Discussion Questions: Strategic Planning
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Strategic planning creates a direction for the business and offers a structure to make day-to-day decisions that align with a larger vision. A strategic plan represents long-term set of goals for the business, and forms the core of the company’s mission statement. Planned communication usually responds to crisis such as major corporate change, e.g., downsizing, and technological change. The core elements and activities critical to successful change efforts include creating a vision, establishing support, managing transition and sustaining momentum (Kenny, 2005). The company’s strategic plan is continuously impacted by company’s operations and needs a regular updating so as to address the changes. Updating and communicating changes within the strategic plan are essential since they keep employees aware of the development of implementation, as well as how the strategic plan impacts an employee and workflow process.
In some sense, all stakeholders are responsible for utilizing a strategic plan, but when it comes to communicating, implementing, and updating a strategic plan, the core player in driving the strategic plan is the CEO, COO, or another senior manager. The upper management professionals handle critical tasks in the business, which means that they effectively monitor and oversee the growth of the company’s strategic plan (Kenny, 2005). The CEO accomplishes this task by regularly consulting with the top management team and updating the company’s growth. In theory, the CEO is held responsible for outcomes derived via the implementation of a strategic plan. However, this does not imply that other internal stakeholders in the company are not accountable for communicating the strategic plan to employees.
My organization, with the assistance rom a consulting firm, developed a strategic plan that provides the service agency with a five-year roadmap for services, support, and organization development. The strategic plan provides the following strategic direction: appraise and deepen existing direct services and supports to guarantee that they are optimal; appraise consumer needs to highlight gaps or required shifts within service delivery; adopt a leadership role in collaborating with a range of providers to highlight and satisfy the needs of clients; explore the viability of broadening the organization’s visibility within the market; and, grow revenues and invest in the provision of quality products and services. The strategic plan should be communicated by an executive champion/leader or the CEO of the organization, who must lead, reinforce, follow-up, and live the outcomes of the strategic planning execution process.
The CEO has a central role in communicating the organization’s vision and providing guidance in strategic planning. Without the full backing of the CEO and other senior managers, other stakeholders including employees are likely to feel misled (Griffin, 2012). The executive champion/leader or the CEO selects and discusses the brief messages, pursues open discussion with supervisors and the line managers who educate employees with a message, and evaluate for retention with supervisors, individually of within groups (Griffin, 2012). Before the implementation of the strategic plan, the CEO and senior managers were keen to obtain full and active backing from the employees so as to lay the foundation of clear expectations for stakeholders, opens channels for ideas and innovation, and builds strong relationships. The staff and the executive have a role in reviewing progress of the strategic plan quarterly and update the plan yearly as needed. Consistent and clear communication, especially when mapping desired results and designing performannce measures, is central to the success of strategic planning.
A strategic roadmap represents a document, which lays out a plan for achieving strategic goals, outlines why the purpose is in place, and outlines the means (action plan) of achieving the goals. Creating a strategic roadmap encompasses establishing a vision, outlining organizational goals, appraising the existing gaps, and establishing a thought-out tactical plan (Simerson, 2011). Some of the prominent aspects to take into account when instituting a roadmap include organizational structure, vision and tactical plan for closing performance gap. Successful organizational change draws from an approach and suitable development within the company culture. A change agent represents a group or individuals, who embrace the challenge of presenting and managing change within an organization. Change agents help in the facilitation of strategic transformation.
Successful change in an organization demands understanding of the meaning of change and demands capacity to create and use the power to shape the change process. Change agents play a central role in implementing the road map outlined in the company’s strategic plan. Examples of internal change agents include CEO and professionals within company’s departments including finance, HR, and marketing. Examples of external change agents encompass consultants, politicians, investors, regulators, and suppliers. The benefits of internal change agents within strategic roadmap execution encompass improved accessibility, higher certainty, reduced costs, and an improved sense of control and authority (Simerson, 2011). The benefits of external change agents within strategic roadmap execution encompass broader objective views, enhanced experience in handling different challenges, diverse expertise, and accessibility of different skills.
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