Forum Assignment for the Week: 250 Words minimum For this week’s Forum, respond to the following:   

· Write a one-two sentence personal definition of strategic planning. Base your definition on what you have encountered in the reading/materials this week, as well as on what you have already learned about the topic.

· Discuss this statement by Roger L. Martin: “. . . good strategy is not the product of hours of careful research and modeling that lead to an inevitable and almost perfect conclusion. Instead, it’s the result of a simple and quite rough-and-ready process of thinking through what it would take to achieve what you want and then assessing whether it’s realistic to try. If executives adopt this definition, then maybe, just maybe, they can keep strategy where it should be: outside the comfort zone.”

· Finally, describe the differences between strategic planning and business planning.

***Your post must also end with a “Question to the Class” – something related to the topic that you found thought-provoking and about which you’d like to know more and have further dialog. ***

No sources or citations required

General Instructions Applicable to All Forums:

enlightened To receive 100% as a grade (the exemplary level) for the weekly forums, you should ensure that your responses meet the following criterion:

Critical Analysis – Discussion postings display an excellent understanding of the required readings and underlying concepts including correct use of terminology. Postings are made in time for others to read and respond as well as deliver information that is full of thought, insight, and analysis. The information presented makes connection to previous or current content or to real-life situations, and must contain rich and fully developed new ideas, connections, or applications. (It is important that you integrate the weekly readings in your response. One way to do that is to make position statements, then discuss supporting evidence (i.e. research and/or personal experience).  

Professional Communication and Etiquette – Written interactions in the Forum show respect and sensitivity to peers’ background and beliefs (Regardless of the position you are taking, please ensure that your participation comments are respectful to your peers’ background and beliefs).

Writing Skills – Written responses are free of grammatical, spelling or punctuation errors.  The style of writing facilitates communication. (Make sure your work is free of errors.  If there are any errors as outlined above, you will not receive 100% for the forum). 

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the first week of MGMT 615. This lesson will cover material about what is strategy and why is it important. By the end of this lesson, you will be able to define and describe the term strategy and explain its importance, understand why every company needs a sound strategy to compete successfully, manage the conduct of its business, and strengthen its prospects for long-term success. You will develop an awareness of the four most dependable strategic approaches for setting a company apart from rivals and winning a sustainable competitive advantage. You will come to understand that a company’s strategy tends to evolve over time because of changing circumstances and ongoing management efforts to improve the company’s strategy; and will learn why it is important for a company to have a viable business model that outlines the company’s customer value proposition and its profit formula.

What do we mean by “Strategic Planning?”

Strategy and strategic planning mean different things to different people in different sectors. As part of a business school curriculum, the effectiveness of strategic planning may typically be measured by an increase of market share and capital. However, strategic planning relates to larger organizational purposes than are found within a private sector company. What about government and public agencies or the military? What about non-profit organizations, such as welfare-oriented enterprizes, or religious entities (Bryson, 2011)? These kinds of organizations may not necessarily view profitability as a chief reason to engage a strategic planning process in order to achieve effectiveness. There is little argument that positive fiduciary outcomes are esteemed in all the aforementioned types of organizations, but strategic planning concerns more than just money.

Consider for a moment the various factors that should be included in a discussion of strategic planning in the context of the remarkable changes that have transpired in America since the 1990’s. Whether social, economic, political, cultural, ethical, environmental, or technological—the changes that continue to occur regarding the following factors amplify the present realities facing an increasingly interconnected world.

Competing Differently

The key is to recognize the context of the actions and approaches that are identified, and then interpret what they mean in other sectors. For instance, when particular elements of the strategy are described in a military context, it may likely be incorrect to think about field strategy of a battle. Instead, think about the strategic plan and competitive advantage in an organizational sense (Gerras & Clark, 2011; Joseph, 2014).

Strategic planning has to do with “competing differently” (Thompson, Peteraf, Gamble & Strickland, 2015, p. 4), which means that organizations find their identity and purpose in what they do that similarly focused organizations do not do, cannot do, or will not do (Porter, 1996).

concern that results in organizational effectiveness.

An Example of Misinterpretation from the Non-Profit World

THE LAPAINA ASSOCIATES

The LaPaina Associates found that various misinterpretations regarding the meaning of strategic planning exist among the nonprofit organizations they investigated (LaPaina, 2008). Some non-profit tend to view strategic planning as a means for team-building, or annual goal-setting, or for communicating intentions, “rather than as a process to form, adjust, and implement the organizational strategies that will carry out those intentions” (LaPaina, p. 7).

The following list includes some of the reasons for this disconnect centered around misconceptions inherent in a traditional business approach to strategic planning. This list of misconceptions could apply to both for-profit and non-profit sectors, as well as to governmental and military strategic planning applications. Make sure that your pursuit of strategy is pure so that what you end up with aligns with what you intend.

MISCONCEPTIONS

· Mistaking goals for strategy

· Generating more goals than can reasonably be pursued

· Expecting strategies to fit within a rigid timeline

· Confusing strategic planning with consensus building

· Forecasting the future from a snapshot in time

· Pretending to be objective

· Frustrating staff through bad data, inaction, or both. (LaPaina, 2008, p. 8)

for you. You will be glad you did.

Realized (current) strategy is a blend of:

· Proactive (deliberate) strategy elements that include both continued and new initiatives.

· Reactive (emergent) strategy elements that are required due to unanticipated competitive developments and fresh market conditions.

Conclusion

Are you feeling overwhelmed? Don’t! Remember business unit heads and the C-suite have been learning strategy for many years. The information provided this week provides you an overview of strategy. As you may have found, there are many elements that go into strategy and its planning. All companies or agencies, whether for-profit, not-for-profit, non-governmental organizations (NGO) or government agencies, need to focus on strategy and strategic planning. As we continue the course you will be exposed to other facets of strategy and strategic planning. No, it is not simple but most things that are worthwhile take a lot of effort!

Choonhaklai, S., & Wangkanond, R. (2014). The linkage between elements in the strategic planning process: A qualitative study. International Employment Relations Review, 20(1), 27-43.

Martin, R.L. (2014). The big lie of strategic planning. Harvard Business Review, 92(1/2), 78-84.

Sa, Y. (2013). Elements of strategic management process and Performance Management systems in U.S. federal agencies: Do employee managerial levels matter? International Journal of Business and Management, 8(9) doi:10.5539/ijbm.v8n9p1

Sezerel, H., & Tonus, H. Z. (2014). The soft element of strategic human resource management: The employee’s perception of diversity climate. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 150, 354-359. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2014.09.026

Shivakumar, R. (2014). How to tell which decisions are strategic. California Management Review, 56(3), 78- 97.

Weber, Y., & Tarba, S. Y. (2014). Strategic agility: A state of the art. California Management Review, 56(3), 5-12.

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Strategic Planning Wk 1 Forum