Key Concepts in Strategic Management

Strategic management deals with the organisation's behaviour within its external market, and its internal processes, structure and decisions in order to enable the organization to function at its peak within that external environment. Strategic management asks three questions: Where are we going? Where could we be going? How do we get there?

Strategic management involves both strategy formulation and strategy implementation. The two primary phases of strategy formulation are commonly referred to as strategic planning and tactical or operational planning.

Formulating either a strategic or an operational plan is relatively easy given that anyone can sit down and come  up with a wonderful list of resolutions or goals. But implementing a plan is much challenging, and this is where the most effective organizations - whether Muslim or not - engage in strategy support action.

Strategic planning can be defined as "the process by which the guiding members of an organization envision its future and develop the necessary procedures and operations to achieve that future." Bryson regards it as "a disciplined effort to produce fundamental decisions and actions that shape and guide what an organization is, what it does, and why it does it." When these definitions are taken together, we notice certain key elements.

Strategic planning:

  • Encompasses decisions and actions that have a long-term impact
  •  Is a process that enables  decision makers to be proactive
  •  Involves identifying the organisation's idealized potential and working toward it, and
  •  Provides a framework that allows for internal consistency among all of the decisions and activities of the organisation’s various sections.

After developing a strategic and operational plan, you implement your strategy by acting upon it. Remember there is no such thing as a perfect plan. An organization that spends too much time perfecting a plan is spending too little time implementing it. This endless fine-tunning instead of acting is referred to as 'analysis paralysis.'

This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited

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