A Case On Yahoo Business Essay

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Assignment A-

This assignment requires you to consider the case on Yahoo (Johnson, Scholes, Whittington, 2010, Pg 4-5) and to answer the following:

(a ) How can the issues facing YAHOO ! be described as strategic?

(b) To what extent do they differ from strategic issues facing your own organisation?

(c) Critically examine how strategic issues differ between profit making and a non-profit oriented organisation?

We are reactive instead of charting an unwavering course tactics says the author.

(d) Critically analyse the accuracy of the statement that formal planning systems are irrelevant for firms.

(e) Analyse your own organisation s approach to its strategic planning process.

(f) Discuss ways in which the planning process could be improved?

Reading :

Hill ,Jones,-Essentials of Strategic Management-Chap 1

Pierce,Robinson, Formulation, Implementation and Control of Competitive Strategy, 2005-Chapter 1

Johnson,Scholes and Whittington, Exploring Corporate Strategy, 2010-Pages1-48

(A) How can the issues facing YAHOO! be described as strategic?

Garlinghouse pointed out a mass of overlapping services. He believes the company requires to focus the vision, restore liability and put up for sale non-core businesses and cut fifteen percent to 20 percent of yahoo`s worker and remaining will be a company where general managers are delegated authority to actually run the business units.

'Mission' means the long-term objectives of the organisation as related to the strategic leader's vision of the nature and scope of the businesses that he feels would be appropriate and desirable (Thompson, 1993, p. 45). It explains the wide purpose of what the organisation is and how it will step forward. Organisations that successfully and constantly encourage a common mission know their definite objectives and are clear about their challenges ahead.

Strategy

Strategy is the direction and scope of an organisation over the long term: which achieves advantage in a changing environment through its configuration of resources and competences with the aim of fulfilling stakeholder expectations. (Johnson and Scholes, 2005:9).

Strategy is to be expected for the long-term direction of an organisation. Yahoo would need a long time for a strategic change and he have to define where he is and where he wants to be that requires a long term decision.

Strategic decisions are also associated with where an organization should focus. For example an organisation can focus on one area, or can it have too many areas? The issue of focusing on activities is basic to strategy because it concerns the way in which those accountable for controlling the organisation visualize the organisation s limits. This possibly will comprise central decisions about product variety or geographical coverage. Yahoo`s is not concentrated on area of activity it has too many areas where he is not concentrating effectively.

Strategic decisions are also defines the how to get advantage for the Organisation to survive in competitions. For example, Yahoo was left behind because of competition and growth of Google. Yahoo has to add some value in his services to get advantage from his competitors.

The strategic fit along the business environment this may perhaps require major resource changes for an organisation in the future. Suppose, decisions to expand geographically might have important implications in requisites of the need to construct and support a new customer base. It helps to get the correct positioning for the organisation, for example in terms of the degree to which products or services meet clearly identified market needs. This may acquire the structure of a small business trying to discover a specific niche in a market, or a big multinational corporation searching to procure up businesses that have already establish successful market. In case of yahoo, Yahoo wants to conquer various markets instead of one particular market.

On the other hand, making opportunities through establishing an organisation s resources and competences is also a strategic decision. This is known as the resource-based view of strategy, which is associated with utilization of the strategic capability of organisation, through the resources & competences, to provide competitive advantage and making new opportunities. For example, a large MNC may emphasise on its strategies on the business with strong brand. A small business, on the other hand, focuses on market to suit its capabilities. Yahoo in this domain considers brand more likely as internet.

Along with environmental forces and strategic capability, the values and expectations of those who have influence in the organisation (the stakeholders of the organisation.) in yahoo the senior Managers have pursued growth in many ways. The stakeholders have their impact on strategy from internet user to top management respectively.

(B) To what extent do they differ from strategic issues facing your own organisation?

There is no one ideal strategic planning model for each organization. Each organization ends up budding its own nature and model of strategic planning, often by selecting a model and modifying it as they go along in developing their own planning process.

I have business of footwear and it is not a big multination Company but still it has a clear and concise vision mission of being market leader with in next five years. Now I will compare my business with Yahoo on the basis of following Strategic Issues.

Scope of organization`s activities My area of activity is high quality footwear for on segment i.e. men footwear I just focused on it rather producing all kind of footwear. Yahoo on the other hand going for too many activities and that is why he cannot concentrate on each activity.

Advantage over competition Yahoo is losing its advantage because of stiff competition given by Google yahoo have to give a quick response to it while on the other hand I have also been given tough competition by Bata along with other footwear companies but I am constantly scanning environment to exploit opportunity for having advantage and trying to convert threat into opportunity along with that I am constantly adding value to my product.

Strategic fit with environment Since I am concentrating on a single product and I am satisfying local market needs with I have only one segment and that is why I have good sound knowledge about my target market demands. But yahoo wants to expand the business in too many areas while yahoo cannot concentrate comprehensively on too many markets

Organization s resource and competence according to Brad Garlinghouse Yahoo claims brand synonymous with internet yahoo has a well recognised brand as well as yahoo has state of art media awesome assets largest audience but still yahoo have to come forward with a solid strategy to bridge the gap where they are and where they want to be. On the other hand I have specialized workforce from cutting leather to stitching and then a complete product that is why my product is highly value added.

Values and expectation the power group may affect the organizations boundaries of activities the organization have to consider these power group i.e. individual or group of individuals direct to expand, hold or divest business yahoo s senior managers in this case wants to expand his business but they don t hold responsible themselves to take responsibilities. While I am taking responsibilities for all the decision and also delegating authorities to lower level to contribute for best output.

C) Critically examine how strategic issues differ between profit making and a non-profit oriented organisation?

Over the past several years or so, there has been the major improvement and alteration of many issues in the non-profit organisations. Activities that take place anywhere in the world have major influence to the national sectors either directly or indirectly. Change, though shocking for some quarters, is essential. In most non-profit organisations, the change even if it is small then it is normally seen unfavourably by the civil servants who for long time are comfortable in their positions. Though, a review of traditional modes of management justifies the idea of transformation organisation. This certainly demands a whole range of tasks. As noted by Worcester (1991, p. 55), among these tasks are: Introducing completely new products or services, managing a foremost reorganisation, effecting acquisitions and mergers, Entering a new market, radically improving internal efficiency and profitability.

as strategic management is still believed a new introduction in the non-profit organisations, its implementation is an issue. For example, in the area of strategic financial management, decentralised budgetary approaches, the concept let the managers manage' has created a stress or conflict of interest between non-profit managers and politicians (Pollitt, 1995, pp. 203-34). Rationalisation' also carry out a further criticism. Ten years of working experience does not mean one will become skilled at something new as one may keep on doing the same schedule every day. As argued by Peters, basic values such as accountability and responsibility are overlooked (Peters,1995, p. 314; see also an interesting discussion on the concept of rational action by Waldo in Shafritz and Hyde, 1987, pp. 232-4). Others think that the establishment of internal markets within the public sector comprises a rejection of the administrative state (Lane, 1995, p. 198). Many intangible values such as the trade-off between efficiency or productivity versus due process and legality (Lane,1995, p. 175) cannot be quantified (or is unwise to be quantified).

Strategic Management

Strategic management may subsist as another typical management tool that has emerged over time. However, one major difference of strategic management compared to previous tools is that it is unlikely to be eradicated from the management dictionary. As the techniques can be modified, non-profit organization managers may find them possessing a relevancy for the management enterprise. Non-profit organization managers need to be fully aware of the implications of applying strategy methods, particularly in a plural society, where the inclination towards communication burdened and tension relationships prevail. This is especially true when common division come into view not only on specific issues regarding the economic, social, and cultural benefits and costs of participating in the polity but in many sides of the society. Different frameworks of development projects and programmes in different settings demand distinct styles of strategic management. Nevertheless, what has changed is the prominence. In the new approach, strategy is seen more as something to be negotiated, not engineered. The accent is, therefore, on finding common agreement in game plans (Goldsmith, 1997, p. 31). Strategic management is a better option for transforming government-owned venture and programmes into additional successfully managed projects and for even-handed market-oriented systems. Though, it is neither a universal solution for all governments weaknesses nor a satisfactory tool to make certain its efficiency and nongovernmental organisation.

Strategy requires redefinition of overall Mission, Goals and Operational

Objective

Non-profit organization managers may feel cynical of their confidences in working inside a intimidating environment. This is because they have to equilibrium the competing interests of different parties. It is most likely that strategy can be most effectively exercised starting at the top executive level of the organisation. The vision should be well communicated across each and every level of the organisation. Assurance to total quality products and services needs a very special kind of organisational culture. It is a general believe by many strategic writers that managers have to enjoy entirely diverse skill to move the organisation from a controlled mechanism entity to one where it becomes a matter of personal confront, self-regulation and pride. Research shows that Japanese managers think differently as compared to their Western counterparts. Japanese are typically vigorous, analytical and quantitative (see Raimond, p. 209-10). therefore, the need to develop a new form of mission, goals, and operational objectives has opened up the possibility and opportunity for strategic submission for many Japanese companies.

Strategic Management is in the Process, Not in Outcome

Non-profit organization leaders visions for their organisations must turn out to be both practically useful and morally compelling. In this instance, the establishment of a new work ethic is deemed essential. A study in the UK, New Zealand, Sweden and Finland proved that despite evidence of continued tightening and refinement of performance indicators, the swing to a more output-oriented culture was slow (Pollitt and Summa, 1997, p. 11). This specifies that the role of the government at the macro level is not adequate. As noted earlier, strategic management is largely effective when it is part of a broader programme of socio-economic reforms and organisational development where the strategists worked as the key players. Effective strategic management as noted by Porter, thus, requires the formation of a strategic management group to provide leadership for the process whom made up by chief executives, top-line managers and key executive members (Porter, 1996, p. 316).

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Conscientious Efforts to Initiate and Capitalise Non-profit Value

Moore argues that the non-profit organization managers most important ethical responsibility is to undertake the search for non-profit value conscientiously (Moore, 1995). In this search, the manager has to hold a balance between political response and his operational tests or means of effectiveness. As a result, change of their views should be made as a result of this relationship.

As noted by Porter, strategy requires constant discipline and clear communication. In this regard, vision guides the subordinates and is communicated directly to the non-profit at large. The reliability between functional units and the overall strategy will ensure that the non-profit values are optimised. The new concept would create a new form of non-profit value.

Strategy shapes the scope of Non-profit Managers

The ideas and techniques of good managerial actions can be of no substitute for good character and experience. However with luck, they might help to enhance the limits of one s character and experience (Moore, 1995, p. 309). In other words, strategy cannot be perceived as an end in itself. Public managers should take a more pro-active stance in improving themselves and their managerial skills.

Above all, even despite the fact that strategic management could be useful within a certain functional area or within a group (which may consist of a small amount of people), it is most likely to face the danger of failure without a attentive, forceful and committed approach from the non-profit organization manager. Governments, on the other hand, are expected to retain their obligation to maintain the development project from excessive political interference, monitor the overall process of the project or programme and make sure that the project is worth to its intended beneficiaries. Therefore, the role of a central government through appropriate ministries, ultimately, comes before, during and after the projects or programmes are convened and completed. The emergence of strategy into the lexicon of non-profit organisations reflects both the increasing complexity and adaptability of the organisation in responding to the demand of a volatile environment. Strategic management, without doubt, can become a dynamic yet challenging tool to complement the efforts towards new non-profit management, particularly in the area of managing non-profit sector development projects and programmes. Despite many hindrances or restraining factors that go along the way, strategy without doubt could enhance the professionalization of management in the government sponsored bodies.

In the final analysis it is the leadership styles and behaviour that determine the success of the re-engineering process through the use of strategic management tools. Strategic management concepts whether borrowed or home grown can only be good if the critical leadership factor is present to initiate and guide changes towards better outcomes.

PART (IV)

We are reactive instead of charting an unwavering course tactics says the author.

(d) Critically analyse the accuracy of the statement that formal planning systems are irrelevant for firms.

The Formal Planning Process

Formal strategic planning calls for an explicit process for determining the firm's long-range objectives, procedures for generating and evaluating alternative strategies, and a system for monitoring the results of the plan when implemented. During each of these steps, it is important that a systematic procedure be used to gain commitment of those who will be affected by the plan. These steps are summarized are discussed below. (A more extensive description of each of these steps is provided in Armstrong, 1982).

Specify Objectives

The specification of objectives (goals) has long been regarded as a major aspect of formal planning. The objectives should be written clearly. They should start with the ultimate objectives for the organization, then should be translated into specific measurable objectives. In addition, the objectives should be challenging. Substantial evidence exists on the value of setting objectives. Reviews of this research are provided by Latham and Yukl (1975). Tolchinsky and King (1980), and Locke et al. (1981). Most of the research consists of laboratory studies. Some studies, however, have taken place in firms. For example, Kim and Hamner (1976) found that explicit objectives improved performance for service jobs at Bell Telephone; Ivancevich (1977) found that specific objectives for skilled technicians in an equipment and parts manufacturing company proved to be superior to instructions to do your best; and, in the only experimental industrial study, Latham and Kinne (1974) found that explicit objectives improved productivity and reduced absenteeism in 20 pulpwood logging operations.

In addition to improvements in performance, explicit objectives have led to greater satisfaction among participants in organizations (Arvey et al., 1976; Ivancevich, 1977; Katerberg, 1980).

Generate Strategies

Formal planning calls for the generation of alternative strategies. These strategies should be written in enough detail to allow for an explicit evaluation (the next step). Evidence from studies in organizational behaviour suggests that the generation of the strategies should be completed before any evaluation begins (see, e.g. Maier, 1963).

Two guidelines are typically recommended for the development of strategies. First, an attempt should be made to provide comprehensive strategies; that is, the plan should consider all important factors. Numerous books and articles have provided checklists and flow charts to help ensure that comprehensive plans can be developed (e.g., Ansoff, 1965). The second guideline is that the plan contain slack resources; that is, extra time, mo ney, and

facilities should be held in reserve. This recognizes uncertainty and adds flexibility to the plan.

Alternative strategies can improve the adaptability of the organization in two ways. First, by explicitly examining alternatives, it is likely that the organization will find alternatives that are superior to the current procedure. Second, the organization may encounter environmental changes; if alternative (contingency) plans have been prepared for these changes, the organization can react in a systematic way.

Evaluate Alternative Strategies

Formal planning calls for a systematic procedure for evaluating the various alternatives. First the alternatives must be screened to ensure that they do not violate any constraints. The feasible strategies should then be rated against each of the listed objectives. Various procedures can be used here, such as checklists, the Delphi technique (with internal experts), or the devil's advocate (where one person is given the role to challenge a proposed strategy). Traditional meetings, as commonly used in informal planning, are seldom adequate.

Unfortunately, little research is available. One exception is the research on the devil's advocate. Cosier (1978) presented subjects with two plans for a simulated environment; subjects using the devil's advocate procedure were more likely to select the most appropriate plan in this simulation.

Seek Commitment

It is not sufficient to develop plans. Plans are frequently ignored. Other times they are used to rationalize a course of action previously decided. Formal planning calls for an explicit procedure for gaining commitment to the plan. This implies, for example, a need for meetings; Al-Bazzaz and Grinyer (1980) found that the perceived contribution of planning was higher when the firms had more meetings. Presumably, the need for meetings carries through all phases of planning.

Situations Favoring the Use of Formal Strategic Planning

In what situations would formal strategic planning be expected to be most useful? Little study has been done in this area. Based on a review of the organizational behaviour literature and on the own experience, I propose four characteristics of the situation to be important: inefficient markets, large changes, high uncertainty, and high complexity of the task. The hypotheses are that each of these factors increases the need for formal planning.

In addition to the literature review and experience, I conducted a convenience sample survey of the participants at the Strategic Management Society Conference in London in October 1981. I asked participants at one session to provide a written response to the question: Under what conditions is formal planning most useful for strategic decision making?

Of the 24 participants who returned this questionnaire, 21 responded to this question. Of these, only one respondent said that formal planning would be useful in `all situations'. Fourteen respondents cited environmental change as a big factor; interestingly, 11 of these respondents thought that formal planning was less appropriate when change was rapid. Four responses related to complexity, three related to uncertainty, and one to inefficient markets.

One respondent suggested that management support was an important condition. No other factors were mentioned. Clearly, little agreement existed in this group on the conditions under which formal planning is most appropriate. The hypotheses are discussed below.

Inefficient Markets

If an objective is obvious, little need exists for a formal objective setting process. An efficient market makes the objectives more obvious. Little evidence has been found to suggest that an organization can make better decisions than a relatively efficient market. An organization in an efficient market can react to meet the demands of its employee, financial and consumer stakeholders.

As inefficiencies are introduced, formal planning may become more useful. An inefficient market provides little information on the proper pricing strategy. It also raises serious questions on how to allocate rewards among the various stakeholders. Formal planning can examine the pricing issue in a systematic way. It can address the allocation of rewards in an explicit and open manner. Thus, planning might be more appropriate for regulated industries and non-profit organizations. Some people argue just the opposite. Formal planning is most useful for profit-oriented firms because those with poor planning might not survive. The difference in these two viewpoints arises from the fact that the first puts more emphasis on an analysis of the total system. Regulated industries and non-profit organizations can exist

indefinitely when they use resources inefficiently. Profit-oriented firms get fewer opportunities to misuse resources because a more efficient organization could take over.

Large Changes

Changes can occur from the outside (the environment) or from the inside (a change in the organization's resources). Most organizations are designed to deal with small outside changes and they typically resist inside changes. But for large changes, the standard organizational response becomes less relevant. As a result, It is hypothesize that formal planning is more important where changes are large. Some evidence exists that formal planning is more relevant where change is large. Lindsay and Rue (1980) provided survey results in which firms in more complex and faster changing environments said they were more likely to use formal planning, but their study did not examine whether such a procedure led to better performance. Evidence that formal planning is most appropriate when change is large was provided by Thune and House (1970); they found that planning was more helpful -in markets characterized by a high rate of technological innovation and

new product introductions.

High Uncertainty

If it is clear what will happen and when, the need for planning seems small. As uncertainties increase, the organization can benefit by planning to deal with these uncertainties. (Theoretically, with complete uncertainty, planning would be of little value.) The hypothesis is that over the practical range for uncertainty, high uncertainty would require more planning. It is found little prior evidence on this issue, and it is not difficult to find arguments against this hypothesis.

High Complexity

More complex tasks create a higher need for a plan to ensure that the various bits and pieces fit together. Thus, it is hypothesize that firms involved with complex production, financial and marketing processes would have a greater need for planning. It is found no empirical evidence on this issue. It would appear to be one of the least controversial of the four

hypotheses; however, one of the survey respondents felt that formal planning was most appropriate for simple situations.

Interaction among Hypotheses

Given the uncertainty about the various hypotheses, it seems reasonable initially to treat each of the hypotheses independently. Planning is hypothesized to be relevant in cases where all four of the preceding conditions hold. When one or more of these conditions does not apply, planning. would be expected to be. Less valuable (or perhaps even be etrimental) to the performance of the organization:

An example of an organization where all four of the conditions apply would be a company building atomic reactors in the U.S.A. It has a complex task, large changes are involved, uncertainty is high, and the market is inefficient. At the other extreme would be a typical middle-price restaurant operating in a stable neighbourhood in New York City and contemplating no major changes. Formal strategic planning- should be useful for the former but not the latter.

Some strategic decisions will create the above conditions. For example, mergers or new .product introductions can involve large changes. If the new product involves a patented technological breakthrough, it can also lead to an inefficient market (monopoly power) and high complexity. Formal planning is expected to be useful in these situations.

Keep in mind that these hypotheses on the relationship of the situation to planning are not drawn from

significant prior research: Furthermore, there may be other, more important, characteristics of the situation that have been overlooked by me and by the convenience sample.

Results of Formal Planning

One of the expected benefits of formal planning is that it will avoid sub-optimization. It should lead to greater success in light of all of the organization's objectives. Thus, an examination should be made of the impact of planning upon each of the stakeholders. The previous discussion on monitoring provided the necessary conditions for the evaluation of planning from the viewpoint of the complete system

(e) Analyse your own organisation s approach to its strategic planning process.

The Strategic Planning Process

In the 1970's, many large firms adopted a formalized top-down strategic planning

model. Under this model, strategic planning became a deliberate process in which

top executives periodically would formulate the firm's strategy, then communicate it down the organization for implementation. The following is a flow chart model of this process:

The Strategic Planning Process

Mission

?

Objectives

?

Situation Analysis

?

Strategy Formulation

?

Implementation

?

Control

This process is most applicable to strategic management at the business unit level of the organization. For large corporations, strategy at the corporate level is more concerned with managing a portfolio of businesses. For example, corporate level strategy involves decisions about which business units to grow, resource allocation among the business units, taking advantage of synergies among the business units, and mergers and acquisitions. In the process outlined here, "company" or "firm" will be used to denote a single-business firm or a single business unit of a diversified firm.Mission A company's mission is its reason for being. The mission often is expressed in the form of a mission statement, which conveys a sense of purpose to employees and projects a company image to customers. In the strategy formulation process, the mission statement sets the mood of where the company should go.

Objectives

Objectives are concrete goals that the organization seeks to reach, for example, an earnings growth target. The objectives should be challenging but achievable. They also should be measurable so that the company can monitor its progress and make corrections as needed.

Situation Analysis

Once the firm has specified its objectives, it begins with its current situation to devise a strategic plan to reach those objectives. Changes in the external environment often present new opportunities and new ways to reach the objectives. An environmental scan is performed to identify the available opportunities. The firm also must know its own capabilities and limitations in order to select the opportunities that it can pursue with a higher probability of success. The situation analysis therefore involves an analysis of both the external and internal environment. The external environment has two aspects: the macro-environment that affects all firms and a micro-environment that affects only the firms in a particular industry. The macro-environmental analysis includes political, economic, social, and technological factors and sometimes is referred to as a PEST analysis.

An important aspect of the micro-environmental analysis is the industry in which the firm operates or is considering operating. Michael Porter devised a five forces framework that is useful for industry analysis. Porter's 5 forces include barriers to entry, customers, suppliers, substitute products, and rivalry among competing firms.

The internal analysis considers the situation within the firm itself, such as:

Company culture

Company image

Organizational structure

Key staff

Access to natural resources

Position on the experience curve

Operational efficiency

Operational capacity

Brand awareness

Market share

Financial resources

Exclusive contracts

Patents and trade secrets

A situation analysis can generate a large amount of information, much of which is not particularly relevant to strategy formulation. To make the information more manageable, it sometimes is useful to categorize the internal factors of the firm as strengths and weaknesses, and the external environmental factors as opportunities and threats. Such an analysis often is referred to as a SWOT analysis.

Strategy Formulation

Once a clear picture of the firm and its environment is in hand, specific strategic alternatives can be developed. While different firms have different alternatives depending on their situation, there also exist generic strategies that can be applied across a wide range of firms. Michael Porter identified cost leadership, differentiation, and focus as three generic strategies that may be considered when defining strategic alternatives. Porter advised against

implementing a combination of these strategies for a given product; rather, he argued that only one of the generic strategy alternatives should be pursued.

Implementation

The strategy likely will be expressed in high-level conceptual terms and priorities. For effective implementation, it needs to be translated into more detailed policies that can be understood at the functional level of the organization. The expression of the strategy in terms of functional policies also serves to highlight any practical issues that might not have been visible at a higher level. The strategy should be translated into specific policies for functional areas such as:

Marketing

Research and development

Procurement

Production

Human resources

Information systems

In addition to developing functional policies, the implementation phase involves identifying the required resources and putting into place the necessary organizational changes.

Control

Once implemented, the results of the strategy need to be measured and evaluated, with changes made as required to keep the plan on track. Control systems should be developed and implemented to facilitate this monitoring. Standards of performance are set, the actual performance measured, and appropriate action taken to ensure success.

Dynamic and Continuous Process

The strategic management process is dynamic and continuous. A change in one component can necessitate a change in the entire strategy. As such, the process must be repeated frequently in order to adapt the strategy to environmental changes. Throughout the process the firm may need to cycle back to a previous stage and make adjustments.

(f) Discuss ways in which the planning process could be improved?

The drawbacks in planning process.

The strategic planning process outlined above is only one approach to strategic management. It is best suited for stable environments. A drawback of this top-down approach is that it may not be responsive enough for rapidly changing competitive environments. In times of change, some of the more successful strategies emerge informally from lower levels of the organization, where managers are closer to customers on a day-to-day basis. Another drawback is that this strategic planning model assumes fairly accurate forecasting and does not take into account unexpected events. In an uncertain world, long-term forecasts cannot be relied upon with a high level of confidence. In this respect, many firms have turned to scenario planning as a tool for dealing with multiple contingencies.

How to overcome these on Drawbacks

Plan to Plan

Since perfection is a character that is absent in all strategic plans, how can strategic planners improve on their plans? They should plan in order to plan again. This paradoxical statement states that when you plan, you have to keep in mind that it is bound for obsolescence and that you are directed, out of necessity to make a new plan. This kind of mindset allows the strategic planner to be uncomfortable and to resist the urge of complacency. This kind of mindset also allows the strategic planner to be constantly on the lookout for improvement.

Many strategic plans have experienced initial brushes with success but then that is all there is to it. Strategic plans that have sustained successes are those plans that have been destroyed and abandoned before it has reached its apex and a new and different plan formulated to take its place. This is a rather radical argument with strategic plan improvement, but in a rapidly changing market place, this makes sense. A blank sheet of paper is all that is needed for improvement, set aside the old things that have been pass and start with the new things.

Plan to Focus on the Fundamentals

A major blunder of the strategic planner in business and organizations is to adapt quickly to new management and strategic planning concepts and ideas. This is expected behavior because new management and strategic planning concepts and ideas are like new tools to the strategic planner and it is just novel. But planners have to remind themselves that there are things that are foundational to the strategic plan, things that are fundamental to the strategic plan that if it is left out, success then becomes an illusion.

The foundation of strategic planning is people. Not just anyone but people in the organization who have the mental gift that can be utilized for a very specific purpose: to alter business or organizational strength, so much that it can be used against the competition in the most efficient manner conceivable. These people may or may not be difficult to find, the important thing is to find them and use them as the foundation of the strategic planning process.

Since strategic planning is founded in people, the strategic planner and his staff should make that commitment for self-evaluation. Do we qualify to be the foundations of the strategic planning team? If the answer is in the negative, wisdom dictates that a quick search be made within and outside the organization. The right people, those called upon to be the foundation of the planning process have the uncanny ability to discern what to include and what to exclude in the strategic plan.

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