Strategy – An Art or Science? 1

Businesses are in the midst of the most dynamic changing environment we have seen in decades, which correlates to the importance of strategic planning. Whether your business is in its infancy, growth or mature stages, strategic planning is vital and must be made the highest priority by executives. In an earlier blog article, Defining Strategy, we explored and tested various definitions. The definition of Strategy is easy, but undertaking strategic planning and implementing strategy can be complex.

“First leaders must review their organization. Is their Vision, Mission and Values Statement in line with their beliefs, philosophy and culture? Then you must assess the external environment, which will allow for organizational direction. The third stage is assessing your internal environment. This applies to strategy formulation and assists organisations in establishing goals and objectives. Finally, an evaluation of competitive position must be performed. How do we get to the next level? This involves identifying the actions needed to implement the plan” (Fine. K.N. n.d.).

When your business is running good and returning excellent profits, do not become complacent. It is very easy to become complacent. As business owners, managers, and CEOs look to preserve the past, they do not spend enough time building the future. “Typically, senior managers spend less than 5% of their time in building overall corporate perspectives for the future. When developing a perspective about future conditions facing the organisation, executives need to include multiple, diverse scenarios” (Fine. K.N. n.d.).

Companies that tend to survive a barrage of external and internal environment changes are exceptional at strategic planning. They are dynamic and provide continuity and change and guidance about which core business activities to preserve and what future to stimulate progress towards. This strategic mindset and leadership allows the strategic plan to be carried out by the final component, the action plan.

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