Build Your Plan. Build Your Company. Build Your Life. Inside the Breakaway Strategy School program
Mike Kerrison's Breakaway Strategy School

I’m delighted that you’re interested in Breakaway Strategy School, the Online Business School for today’s entrepreneur.

This course will take your vision for your business and convert it into action.  For without action it remains only a vision.  I can tell you from firsthand experience that for every minute spent planning the dream for your business you will save sixty in execution.  This school, built for business leaders like you, provides all the tools and coaching for effective strategic planning.  I will take your dream from the white board to reality!

I started three fast growth technology companies from scratch, which were built and eventually sold to large international public firms creating several millionaires.  I launched my first company in 1980 with no Strategic Planning process whatsoever, but rather with the guts and determination of a naive twenty-six-year-old.  Thank God that was enough.  In five years we became one of the fastest growing companies in the country.  After some very hard work and lots of mistakes I developed my own Strategic Planning Model which is an amalgamation of best practices from many seminars and countless books on the subject.  I was able to start and build two more amazing companies using my planning model which I call Breakaway Strategy.

Breakaway Strategy is utilized by over one hundred fifty of my clients in over a dozen industries.  Large companies use it like General Mills and Blue Cross Blue Shield as well as small entrepreneurial start-ups and everything in between.  I have facilitated hundreds of planning sessions for my clients and still do.  But now, for the first time ever, I have made Breakaway Strategy available for everyone at a price that you can afford.  It’s simple to learn, easy to use, logical, and it works!

My deepest hope is that these tools will convert your dreams to reality like they did for me.  That they help you build a business and a life that you love.  That they help you avoid the costly mistakes that I made on my journey.  And, that they will help you to unleash the talent and potential within you and your organization.
You deserve the business of your dreams and the life you truly want.

With hope and gratitude!


Breakaway Strategy School is an online video based business training program that shows you step by step how to align your executive team around a crystal clear vision so it can be converted to an executable business plan driving healthy sustainable growth for you and your company.

Breakaway Strategy School’s comprehensive hands on curriculum will give you a precise architecture and a set of management tools allowing you to define your business vision, create a plan, execute and track your plan, and build a sustainable, well managed organization.

There are eight core learning Modules, plus a dynamic library of Bonus Items and Advanced Trainings.  When you’re making an investment like this in your business I want you to know exactly what you are getting.  That’s’ why I share my exact curriculum – so you can make sure this program is right for you.

Module 1: Getting Started - Selecting the Planning Team

Align your team around a crystal clear vision.

Using real client scenarios, I will illustrate how planning teams are selected providing the right talent and experience needed to choose where to play and how to win.  These participants are selected based upon capability and have less to do with rank or authority.  An organization can be thought of as a set of nested cascades – an integrated body of knowledge workers that when combined make solid strategic choices.  Below are the topics for Module One:

Searching Every Department

  • Selecting Your Subject Matter Experts
  • Finding Cross-functional representation
  • Choosing collaborators and synthesizers
  • Blending interpersonal styles

Setting Expectations

  • Writing the planning agenda
  • Gathering supporting documents
  • Distributing Departmental Checklists
  • Developing the Pre-Planning Questionnaire
  • The Role of the CEO
Module 2: Planning Foundation - Where are we today?

Conducting an internal and external assessment.

I have always believed, and I can tell you from first-hand experience, that every minute spent planning saves sixty in execution.  Although strategic planning may seem a sterile, intellectual, analytical process, it’s not.  Strategic planning requires the organization’s intimate and enthusiastic involvement, using a knowledgeable, informal team, in providing information, making decisions, setting goals, and successfully implementing them.  Vision is exhilarating.  Planning is motivating.  Execution is hard.  Without planning however, there is no execution, only chaos.  That’s why we want to start with “where are we today?”  Below are the topics for Module Two:

Internal Assessment

  • Identifying Strengths and Weaknesses
  • Where will we compete?
  • What do we stay away from?

External Assessment

  • Identifying Opportunities and Threats
  • How will we win?
  • What are the Obstacles?

Critical Success Factors

  • Creating your Business Assumptions
  • Establishing Your Priorities

Critical Business Issues Workshop

  • A Model to capture and prioritize the issues
  • Building the Opportunity Map
  • Identify Importance and Current Performance


  • Identifying Overlap and Miss-Alignment
  • Looking for Synergy and Leverage
  • Defining what success looks like
Module 3: Expected Results - Where do we want to go?

Understanding your guiding aspirations and your ideal future state.

Most companies face a big challenge in getting their people centered on a crystal clear vision. One of the best ways to bring about this vision is by creating a mission statement. Not just something that you whip together during planning but one built through input and effort from every level of the organization. It needs to be a living constitution that holds your values and beliefs and acts like a compass, a reminder of where you are going.  Once defined, we need to build specific goals and resulting revenue targets that are distributed throughout the organization.

Build Your Case for Change

  • Using the Vision Quest Method
  • Defining your Mission – Why we exist?
  • What value would be lost if we didn’t exist?

Setting Goals and Objectives

  • How Objectives Differ from Goals?
  • Establishing Revenue Targets
  • Forecasting and Timeframes
  • Distributing Quotas
Module 4: Methodology - How will we get there?

Develop programs that breathe life into the strategy.

Strategies are the means, ways, and how’s, combined with detailed methods by which you can achieve your goals. Strategy is about being different, engendering formidable competitive advantage. It is no longer just a set of carefully linked activities designed to leverage your core competency. Competitive advantage is to fleeting.  Today’s markets are too unstable. Who knows how long a market will last? But in complicated, fast-moving markets, the opportunity exists for significant growth and wealth. Therefore, the most salient feature of competitive advantage today is not sustainability but managing unpredictability. So you must manage as if it could all end tomorrow, and you’d better have your next idea ready to go, or at least started. So define your competitive advantage: cost, value, differentiation, price, speed. Think through the external strategy to thwart your competition, and win market share. Design inside processes to support these activities. Decide whether to grow, hold, milk, or get out of a market. Think through acquisition, divestiture, development, and restructuring. That’s the stuff of which strategy is made. Keep it simple, clear, and easy to communicate. But always, always, always be alert. Markets can dry up instantly when you least expect it.

Business Strategies

  • Learn detailed methods for achieving your goals
  • Designing formidable competitive advantage
  • Crafting value disciplines and value propositions
  • Design processes and supporting structures to achieve goals

Organizational Model

  • Do we have the right capabilities to win?
  • Driving deep understanding about goals
    • What is the goal?
    • What part do we play in attaining the goal?
    • What part do other’s play in attaining the goal?
    • What part does the leader play in attaining the goal?
  • Building execution into the organizational model
  • Designing position descriptions and levels of authority

Marketing and Sales Coverage Programs

  • Developing a winning marketing mix
  • Creating a killer web site
  • Building a digital email cash machine
  • Designing territories and sales coverage plans
  • Designing an Effective Sales Process
Module 5: Implementation - Who will do what?

Goals are set – now get everyone committed.

Your objectives and organizational model have been established. Now you must delegate these objectives and the supporting programs to your team. This is called decentralization: the delegation of authority and responsibility down the line in your organization to the point where every decision is made at the lowest possible level, to where the clearest information exists for making it. If you don’t delegate, you die. This is where the work is done. Make sure the individual responsible presents you with a complete and detailed plan of implementation and achievement. This will answer the question “who will do what”? You gain leverage and maximize performance through the sum of thousands of small transactions done every day. It’s a beautiful thing to watch when you have capable people who understand their job and how it fits into the big picture. The productivity explodes.

Developing detailed implementation plans

  • Decentralizing and delegating authority
  • Defining prerequisites and enablers
  • Finding leverage and shortcuts

Compensation and Reward Systems

  • Defining and Aligning Individual and Team Incentives
  • Identifying and removing interference
  • The Elements of a High Performance Rewards System

The Project Management Office (Advanced Training Defined Below)

  • This is the Nerve Center of The Implementation Plan
  • Tracking Projects and Programs to Successful Completion
  • How to Use this Ultimate Management Tool
Module 6: Progress Report - How do we measure the results?

Communication and early warning systems.

This is really about controlling your organization through the use of the Project Management Office (PMO). Delegation without control is abdication. Progress reports that deliver the results of a manager’s effort must be distributed at regular checkpoints up and down the organization. Strong initial control will assert your management prerogatives, and you’ll be respected for it. Subsequent loosening will be interpreted as a gesture of faith in and respect for your subordinate. Your reporting system is your feeder for control. You also need a control cycle. This is the time it takes to conceive, document, approve, implement, and assess the results of a decision. These should be short intervals, say, every quarter. Your company is properly controlled when your team is selected and trained; they know what to do, when to do it, how to do it, and what’s expected. They follow company policy and track their progress against accurate reports to spot potential problems early, while there is still time to do something.

Progress Reports and Checkpoints

  • What do I need and when do I need it?
  • How do I interpret results?

Running Successful Meetings

  • Setting Agendas
  • Contributors vs. Spectators
  • Emergencies and Red Alerts

Early Warning System

  • Managing from one piece of paper
  • Key Performance Indicators
  • Dealing with non-performance
  • Expectations and accountability

Building a Healthy Corporate Culture

  • Rooting out dysfunction
  • Why do we Make Stuff Up
  • The power or attitudes and choices
  • Peer to peer surveillance
Module 7: Integration - Combine the sales plan with the strategic plan

Combing them creates explosive growth.

Sales will breathe life into your strategic plan.  Without sales you have no business.  To be successful a company must define its sales organization, its functional organization, its resource organization, and its operations organization.  Each of these organizations are important, are interdependent, and have different responsibilities.  However, profitable revenue growth must be assigned to the sales organization.  These assignments are handled differently for each company.  Examples are physical territories, national or international regions, industry segments, customer types, assigned prospect listings, one to many business development, existing account growth, or a combination of one or more.  In all cases, you must assign specific achievable quotas that can be measured.  This module will define the different sales organizations and help you discern the right structure and quota assignments for your company.

Understanding the Different Sales Models

  • Examining the pros and cons of each
  • Assigning the right sales reps
  • Establishing attainable quotas
  • Running the numbers against objective reality
  • Building the annual sales forecast and supporting budgets

Pre and Post-Sales Support

  • Workflow and sales stages
  • Choosing the best CRM system
  • The right resources at the right time
  • Self-supporting sales collateral
  • Building speed into the sales process

Sales Training and Personal Development

  • A way of life not an event
  • The Breakaway Sales Model
  • Building a formidable sales culture
Module 8: Rollout – A Kick Butt Kickoff Meeting

Inspire the entire company.

This is your opportunity to create an event that your employees will never forget.  The strategic plan is completed.  Now you must reveal it to the company and recruit their very best effort.  Leaders today must skillfully align their employees around a crystal clear vision.  They must build their case for change and they must identify the critical business issues that interfere with the full realization of that vision. They must collectively create a culture of committed, empowered, and motivated leaders. Executive talent is, and should be, the center of any business.  It’s the one true vital and sustainable advantage that you have.  Everything else can be replicated by your competition.  Consequently, most organizations pour their time and energy into a strategic plan and completely ignore a comprehensive leadership development plan. The research shows that companies who invest in the development of their people outperform their competitors 4 to 1.  This powerful module will get you there.

Create a Kickoff Event not a Meeting

  • The power of an experiential event
  • How to Create Massive Motivation
  • How to Sustain the Momentum
  • What is Corporate Intimacy

Strategic Event Checklist

  • Receive an event planning handbook
  • Create a Buzz beforehand
  • The Perfect Agenda
  • Presentainers vs. Presenters
  • Pizazz using Multi-Media and Technology
  • Rewards and Recognition

Advanced Strategy Training to Ensure Your Success

These advanced modules will accelerate your plans.  You will master the Project Management Office which is a collection of business charters that drives execution.  I will show you how to run your management meetings, build business and cash flow forecasts, understand ways to fund your growth with either debt or equity structures, select the right talent for your executive team, and how to manage your entire company from one single sheet of paper – just that simple!

Critical Business Issues Workshop

In this advanced training you will learn our brainstorming skill called Popcorn.  Popcorn quickly gets to the critical business issues that the company faces.  The issues are collected into themes, clearly written to define the current state, future desired state, and the root cause.  They are then ranked based upon a voting approach which aligns the team, then measured as to how you are currently performing on these issues, and placed on an Opportunity Map.  The Opportunity Map is broken into four quadrants – Pressing Opportunity, Emerging Opportunity, Current Strength, and Potential Overkill.  The planning team has now defined the priorities and payoffs and can now proceed to the Project Management Office which breathes action into the plan.

Project Management Office Workshop

The Project Management Office (“PMO”) System provides a powerful low cost engine designed to create a successful and homogeneous approach to Project and Program Management.  Using certified PMI consulting resources, I have designed a system that addresses the five phases of project management:  1) Initiate, 2) Plan, 3) Execute, 4) Control, and 5) Close.  The templates used in the PMO System are simple, and they address scope, difficulty, budget, ROI, alignment, schedule, risk mitigation, resource planning, communication, status, and control while dynamically adjusting for ongoing changes in project and organizational priorities.  The PMO system encourages smaller projects with the highest projected results.  As such, larger projects are often broken into a number of smaller, sub-projects, each of which has a defined scope, timeline, project team – and the ability to adjust.  This theoretical approach doesn’t need to be taught…the system automatically prioritizes smaller projects higher and larger projects lower.  Those wishing to implement larger projects are inherently forced into breaking them into small projects, thereby decreasing the risk of project failure.  The PMO system embraces this entrepreneurial spirit, encourages suggestions and continuous improvement initiatives, it dynamically adjusts and reprioritizes the never-ending list of ideas to ensure that the BEST ideas are implemented first and it does so without alienating the organization’s greatest asset…its people.

General Mills is a better company having attended the Breakaway Strategy session.  We are getting great results.  Medallion revenue is up 40 % and analytical is having record delivery.  Lab cycle time is 33 % faster due to our re-design.  The partnership between Medallion and Analytical is now solid with real trust.  These investments have paid off.  Thanks to you, Mike and your team for helping us get to the next level.

Heather Larson

VP Innovation, Technology and Quality, General Mills

Mike was my mentor.  He provided all the tools I needed to start, build, and eventually sell a successful IT Consulting Company.  I could have never accomplished this level of success without his early involvement in my career.

Marc Strazzanti

Technology Executive, QBS Datacom

As CEO of a manufacturing company that acquired and integrated multiple companies, I engaged Mike Kerrison to bring a standardized, proven sales process to the newly formed company.  Mike did a tremendous job facilitating a diverse group of sales people with different levels of experience and varied backgrounds. He got them to focus on “how” they individually and collectively could transform and grow the revenues of the new organization by creating and implementing strategic sales plans. His methodology brings individual accountability to the sales process which drives performance.

I recommend Mike and his process to any organization that wants to increase revenue.

Peter Thompson

Production Print Sales Manager, EO Johnson Business Technologies

Mike Kerrison’s Breakaway Performance Strategic Planning greatly helped our organization.
Our company had and continues to go through tremendous growth and our small executive staff was overwhelmed with the over 100 plus projects we had identified for ourselves. We just could not prioritize them and none of them were getting completed. It seemed like a daily fire drill.

Mike was referred to us by some trusted friends in our industry. We invited Mike to come in and over a few days he took us through a process which allowed us to identify, prioritize and implement the most important projects.

Today we are still successfully use the tools Mike taught us and would recommend him to anyone needing assistance with their strategic planning.

Jeff Masters

CEO, Laser Options


These graduation bonuses provide remarkable tools that I have been using with my clients for years.  A CEO needs a facilitator and a facilitation guide for the meeting so he or she can participate fully.  You also need dashboards to measure with and a way to avoid poorly executed plans.  I am providing the entire toolkit to drive an amazing planning process and fool-proof results.

Choosing a Strategic Planning Facilitator

Learn the seven keys for selecting an excellent facilitator for your strategic Planning Workshop. With an activity as critical as strategic planning, it is essential that the effort be facilitated by someone who is skilled in facilitation but also has considerable experience guiding a team through strategy.  Some organizations have internal resources with both facilitation and the strategy expertise.  But others choose to bring in outside professional facilitators with years of training, experience and proven results.


Breakaway Facilitator Handbook

An experienced facilitator can adapt to any strategic planning methodology.  This powerful handbook provides a facilitator checklist, Breakaway Strategy Orientation, workflow and sequence, ideal environment, room configuration, required props and work centers, set-up scripts, templates, Article One Planning Samples, and pre-plan worksheets required to deliver a great experience.  This handbook combined with the facilitators own delivery style is a powerful combination.


Why Strategy fails and what to do about it

Learn the five critical issues that all planning teams face.  These issues if not understood and addressed will interfere with your top performance.


Executive Dashboards

Learn to manage the business from a simple executive dashboard that is equivalent to one piece of paper, how to discern what is mission critical to be  included in your dashboard, and the tools and software available for building them.


Article One Report

Learn how to create a document (called Article One) that captures and organizes the output from the entire strategic planning session.  This document memorializes and provides archival reference materials to support PMO and future control meetings.  We will define the role of the SCRIBE who will be responsible for the data capture within the session and the preparation of Article One.


Your training is released in weekly modules within our private, member only website. Each module is filled with comprehensive training videos emulating actual classroom conditions, specific and complete learning templates, resource listings for further study, action guides, and progress planners. You’ll watch and learn from your computer or download the training to your tablet or mobile device. All downloads are separate items or are bundled in convenient zip files. My goal is to make the learning experience personal and highly enjoyable. I simulate actual classroom scenarios as though I were right there with you.

Grab and Go Training

I won’t kill you with 90-minute training videos. Ugh! Nobody likes a talking head and a bunch of boring power points. That’s why I have broken down the modules into short (15 to 25 minute), digestible video segments that are perfectly sequenced. I want you to learn, take action, implement and have fun.

Multi Media Format


No matter what your preferred learning style is I’ve got you covered. With my multimedia training, you’ll get access to downloadable videos, MP3’s, interactive PDF action sheets, transcripts for each session, resource guides, and templates.

 Easy “All in One” Zip Files

Do you like to study and learn off-line? No Problem. With our easy “All in One” Zip Files you can download an entire module (video’s, templates, PDF’s, everything) and learn at your own pace anywhere and at any time.


Module 1: Getting Started – Selecting the Planning Team

Align your team around a crystal clear vision.

Module 2:  Planning Foundation – Where are we today?

Conducting an internal and external assessment.

Module 3:  Expected Results – Where do we want to go?

Understanding your guiding aspirations and your ideal future state.

Module 4:  Methodology – How will we get there?

Develop programs that breathe life into the strategy.

Office Hours

Module 5:  Implementation – Who will do what?

Goals are set – now get everyone committed.

Module 6:  Progress Report – How do we measure the results?

Communication and early warning systems.

Module 7:  Integration – Combine the sales plan with the strategic plan

Combing them creates explosive growth.

Module 8:  Rollout – A Kick Butt Kickoff Meeting

Inspire the entire company.

Office Hours

You will get access to one module per week over the course of the ten-week program. Because we know how easy it is to get overwhelmed these days, I include two full weeks of implementation support and office hours half way through the program and at the end. This way you can talk with me personally about the program and your specific requirements and challenges. This allows you to get caught up and renew your energy. During content release weeks the course modules and deliverables are released at noon central standard time.

Can I get my training all at once?

I know you might like everything up front but that’s not the best way to experience the program. The Breakaway Strategy School is designed for you to experience one module at a time and complete the action plans in that order. If you jump around you will hurt the experience. This is a building block approach to learning. Everything has been designed to maximize the results and get you to Breakaway Performer Status as quickly as possible. Sequence is very important in Breakaway Strategy School. I want you too fully understand each step and be ready to move forward with confidence. This training is not an event, it is a journey, a complete development process designed for your success. How do I know it works? I have hundreds of graduates who will tell you it does. Remember, once you complete Strategy School you are a lifetime member and can take the course forever any time you want and in any order you want. So, as the community grows, you grow with us!

One more time, here is the course sequence:


Getting Started – Selecting the Planning Team


Planning Foundation – Where are we today?


Expected Results – Where do we want to go?

Expected Results – Where do we want to go?


Methodology – How will we get there?


Field Implementation and Office Hours


Implementation – Who will do what?


Progress Report – How do we measure the results?


Integration – Combine Sales with Strategy


Rollout – Kick Butt Kick-off Meeting


Field Implementation and Office Hours

Released in Week 11:


Advanced Strategy Training


Graduation Bonuses

Can I learn at my own pace?

Absolutely! As a new student you will go through the course as it’s released over eight weeks. But we also understand that you’re busy and may need to take a break. Hey, John Lennon said it best, “life is what happens when you’re making other plans”. Remember, Breakaway Strategy School is yours forever so you can’t fall behind. Work at a pace that is comfortable for you. And, our staff is always a quick email away. Tell us what you need and we will do our best to accommodate your timeline. In short, the program is yours. You can revisit and retake the Course any time you want.

What if I have questions?

Breakaway Strategy School has dynamic support structures to keep you on track every step of the way.

Lesson Comments

Under each training video you’ll have the opportunity to post comments and get responses from Breakaway Strategy School graduates, your fellow students, Team Kerrison, and Mike himself.

Office Hours

During the ten-week program, I hold “office hours” conferences during the field implementation and graduation weeks to tackle your toughest questions and keep you inspired, motivated, and taking action.  If you can’t participate live, submit your question in advance and it may be one of my choices.  We also record and transcribe every office hours call so you can listen and learn at your own convenience. Please note that “office hours” are for the new students.  Graduates are welcome to listen in.

Breakaway Team Support

As always, we are here to serve you.  If you have technical issues or any type of challenge let us know immediately.  Simply email and we will be happy to take care of you.  Our customer service hours are 9 am to 5 pm CST, M-F.  Contact us and we’re on it!

Breakaway Performance TV

Every month you will receive my video blogs of the most important topics surrounding sales and strategy.  You won’t want to miss these.

Lifetime Membership!

  • You can pay in full, or take advantage of our 4 monthly payment plan of $423.

Do you offer a guarantee?

Yes! You can test drive the first three modules, 100 % risk free. My mission is to help you realize your dreams and achieve unprecedented strategic success for the long haul. That’s why I allow you to fully experience the first three modules with the understanding that if I don’t deliver on our promises I will gladly return 100 % of your money. I’ll ask for your completed course work (to make sure you gave it your best shot) and I’ll ask you what specifically didn’t work so I can learn from our experience together. The deadline of the three modules exists because I want you to get started.

Breakaway Strategy School is a fit for any institution.  Whether you are a start-up, a growth firm, a department of a larger firm, or a publicly held blue chip company – Breakaway Strategy School will fit right in.  The curriculum can be used for a school, a church, an association, or a non-profit organization.  In short, Breakaway Strategy School has universal application and is cross-industry.

Click here for honest answers to tough questions.

You have questions?  I have answers.  Still unsure?  Contact me and let’s talk about it!

Click here for some inspiring stories from Breakaway Strategy Grads

We have hundreds of testimonials and stories affirming the power of this program. We would rather you hear it from them rather than from us.

On behalf of me, my team, and the entire Breakaway Sales School Community, we sincerely hope to be working with you. If you want to know more about Breakaway Sales School, let us know and we’ll make a connection.  If you feel like you’re ready to join us…well then let’s get started!

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