementation plans for these strategies. They can be taken individually or together. Those with major planning roles will benefit from this course as well as B2. Those without major strategic roles but who have projects should take course B2.

Schmidt_TerryTerry D. Schmidt, MBA, PMP, SMP

Founder, Strategic Planning Academy.com

Terry Schmidt is the founder of ManagementPro.com and the Strategic Planning Academy. He has earned an international reputation as a strategic thinker and management innovator during 30+ years experience assisting corporations, governments and research institutions in 36 countries worldwide. He served on the Association for Strategic Planning task force, which developed a Certification program for strategic planners. He was the fourth person worldwide to earn ASP’s Strategic Management Professional (SMP) designation.

Mr. Schmidt helps diverse organizations to be more productive, profitable, and purposeful. His clients include eBay, Symantec, DirecTV, Blizzard Entertainment, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Timex, Nokia, the Bank of Thailand, and Sony Electronics, as well as Lawrence Livermore, Sandia and Los Alamos National Labs. He also assisted virtually every U.S. federal government and Washington State agency.

He is the author of 7 management books, including his latest Strategic Project Management Made Simple. Mr. Schmidt won the coveted Charles T. Main Award from the ASME and is cited in Who’s Who in Finance and Industry, and Who’s Who in the World. He holds a BS in aerospace engineering from the University of Washington and an MBA from Harvard University.

I feel better equipped to tackle the starting phases of a new initiative. I also am more aware now of the broader goals of my organization and how my day-to-day work relates to it. Thank you.”
Varun Sharma, Sr. Software Engineer, Treyarch

Check out this LinkedIn post from a past TMP participant, Pooja Sund, Data Analytics Group Manager at Microsoft!