Have you ever thought if an organization can work without a strategy? Why is it essential to develop a well-laid plan? Does it help in reducing friction and improving collaboration among departments? What is the purpose of strategic management?
Well, strategic development is crucial as it is the action plan for running an organization. A company’s strategy consists of competitive moves that managers employ to grow the business, attract & please customers, compete successfully, conduct operations, and achieve the targeted levels of organizational performance.
What is Strategic Management?
Every organization works toward achieving its set goals and mission. However, to achieve these goals, they need a well-crafted plan or strategy, and strategic management helps develop the action plans.
It focuses on properly utilizing resources to achieve the set goals and objectives.
Strategic management involves a five-step approach, including objective setting, competitor analysis, analysis of internal organization, strategies evaluation, and ensuring the strategies are rolled out timely across the organization. The role of strategic management is to help businesses run successfully in the years to come. Companies that are poorly aligned with strategy report weaker financial results than their peers. Therefore, there is a need to take this approach seriously.
Strategic management is divided into different schools of thought, consisting of prescriptive and descriptive approaches. These schools of thought depend on how the strategies were developed.
Role of Strategic Management
Strategic management involves several functions such as operations, marketing, finance, HR, etc. It requires managing each department to the finest level.
It focuses on planning, monitoring, analyzing, assessing, and implementing action plans at organizations to meet goals. However, strategy implementation depends upon the situation and availability of resources. One cannot go wrong in this process, so proper evaluation is needed before launching the action plan.
The roles of strategic management include:
- Outlining a vision for the organization
- Carving out leaders and decision-makers
- Improving employee performance and building a productive workforce
- Adapting to change for good
- Driving every individual towards a common goal in the organization
- Protecting the workplace and its integrity
- Managing crisis
- Creating a learning-focused workplace
- Helping to stay competitive
Importance Of Strategic Management
Strategic management importance in organizations is to know how the business will be conducted. It has been observed that organizations prioritizing strategic management are better able to bear the highs and lows of the market. Sound strategic plans have also shown a positive impact on the financial performance of firms. It has dramatically impacted revenue growth, ROI, and earnings.
Some other importance of Strategic Management are:
1. Eco-consciousness or Awareness of the environment
Eco-consciousness refers to sustainable development steps taken to reduce environmental damage. These damages can be in the form of overutilization of natural resources, increased carbon footprints, and changed climatic conditions. Companies can become eco-conscious by adopting a way of business that does not contribute to environmental pollution.
Developing a strategic management process for business is crucial and can be done by implementing strategies & practices. These practices may include promoting energy efficiency, recycling used products, sourcing from local vendors etc. Moreover, conducting eco-conscious drives in the organizations will also help employees reflect on their actions and encourage them to take environmental-friendly steps.
2. Achieve long-term goals
Achieving long-term goals helps an organization move closer to its vision. The role of strategic management in achieving long-term goals is that it paves a path to how those goals can be achieved in the next 3-5 years. Moreover, they help the organizations understand their position in the market and the industry they are operating in.
The need for strategic management in organizations is that it provides clarity. Long-term goals provide the much-needed direction to organizations. Businesses are better able to judge their current position and fill the gap in the strategies quickly.
3. Take initiative
Taking strategic initiatives helps the organization grow by providing a map route to growth. It explains how you can achieve the set goals to achieve your mission. Strategic initiatives consist of multiple approaches, and organizations can combine different initiatives to gain a broader picture. However, before taking any initiative, companies should analyze their current status to know how their initiatives align with the strategic goals.
Organizations can take company-wide or department-wide initiatives. These initiatives provide well-defined scopes, help analyze performance gaps, and bring a transformative approach. After implementing the initiatives, measuring their performance is crucial. Preparing a regular report on task completion can help in monitoring progress.
4. Improve organizational structure
Organizational structures provide outlines on how specific activities must be performed to achieve strategic mission. It also decides how the information will flow across the organization. For example, if an organization follows a centralized approach, then the information will flow from the higher authorities to the associates. Likewise, organizations with a decentralized approach will follow an open policy to distribute information. However, to determine which structure is better suited, companies need a well-planned strategy.
Strategic management helps to determine which organizational structure will be beneficial for what kind of companies. Establishing a hierarchy is important for better decision-making, inter-departmental collaboration, and fulfilling objectives. The relevance of strategic management is shown when choosing the organizational structure.
5. Set policies and strategies
Setting policies and strategies is another important aspect of strategic management. It provides an understanding of performance standards and helps the business mitigate risks. Moreover, from the employee’s perspectives, these policies help them adhere to a set standard. It gives them an idea of the acceptable and unacceptable behavior at the workplace. They have clarity on their role and how their respective roles are contributing to organizational growth.
The strategic management process is crucial for the growth of every organization and consists of the steps mentioned above. To navigate successfully through these different elements and maintain a balance, organizations can sit with their brightest minds and think of action plans. Setting up policies, focusing on organizational structures, taking initiatives, making eco-conscious steps, and aiming to achieve long-term goals are needed in the strategic management process.
What are the 5 Steps of the Strategic Management Process?
Knowing the importance of strategic management is only halfway through the journey. In addition, organizations must understand the steps they need to take to ensure the processes are correctly followed. The five steps of the strategic management process help organizations perform better, generate more revenue, and capture market share.
1. Environmental analysis
It refers to scanning the internal and external environment before setting policies and strategies. Environmental analysis is an important pillar of the strategic management process where you consider factors like location, organizational structure, competitors, and market forces. To judge the environmental factors impacting businesses, taking employees’ feedback and learning from the customers can help.
2. Setting goals and objectives
Goal setting is vital to reach the objectives a company has set for itself. Many companies set their journey to success by defining their vision and mission statements. These statements help every employee understand the common goals they are trying to achieve. Once these statements are defined, leaders can focus on broad areas to achieve the set goals. They can set departmental goals. For example, providing excellent customer support can be the goal of the customer support team. Likewise, conducting more events for brand identity improvement can be a goal for the marketing team.
3. Formulating strategies
After goal-setting, the next steps involve writing the strategies for growth. These strategies help organizations achieve their mission. After they have set the goals, for example, increasing the month-on-month revenue by 5%, defining the process of measuring the progress is crucial. Tracking the progress is essential to determine if the organization is on the right track. Setting goals and formulating strategies are important to show the relevance of strategic management in an organization.
4. Implementing strategies
Now the strategies are made, it is time to implement the strategic objectives. Before executing the plan, organizations need to ensure they have the required resources, budgets, and approvals. Once the resources are secured, the responsibilities should be clearly communicated and delegated to the stakeholders.
5. Evaluating and adjusting strategies
Most strategies are built to achieve the long-term goals laid for the next 3-5 years. However, it does not mean that the rules cannot be tweaked. Part of the implementation plan can be refined to achieve bigger and better targets. If the leadership team of an organization thinks the plans have failed for the current circumstances, they can make the necessary changes to achieve the set targets within the specified time.
The strategic management process is needed in every organization. It gives a clear growth pathway and helps companies understand the areas they must focus on. The need for strategic management can be underlined in the fact that it motivates every employee to work toward a common goal. Also, it sets realistic expectations to be fulfilled with the help of teamwork.
Types of Strategic Management
The purpose of strategic management is to help organizations achieve their goals, drive growth, accelerate sales, and gain long-term success. However, organizations follow a particular or a mix of strategies to achieve these goals. Here are the five types of strategic management that can help companies grow.
1. Linear Strategic Management
Rational thinking and logic are two pillars of making a sound decision, and linear strategic management relies on these two factors. This strategic management process helps organizations react to unexpected changes and disruptions without wasting much time. Organizations willing to implement these types of strategic management must start the process with a SWOT analysis to weigh all internal and external factors.
2. Adaptive Strategic Management
Every business has to witness dynamic changes during the course of its operation. Adaptive strategic management helps the business survive through these changes by refining and iterating management strategies. When implementing this strategic approach, organizations need to experiment continuously to get an edge over their competitors.
3. Interpretive Strategic Management
This is the most uncommon strategy used in organizations. However, it ensures that the new plans align with the overall organizational goals. It helps organizations adapt to the changes in customer preferences, market conditions, and business performance.
4. Expressive Strategic Management
It is a mix of adaptive and interpretive strategic management. This strategic management process helps organizations benefit from emerging trends while being true to their mission, vision, and goals. Expressive strategic management allows companies to take a proactive approach to handle changes in internal and external business factors.
5. Transcendent Strategic Management
This strategy can be implemented only when an organization has implemented and mastered the four other strategies mentioned above. It is considered the highest level of strategic management for any organization.
Framing the right strategy is important for all organizations to continue operations in the long run. Organizations should try implementing the techniques mentioned above and then analyze which one works best for them.
Strategic management is a never-ending process requiring different steps. Companies must bring the best minds together to know how to frame strategies that help them thrive. The task does not stop just at framing policies or defining objectives. It also includes refining the objectives from time to time to get an edge. Organizations must frame a solid action plan that helps them grow and achieve their goals in the coming years.
1. What is the most important in strategic management?
The strategic management process consists of five essential steps, and each step has its value. From goal setting to analyzing the market factors, every task has its significance. An organization’s leadership team must take care of all the required steps before devising a strategy.
2. What are the key components of strategic management?
The critical components of strategic management include:
- Scanning the internal & external environments
- Goal setting
- Formulating & implementing strategies
- Evaluating and refining the strategies
3. How can strategic management help in navigating a rapidly changing business environment?
Strategic management provides insights to businesses by helping them analyze internal and external market conditions. Leaders can connect with the employees to understand the effectiveness of internal policies. Likewise, getting together with the customers can provide insights into what needs to be changed.
4. What are the common challenges faced in implementing strategic management?
The common challenges that hinder the implementation of a proper strategy are:
- Lack of alignment
- Improper goal setting
- Poor progress tracking
- Absence of vision and mission statements
- A mismatch between organizational and employee goals
5. What is an example of strategic management?
A classic example of strategic management is Toyota’s implementation of the “Toyota Production System.” This approach focuses on lean manufacturing, minimizing waste, and optimizing production efficiency. It helped Toyota become a global leader in the automotive industry by providing cost-effective, high-quality vehicles and setting industry standards for operational excellence.