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What Is Strategic Management?

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Essay title: What Is Strategic Management?


Strategic management is “the art and science of formulating, implementing and evaluating cross-functional decisions that will enable an organization to achieve its objectives. It is the process of specifying the organization's objectives, developing policies and plans to achieve these objectives, and allocating resources to implement the policies and plans to achieve the organization's objectives. Strategic management, therefore, combines the activities of the various functional areas of a business to achieve organizational objectives. It is the highest level of managerial activity, usually formulated by the Board of directors and performed by the organization's Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and executive team. Strategic management provides overall direction to the enterprise”.

“Strategic management is an ongoing process that assesses the business and the industries in which the company is involved; assesses its competitors and sets goals and strategies to meet all existing and potential competitors; and then reassesses each strategy annually or quarterly [i.e. regularly] to determine how it has been implemented and whether it has succeeded or needs replacement by a new strategy to meet changed circumstances, new technology, new competitors, a new economic environment., or a new social, financial, or political environment.” (Lamb, 1984: ix)

Strategic management hinges upon answering three key questions :

1. What are my business’s objectives?

2. What are the best ways to achieve those objectives?

3. What resources are required to make that happen?

In creating your strategy, you will answer three big questions :

1. Where are you now?

2. Where do you want to go?

3. How will you get there?

We are going to look at the five tasks involved in creating your strategic plans to answer these questions, which include:

1. Define your business, create your vision and mission statement

2. Set measurable objectives

3. Craft your strategies to achieve your objectives

4. Implement your strategies

5. Evaluate the results of your strategies and take corrective action

Define your business, create your vision and mission statement

What do you want to do? What do you have a passion for? Who do you want to be known as? Where do you want to be in 10 years? These are all questions to help you determine your vision and mission. I offer a one-hour audio course on how to look at your unique brilliance to answer some of these questions. The advantage of becoming very clear about who you are and what you have to offer is that it will help you avoid going in so many different directions that people will be unclear exactly what it is you excel at. Every potential client or customer wants to see the person who is best at what they have to offer. If you offer everything to everyone, you won't stand out. Once you set up long-term goals, you will also have a template that will keep you focused and on the right path to achieve those goals.

Set measurable objectives

The purpose of setting objectives is to create a yardstick with which to track the performance targets set up in the mission statement of your company. These objectives should be challenging but achievable, so that you have to stretch yourself in order to be innovative, creative and focused. You can't succeed by just 'going along with the flow'. When you create your objectives, you need to focus on financial objectives

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