Strategic Planning vs Strategic Intent

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What is a Strategic Planning? It is a well written mission statement for any organization which drives its business towards its goals - be it profits, standards, market value, customer satisfaction? Can the plan be flexible or adaptable as many of you have discussed here?

I believe that every organization need to follow the strategic intent in today's ever changing world. There are some factors that can be predictable but many factors are not. An organization, in order to succeed need to have a vision, set goals based on that vision, make a planned path to achieve it, have enough flexibility for unforeseen changes in the environment, adapt to these changes, adjust their paths if and when needed and keep moving towards the goal.

Can any organization make a centralized set Strategic Planning and expecting each of its business units to follow and succeed? I think it is quite impossible to follow it in the Hospitality industry. Our industry being a very dynamic industry which is affected by so many unpredictable changes, viz., location, general economy, political/ civil unrest, weather, festivals, sporting events, global focus, air lifts, communication media, marketing, publicity etc. etc.; that if a full circle strategic intent is not put in place, then organization should expect failure.

To answer to the first question - I do agree with Mintzberg's assertion that strategic planning can actually hamper an organization unless the plan has left a HUGE room for flexibility and adaptility, but then is it really a well written plan then?

To give a simple example of our resort, we are based in a relatively remote exotic island with a great data base of repeat guests. We were running smoothly until a major factor became a hindrance – the Airlift. American Airlines cut down on many flights coming to the region as part of their strategies and are further reducing flights. Did our plans include this huge change – no? We had to adapt, learn and adjust. If we...
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