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5 Terms in the Strategic Planning Process – Filling in the Strategic < blank >

External Memory - Analog Saved Me by Christmas Withak

External Memory – Analog Saved Me by Christmas Withak

I have been thinking and discussing the word strategic with a lot of people. More importantly posing an interesting question, what does it mean to be strategic? The word strategic in the context of the question asked is an adjective generally “relating to the identification of long-term or overall aims and interests and the means of achieving them”[1]. When you associate the word strategic with one of five other words (analysis, planning, leadership, management, and implementation) it takes on a life of its own. The strategic process is revealed, defined, and clarity of roles and responsibility formed.

5 Terms in the Planning Process that Every Leader and Professional Should Know: Filling in the Strategic < blank >

Strategic Analysis:  This term has a simple definition. It is the process of developing the strategy for business by researching the companies and the environment in which it operates[2]. Often it requires the knowledge and use of various tools to prepare business strategies by evaluating the opportunities and challenges faced by the company as it moves forward. It takes into consideration internal and external factors that would be impacting the organization. The essential parts of the strategic analysis is having a good tool belt and know how and when to use them. This could be done by the business analyst.

Strategic Planning:  Is a systematic process of envisioning a desired future, translating this vision into broadly defined goals or objectives, and then mapping out a particular sequence of steps to achieve them. Unlike long-term planning, which begins with the current status and lays down a path to meet estimated future needs, strategic planning starts with the desired end and works backward to the current situation. Rather than focusing on internal operational “issues,” a strategic direction addresses and solves business problems and opportunities from a larger, over-arching scope of discussion. It’s formulated before tactical action be taken.[3]

Strategic Leadership:  The process of using well-considered tactics to communicate a vision for an organization or one of its parts. Strategic leadership typically manages, motivates and persuades staff to share that same view, and can be a valuable tool for implementing change or creating organizational structure within a business[4]. Without real leadership strategic initiatives, the desired future state goes nowhere. If you are failing here, then look at your leadership abilities as there is a good chance you are missing the fundamentals of achieving people engagement through communications.

Strategic Management:  It involves the formulation of tactical plans and the implementation of the major goals and initiatives to be taken by a company’s top management team.[5] It should be based on consideration of current assessment of the internal and external environments in which the organization competes. Often high-level work plans and communication plans are formulated at this level with consideration for current constraints (time, money and people), what the organization is seeking to achieve and the activities that need to be managed to make it all happen.

Strategic Implementation:  This is where the rubber meets the road. It is where the tasks needing to be performed according to the plans to achieve an overall goal are implemented.[6] For example, strategic implementation within a business context might involve developing and executing a new human resource and capital plan to appropriately manage succession to keep good people. Or a sales and marketing initiative is implemented to improve regional sales for a company’s products or services. In either of these scenarios, tactical management and staff would be engaged to perform and make them happen.

I wonder if we sometimes miss the boat when it comes to being strategic, what it means and actions that we need to take at each level. If you are involved in being strategic then there is a good chance that your role and responsibilities align with the adjective/adverb combination of strategic ________________________ (you fill in the blank). Not only that, there is a natural order of things from strategic analysis to implementation that connects the organization and the actions taken. Don’t miss those linkages.

20170310-IMG_2080 (1)Richard Lannon: Raised in an entrepreneurial family, Richard learned to find opportunities, solve problems and implement solutions quickly. Over the course of his career, he became a strategist, helping organizations find the road to their success. His cross-industry experience has made him a proven expert, one who has worked with a big four consulting firm, top-tier corporations, mid-level enterprises, and small business leaders from around the world. Author, speaker, coach, and cheerleader, Richard guides you to renewed hope, a bigger vision, and a realistic, actionable roadmap as the means to your business success.

[1] “Google.” Google: What Does It Mean to Be Strategic? N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Feb. 2016.

[2] “What Is Strategic Analysis? Definition and Meaning.” BusinessDictionary.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Feb. 2016.

[3] Lannon, Richard. S.E.T. for Success, a Roadmap to Transform Your Business. Winnipeg: BraveWorld, 2016. Print.

[4] “What Is Strategic Leadership? Definition and Meaning.” BusinessDictionary.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Feb. 2016.

[5] “Strategic Management.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 21 Feb. 2016.

[6] “What Is Strategic Implementation? Definition and Meaning.” BusinessDictionary.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Feb. 2016.

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