What is Strategic Management? Unlocking the Secrets to Business Success

The title itself is a burning question for most people who want answers. It is like playing high-stakes chess in which small moves get you to win and destroy every opportunity. Now, just take the chessboard away and you will find an analogy for strategic management right before your eyes. So, let us go on to find some of the secrets of being a master at this vital business success skill.

The Business Game Changer: Introduction

Strategic management is a game-changer in this fast-changing organizational world. It is the roadmap or guide for organizations to reach their long-term objectives and outperform the competitors. But, what actually is strategic management and why is strategic management so important? Buckle up as we take a fast ride through the core concepts, processes, and benefits of strategic management.

What Is Strategic Management?

Strategic management is the art and science of formulating, implementing, and evaluating cross-functional decisions that enable an organization to achieve its objectives. It is the process that involves making decisions on an entity’s long-term objectives and strategic courses after consideration of the competitive environment.

The basic concept of strategic management is to realign resources vis-à-vis the strategy so proper implementation can be achieved. That is, strategic management is making informed decisions to steer the organization towards the land of success.

strategic management

Key Elements of Strategic Management

  1. Establish Goals: Clearly identify organisational mission, vision and objectives.
  2. Environmental Scanning – Analysis of internal and external factors that affect an organization.
  3. Strategy Formulation: The process of designing plans and actions to achieve the set objectives.
  4. Strategy Implementation: Resource allocation and execution of the plan.
  5. Strategy Evaluation: Progress-monitoring and responsible corrections.

Strategic Management Process: A Step-By-Step Guide

We just move right to break down the strategic management process into easy-to-digest steps.

1. Goal Setting

The first thing that strategic management does is to decide on the goals, making them clear, measurable, and achievable. These include the mission of the organization (what it exists for), vision (where it wants to be in the future), and objectives (specific outcomes to be achieved).

  • Mission Statement – Short statement that carries the purpose for the organization’s existence and some of its core values.
  • Vision Statement: The aspirational description of what an organization would like to achieve or accomplish in the long run.
  • Objectives: These are specific, measurable targets that contribute to achieving the mission and vision.

2. Environmental Scanning

Environmental scanning involves analyzing the internal and external factors that affect organizational strategy. Environmental scanning can be broken down to the following variables:

  • SWOT Analysis: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.
  • PESTEL Analysis: Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Environmental, and Legal.
  • Competitor Analysis: Analyzing strategies and performances of competitors.

3. Strategy Formulation

After the collection of intelligence from the environmental scanning, it is now time to formulate the strategies. It includes the following:

  • Corporate Strategy: The determination of the total scope and direction of the work.
  • Business Strategy: Development of competitive business unit strategies.
  • Functional Strategy: Aligning department resources and activities to support the business strategy.

4. Strategy Implementation

Strategy Implementation is putting plans into action. This will involve:

  • Resource Allocation: Allocation of resources: financial, human, technological support towards strategies.
  • Organizational Structure: Formation of an effective structure that allows for strategy execution.
  • Leadership Communication: Having clear and proper communication by the leaders of the strategy and motivating employees.

5. Strategy Evaluation

The final step of the strategic management process is the assessment of strategy effectiveness, which includes:

  • Measurement of Performance: Monitoring the progress of key performance indicators (KPIs).
  • Mechanism for Feedback: Feedback should be sought from stakeholders so that it can highlight areas of improvements.
  • Continuous Improvement: The strategy is implemented based on the change according to the result of the evaluation.

Advantages of Strategic Management

There are many benefits that strategic management can bestow upon an organization and take it to the peaks of success:

  • Improved Organizational Performance: Clear goals and well-formulated strategies are implemented, and this is obviously reflected in better company performance and consequently more profits.
  • Competitive Advantage: It assists organizations in finding unique strengths and opportunities in the strategic management area where they can surpass their peers.
  • Adaptation: Well-defined strategy helps organizations to adapt to the changing market environment and capture new emerging opportunities.
  • Resource Efficiency: An optimal use of finance, human, and technology resources ensures that all resources are used as best as possible.
  • Employee Engagement: Clarity in communication and alignment of objectives motivates employees and instills the feeling that they are part of something purposeful.

Application of Strategic Management in Real Life Examples

Well then let me go ahead and give some practical examples of successful application of strategic management by a few organizations:

1. Apple Inc.

Apple’s strategic management is based on innovation and premium branding. Through innovation and the continuous development of high-quality products, Apple proves to be a needed leader in the technological world. This strategic focus on design, experience, and ecosystem integration has managed to create a large base of loyal customers, ensuring profitability for Apple.

2. Amazon

The strategy of Amazon.com could well be captured under heads of customer obsession, operational excellence, and technological innovation. By using analytics on data, together with the consistency in fine-tuning supply chains, Amazon has been the largest online retail company in the world. The strategic initiatives, like that of Amazon Prime and AWS, diversified the revenue mix and greatly fortified the position on the market.

3. Tesla

This view says that strategic management in Tesla is based on sustainable innovation and market disruption. Tesla is considered to be a market leader within electric vehicle design and manufacture, as well as in renewable energy solutions. Besides, their intense focus on research and development and on vertical integration allowed them economies of scale.

Conclusion: Mastering the Art of Strategic Management

Strategic management is an essential process that encompasses the ways in which an organization sets its objectives, looks at the environment, and devises effective strategies to achieve the set objectives. This is done through the formulation of strategies, guiding the laid-down plans, and the performance evaluation that continually steers the organization toward the set objectives.

Whether you have been that seasoned executive or the aspiring entrepreneur, strategic management skills have always opened new avenues for you and taken your organization to completely new summits. Are you ready for the Business Chess Game? Embrace Strategic Management and see your organization grow!

Check out our World-class Executive Program in Strategic Management and open new opportunities!

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