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Strategic Management Needs a Plan

Define Strategic Management

Strategic Management is the methodical examination of contributing dynamics in connection with external stimuli, including customers and competitors and the organization or internal operations. Strategic management is the foundation for the creation of most advantageous practices of management. The goal of methodical examination is to improve results through the development of policies and priorities.

What is the Methodical Examination of Strategic Management?

Strategic management is the belief that there are steps leaders can take to improve and enhance organizational capabilities by implementing procedures. Thought is the catalyst for improving the process and ideally, the team comprehends the path to goal attainment. The methodical examination consists of five stages counting goal setting, examination, creation of strategy, implementing and applying the strategy, and finally reviewing the progress.

Goal-Setting

Goal setting is important to helping the team identify significant outcomes while removing potential noise that may disrupt the vision. During this stage, leaders identify both short and long-range goals for the team as they formulate the path to get from point A to point B.

There are three elements of a goal, and leaders should ensure that each point is clear. First, provide enough detail so that everyone can understand where the team should focus their energy. Second, goals should be attainable but not made too easy. Team members need to work or stretch for desirable results. Third, goals should support the organizational vision and mission. This helps to point the team in a direction while narrowing their energy and inching them closer to realizing their vision and mission.

Examination

During the examination phase, managers need to identify necessary resources. The examination phase is an opportune time to conduct a SWOT analysis. SWOT analysis is the process of reviewing organizational strengths and weaknesses in addition to creating awareness for opportunities and threats.

Creation of Strategy

Creation of strategy begins through evaluating the findings in the examination phase. This phase may also include the discovery of available resources. Leaders need to determine if there are enough resources for the team and the desirable goals. Using the SWOT analysis and the preferential outcomes as guidance, leaders need to formulate a strategy and determine which objectives take priority. This means leaders establish a plan of attack to leverage organizational strengths and capitalize on opportunities. By doing this the leader is trying to position the team to minimize their threats and strengthen weaknesses.

One thing that is for certain is that change is inevitable. For this reason, the strategic plan should account for the unexpected events. Developing multiple alternatives is important to risk mitigation.

Execution

Without actionable steps, the chance of being successful is minimal. A leader will remind the team about the vision that is in front of the team when appropriate. This vision unites the team so that teamwork becomes an organizational strength and a foundation for executing the strategic plan. When a leader supports a manager and provides them with the right resources the team gets closer to reaching their objective.

Reassessment of Progress

For strategic management to occur, there must be a reassessment of progress. People, process, and product are all areas that should be under consideration in the appraisal. Benchmarks need to be clear for the entire team. Performance metrics should support organizational goals. Routinely monitor performance to identify improvement or acknowledge problems. If the team is not progressing at a proper pace, changes may need to be made to goals, people, or process.

What Are the Attributes of Strategic Plans?

There are certain attributes or commonalities between different strategic plans. The following are attributes that are important for execution. This list is not in any order of importance, and it is not necessary to use this list as a checklist. However, your odds of success improve when these elements are present.

Objective Evaluation

An objective evaluation is necessary for analyzing available options and determining the most effective. This means that implementing strategic management involves understanding both internal and external operations.

Strategy Involves Setting Goals

Goals unite people to form teams. Strategic management involves setting goals for the team. Through teamwork, goals may be attainable but all the components of operations must work together. Lack of a clear vision leaves followers in chaos because priorities are unknown.

Values are Clear

Values provide a guide for strategic initiatives. Furthermore, when leaders combine clear values in coordination with their strengths, one is more likely to be successful. Leveraging organizational strengths allows leaders to build off an existing foundation. When values support strengths, followers will be more receptive to the strategic approach because direction will be clear and there will be less resistance.

Urgency

When there is urgency, there is greater demand on people to be productive. There needs to be an emphasis on using time wisely and efficiently. All too often, distraction and noise can prevent people from responding and taking action. When there is urgency, there is a degree of motivation.

Visible Leadership

Undergoing change can present challenges. One way to combat this challenge is for leaders to be seen, management by walking around. When leaders and managers are visible, they set the tone for followers. This tone or exemplary modeling is critical to building organizational culture. Followers will fail to be supportive when there is a lack of demonstration and accountability.

Dedication

Followers want to know that their leaders have the dedication to the implementation of the strategic plan. Before followers show support, they want to sense that the initiative will last rather than backtracking the next week. Leaders must demonstrate they are dedicated to the process. By showing their dedication, leaders are highlighting the importance of the set goals.

Follower Support for the Plan

For any plan to be successful, people must believe that the plan will be rewarding. When people believe in the plan, they will support the plan. One of the best ways a leader can obtain follower support is by being open and asking for input. This input makes followers feel as though they are contributing to the plan and the success of the organization.

Review Process

One cannot simply implement and plan and expect it to be successful at the onset. Moreover, even when a plan shows early signs of success it may be a false positive. In any case, leaders need to reevaluate the strategicplan by monitoring progress. Therefore, leaders should establish goals along the way, create benchmarks, and review all elements of the plan to identify opportunities.

Conclusion

For leaders and organizations to be successful, there must be some type of strategic plan in place. This plan consists of a methodical implementation of processes. As stated, there are a number of attributes that are common among all strategic management plans.

What step do you think is most important in the implementation process? Is there an attribute that carries more weight in the successful outcome of the plan?

 

About the Author David

David Moriarty writes about leadership, life purpose, and cancer recovery. He is a teacher who works with youth. Previously he overcame his battle with cancer. Currently he is pursuing a degree in leadership.

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