Table of Contents
The strategic planning sessions are of the extreme importance for organizations as they set up the roadmap for the future. This paper specifically focuses on the key issues related to it.
The Importance of Strategic Forecasting to an Organization
The strategic planning is crucial for any kind of organizations due to the following reasons. First, it is associated with the previous evaluation of the resources available and the expertise gained. The strategic planning usually involves the drafting of SWOT or Porter’s analysis that helps a company to identify its current location and determines the strengths and weaknesses together with the challenge and opportunities. The strategic plan sets up the path that is to be followed by an organization in order to reach the goals determined beforehand. It should be stressed in this regard that the road would never be straight. Yet, the plan helps to see the ultimate goal that guides everyone through the storms and misunderstandings (Lawlor, 2005). The strategic planning is also extremely beneficial for the team formation and cohesiveness as it identifies the role of everyone and determines the influence and the scope of powers assigned to the particular member of the team. Additionally, in the process of the strategy development, team members find out about the values of each other and create the shared set of the principles shared by all involved people. The strategic plan developed and approved usually consists of the predicted risks, which then could be dealt with during the time crises. Also, it usually provides for the alternatives and plan B. Thus, it is important to develop the strategic plan for every organization and even the project carried by it.
The Role of History in Attempting to Understand the Future
The key trends are usually developed in the past. Furthermore, to see the evolution of the idea, one should look into the past and see the reasons or factors that effected the emerging of certain technology or service. The history usually repeats itself and spins by the previously created trajectory. All the answers could be found there. For example, the developing countries usually examine the history of more advanced countries in order to understand the features of the reforms that have occurred in those states and to understand the key pitfalls that have been on their way. Moreover, the history shows the development of the relations between the huge players and among the average people, and the explanation of it helps to understand the current situations and discover the hidden parts (Canton, 2011). The past echoes in the present-day activities, and it should not be ignored. Finally, the history is used for the comparison of the today with the yesterday. Ian Goldin (2009) in his Ted Talk mentions that nowadays phones are more powerful than the most innovative computers developed twenty years ago. The history helps to trace the progress, if there is any. And one cannot indeed prepare for the future since it is already happening.
At the same time, an organization might attempt to create the future by establishing the strategy. In this regard, it is important to anticipate the possible risks. It should be stressed that every organization deals with people who are less or more equipped with this outstanding capability. Leaders of an organization should involve these people into the strategic plan sessions. Additionally, in case the work is done in the groups, it is possible to relocate teams’ members to offer fresh view on the issues discussed previously and on the plan adopted. The synergy of ideas usually leads to the best outcomes.
Drivers, Change Trajectories and Turning Points
In order to understand the way the strategy for an organization or a project implemented, it is important to reflect on the drivers, change trajectories and turning points. The drivers are employed to develop the supports and infrastructure that is needed for new programs. They include the decision-support data systems, systems interventions and the facilitative administration. The change of the trajectory occurs in case one of the previously mentioned elements is altered by the inner or outside factors. These moments are usually referred to as turning points. At these moments, the changes occur and the new consequences happen. The beginning with the desired end state provides the opportunity to imagine the order things will take after the implementation of the strategic plan, and it might serve as a source for motivation of employees.
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Strategy in the Long-Run Perspective
For a leader and a team that is guided by him, it is important to realize that the circumstances change and the landscape is altered by many players. Thus, the strategy should be reviewed on a constant basis in order to make it corresponding to the current state of affairs and to make it effective. The risks and pitfalls that are threatening the process of reaching the goal are predictable; yet, not all of them even exist at the moment of the strategy adoption, thus, its developers could simply be unaware of it. Nevertheless, the evaluation of the unintended consequences, e.g. the outcomes that have occurred out of the will of initial developers of the strategic plan, should be definitely performed in order to understand why they have actually occurred and who is guilty for that. The mistakes or victories do not happen arbitrarily; they always follow someone’s actions (Lawlor, 2005). Therefore, an organization has to identify the reasons that have led to certain consequences.
The unintended consequences, however, might be both positive and negative. The latter one might be leveraged by an organization in case it has the proper management system and resources. In any case, it is important to remember that any kind of unintended consequences could be beneficial for an organization. For example, the conflict within the team might help to identify the hidden intentions of the group that might have affected its cooperation in the future.