Strategic Management Defined

Have you ever wondered why some companies get ahead of the competition? Well part of the reason is that they practice strategic management. They also develop their leaders as strategic thinkers and doers and develop a culture of accountability.

The Strategic Management Process

Strategic Management is a continuous process whereby leaders determine how to accomplish business objectives and lead their people during on-going internal and external change. In simpler terms, strategic management is thinking and behaving in a strategic manner.
Strategic management includes environmental scanning, strategy formulation, strategy implementation and strategy evaluation.
  1. Environmental Scanning includes collecting and analyzing data to arrive at key assumptions about internal and external factors that affect the company. Given the rate of change, these truths and assumptions need to be reviewed periodically to ensure that the strategy sits on a solid foundation. In our experience, the current financial situation of a company needs to be better understood as part of the Environmental Scan.
  2. Strategy Formulation requires that the company defines its strategies and plans at the corporate, business and functional levels, using the conclusions drawn from the environmental scan.
  3. Strategy Implementation requires alignment and includes:
    a. Making any process changes required
    b. Adjusting organizational structure, roles and decision-making to align
    c. Implementing the control systems necessary
    d. Proactively managing the change and transition occurring in the company
    e. Aligning the culture of the organization over time
  4. Strategy Evaluation includes evaluating the strategy and its implementation and taking corrective actions as needed.

Critical Success Factors

At The Leaders’ Kitchen Inc. we believe there are three critical success factors that contribute to effective strategic management.
  1. Management team development, including change and transition learning
  2. Having honest, constructive conversations to collectively seek solutions when the plan needs to be adjusted or implementation is sliding
  3. Embedding willful accountability in the culture of an organization.

These three factors significantly increase the probability of implementing a plan that takes the company forward.

The Process +

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Strategic Management Defined

Have you ever wondered why some companies get ahead of the competition? Well part of the reason is that they practice strategic management. They also develop their leaders as strategic thinkers and doers and develop a culture of accountability.

The Strategic Management Process

Strategic Management is a continuous process whereby leaders determine how to accomplish business objectives and lead their people during on-going internal and external change. In simpler terms, strategic management is thinking and behaving in a strategic manner.
Strategic management includes environmental scanning, strategy formulation, strategy implementation and strategy evaluation.
  1. Environmental Scanning includes collecting and analyzing data to arrive at key assumptions about internal and external factors that affect the company. Given the rate of change, these truths and assumptions need to be reviewed periodically to ensure that the strategy sits on a solid foundation. In our experience, the current financial situation of a company needs to be better understood as part of the Environmental Scan.
  2. Strategy Formulation requires that the company defines its strategies and plans at the corporate, business and functional levels, using the conclusions drawn from the environmental scan.
  3. Strategy Implementation requires alignment and includes:
    a. Making any process changes required
    b. Adjusting organizational structure, roles and decision-making to align
    c. Implementing the control systems necessary
    d. Proactively managing the change and transition occurring in the company
    e. Aligning the culture of the organization over time
  4. Strategy Evaluation includes evaluating the strategy and its implementation and taking corrective actions as needed.

Critical Success Factors

At The Leaders’ Kitchen Inc. we believe there are three critical success factors that contribute to effective strategic management.
  1. Management team development, including change and transition learning
  2. Having honest, constructive conversations to collectively seek solutions when the plan needs to be adjusted or implementation is sliding
  3. Embedding willful accountability in the culture of an organization.

These three factors significantly increase the probability of implementing a plan that takes the company forward.

The Process +

So as Robert W Bradford and J. Peter Duncan state: “Serendipity happens to the prepared company.” And we at The Leaders’ Kitchen believe this serendipity happens by combining strategic management with leader development, critical conversations and accountability.

Strategic Management & Leader Development: What’s the Relationship?

One of our clients is on the road to becoming strategic leaders.  They have a sound and flexible 3-year strategic plan. One of their key objectives of developing and implementing the strategic plan is to grow their management team into a team that thinks and behaves strategically. In a recent implementation follow up meeting, I saw three key indicators that this is starting to happen. I also saw a lead indicator that their strategy is differentiating them from competitors when hiring senior people. And as important as all that is, they are seeing in the rear view mirror their progress in relation to where they were just a few short months ago and they are even more energized now to implement the strategy.

Conversations With Courage

Three things happened during our conversation. First, these managers had guts. One manager, whose strategic project is falling behind and at risk of not hitting the target completion date, stated that milestones were missed, putting the project behind by several weeks. He clearly communicated this reality and its implications in a matter of fact and respectful way. The willingness to state the issue and its implications on the project and on the company’s ability to implement its strategic plan is a key indicator that strategic management is starting to happen.

Collaborative Solution Finding

Second, with this newfound awareness of the issues and consequences, the team collectively looked for a solution to get back on track. They have agreed to the accountabilities to move this strategic project forward.

Leadership Development

Third, they had a conversation about three key ideas. The first is what it takes to be a strategic manager versus simply being a really good operational manager. Then they had an open and honest conversation about some of their patterns and the effect these have on their ability to be strategic managers. Thirdly, they are finding ways to involve the rest of the company in the plan and to mark the results they are getting in order to create continued momentum.

Competing for Management Talent

Over and above all of this, they are seeing how having developed their strategic plan is impacting their ability to compete for management talent. During hiring interviews, they tell applicants that they have a strategic plan that the management team developed together and stands solidly behind. Interviewees communicate their appreciation of this shared sense of direction.

Strategic Management Vs Strategic Planning

So strategic planning can provide value. It provides the value it was intended to provide when it’s broadened to be strategic management and leader development. Typically, the value is in growing companies and their people.