Strategic Management

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Strategic planning is an organization's process of defining its strategy, or direction, and making decisions on allocating its resources to pursue this strategy. In order to determine the direction of the organization, it is necessary to understand its current position and the possible avenues through which it can pursue a particular course of action. Generally, strategic planning deals with at least one of three key questions: “What do we do?”, “For whom do we do it?”, and “How do we excel?”. In many organizations, this is viewed as a process for determining where an organization is going over the next year or more typically 5 years (long term), although some extend their vision to 20 years. Organizations sometimes summarize goals and objectives into a mission statement and/or a vision statement. Others begin with a vision and mission and use them to formulate goals and objectives. What is the difference of vision and mission? This is a question that comes up a lot in the work I do with business teams as I coach them to be mission driven on a day to day basis. Why be mission driven? So they never lose sight of their greater purpose for existing in the first place. Without the unwavering focus on mission and vision it’s much too easy to get mired in the day today routine — which businesses are chock full of. Without mission and vision, businesses are boring. At times I run across companies which don’t bother to distinguish them at all: They have a separate Values Statement, but if you ask them to tell you of their Vision, and then of their Mission, they’ll give you the same answer for both questions. So what is the difference? Does it matter? Many people mistake the vision statement for the mission statement, and sometimes one is simply used as a longer term version of the other. However they are distinct; with the vision being a descriptive picture of a desired future state; and the mission being a statement of a rationale, applicable now as well as in the future. The mission is therefore the means of successfully achieving the vision. This may be in the business world or the military. For an organization's vision and mission to be effective, they must become assimilated into the organization's culture. They should also be assessed internally and externally. The internal assessment should focus on how members inside the organization interpret their mission statement. The external assessment which includes all of the businesses stakeholders is valuable since it offers a different perspective. These discrepancies between these two assessments can provide insight into their effectiveness. A vision statement is a declaration of where you are headed your future state to formulate a picture of what your organization's future makeup will be, and where the organization is headed. Organizational environment consists of both external and internal factors. Environment must be scanned so as to determine development and forecasts of factors that will influence organizational success. It helps the managers to decide the future path of the organization. Scanning must identify the threats and opportunities existing in the environment. While strategy formulation, an organization must take advantage of the opportunities and minimize the threats. A threat for one organization may be an opportunity for another. Organizations should observe the internal organizational environment. This includes employee interaction with other employees, employee interaction with management, manager interaction with other managers, and management interaction with shareholders, access to natural resources, brand awareness, organizational structure, main staff, operational potential, etcetera. Also, discussions, interviews, and surveys can be used to assess the internal environment. Analysis of internal environment helps in identifying strengths and weaknesses of an organization. As business becomes more competitive, and there are rapid changes in the external...
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