Strategic planning Essay

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Strategic planning Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 2592

  • Pages: 10

Strategic planning

“Strategic Planning is inextricably interwoven into the entire fabric of management; it is not something separate and distinct from the process of management” (Steiner, 1979:7). In simpler terms, Steiner goes on further to explain how Strategic Planning is an organizational management activity. This activity is used in order to set priorities, focus energy, strengthen operations, ensure common goals are met, establish agreement around intended outcomes/results, and assesses/adjust the organization’s direction in response to a changing environment. Mintzberg, (2000) denotes that when strategic planning arrived on the scene, in the mid 1960’s, corporate leaders embraced it as “the one best way” to devise and implement strategies that would enhance the competitiveness of each business unit. Throughout this essay, empirical evidence along with sound academic theories will be used in order to critically analyse the topic of Strategic Planning.

Furthermore, alternative technique’s adopted by other business’ will then also be identified and analysed, before concluding this essay by discussing ‘the best’ technique for Business to apply, and why. According to work by Dettmer, (2003) Mintzberg et al originally identified 10 schools of strategic thought, with each individual school differing in its assumptions, characteristics and areas of emphasis. Dettmer elaborates on Mintzberg’s theory and explains how the first 3 schools are quite different to the remaining 7, these schools are the design, planning and positioning schools of thought. These specific schools are said to be prescriptive, deliberate and largely objective. With this is mind, it is clear to see that Strategic planning falls into mintzberg’s ‘Planning’ school of thought as it is described as a formal process, by which, “A rigorous set of steps are taken, from the analysis situation to the execution of the strategy” (Pettigrew and Thomas et al, 2002:423)

With over 275 companies operating in over 60 countries throughout the world, (Jnj.com, 2014), ‘Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies’ have established themselves as a highly successful Multi National Enterprise that operates using a strategic planning process. According to the financial website affiliated with Johnson & Johnson (investor.jnj, 2014); Executive management alongside the Board of Directors are the people responsible for setting the fundamental strategic direction of the Company to remain a broadly-based human health care company for the consumer. Johnson & Johnson’s Strategic planning is guided by ethical principles tailored towards unifying consumers worldwide whilst maintaining a set of common values and providing a constant reminder of the Company’s responsibilities to all of its constituents. J & J’s strategic planning process sees them hold Board and Committee meetings on an on-going basis throughout the year in order to discuss the strategic direction and major developments of the Company’s various businesses.

J&J shows how strategic planning is still used as a very useful tool for a company to use in order to maintain clear direction and long term focus. In this particular case, strategic planning seems to have been very successful for Johnson and Johnson as their 2013 Full-Year Sales saw them hit “$71.3 Billion” (J&J,2014:12), an increase of 6.1% from the previous year. Yet another multinational enterprise that chooses to maintain its use strategic planning in order to develop its organisational strategy is Shell. Shell opt for the ‘scenario planning’ approach. According to their website; Shell, (2014) this approach entails Shell to continuously develop specific scenarios and they have been doing so, in order to explore the future since the early 1970s. Scenario planning sees scenarios put in place to consider a range of plausible futures and how these could emerge from the realities of today. Shell maintains their strategic planning process aswell as documenting it through their annual release of a document by the name of ‘New Lens Scenarios’. According to the CEO of Shell, Mr Peter Voyer, the New Lens Scenarios are part of an ongoing process used in shell for the last 40 years, they are used in order to challenge executives’ perspectives on the future business environment and are based on plausible assumptions and quantification, designed to stretch management to consider even events that may be only remotely possible, Voyer, (2014).

Voyer goes on to explain how one example of a New Lens scenario currently being discussed at Shell is the demand increase for essentials such as water and energy by the year 2030. By 2030, Shell expects demand for critical resources like water, energy, and food to have risen by 40%-50%. In order to meet these needs without significant environmental detriment, Shell believe that they need to safely and sufficiently put in plan, procedures that will eventually see them totally transform the energy system. This is a further example of how a multinational enterprise uses strategic planning in its day to day development of its overall business strategy. With strategic planning come its strengths.

Armstrong, (2003) denotes that the use of a well-drawn strategic plan does well for at least five to seven years, with continuous monitoring required to see that no deviations creep. Strategic planning is important in many companies for many reasons: First of all it helps organisations to establish goals. Strategic plans let managers know the direction in which they are proceeding; it then helps identify future patters therefore aiding management set goals and targets for the company. Houben, et al (1999) denote that Strategic planning in the form of Environmental Scans (PEST/PESTEL/SWOT analysis) are able to take stock of its internal and external environment. It acquaints itself with its competencies, weaknesses, prospects and perils. It then takes the appropriate steps to leverage on its competencies and prospects and allay its weaknesses and perils. Furthermore strategic planning also aids businesses in sufficient allocation of its resources. It is able to contrast the availability of the resources with the actual requirements for the resources. It then transfers them from places where they are available in abundance to areas where they are needed immediately.

Finally, Houben summarises by explaining how strategic planning helps companies to Budget. Budgeting means that the organization is able to plan and budget for the future. When the organization knows in advance what it aims to achieve in the next two years, is able to take pertinent measures for it.

On the other hand, strategic planning can also been seen as a negative thing for companies to undertake. Although a sense of direction is important, it can also stifle creativity, especially if it is rigidly enforced. Camillus, (1986) explains how, in an uncertain and ambiguous world, fluidity can be more important than a finely tuned strategic compass. Therefore strategic planning can often become inflexible and focused too mu8ch on the future, as opposed to the company’s current situation. (Grungig and Kuhn et al, 2005) go on to further discuss potential pitfalls, with such as the ideas that, future predictions (no matter how in depth and rational) can still be wrong, therefore costing the company in the long term.

They go on to explain how strategic processes can often become very resource intensive, often requiring large amounts of time, data and money. A final pitfall/weakness of using strategic planning could be that of bounded rationality. (Simon 1997) explains how decision makers (irrespective of their level of intelligence) still only possess limited capacity to evaluate and process the information that is available to them. Also, with only a limited amount of time available to make a decision, individuals who intend to make rational choices are bound to make satisficing choices in complex situations.

As before mentioned, Strategic planning falls into Mintzberg’s ‘Planning’ school of thought, however it is important to note that other theories, in separate schools of thought also exist. For instance we also have Emergent strategy. Emergent strategy is summarised by Hill, C., W., L. and Jones, G., R., (2008) as the unplanned responses to unforeseen circumstances. Emergent strategy is the process of identifying unexpected outcomes from the execution of corporate strategy and then learning to integrate those unexpected outcomes into future corporate plans. An example of a company that uses emergent strategy is IKEA. According to (Hill, C., W., L. and Jones, G., R., (2008), IKEA’S first goal over time was to provide stylish functional designs with minimalist lines that could be cost-efficiently manufactured under contract by suppliers and priced low enough to allow most of people to afford buy their products. However over time, and due to reasons such as product damages (1950’s), and cost customization, IKEA emerged with new strategies such as self-service pick up, change in manufacturers, and most notably, self-assembly flat pack products.

Bremm and Voigt (2008) explain how emergent strategies can be beneficial to a company as it often plays a critical part in the advancement of the technology being offered in the marketplace. When companies refine and develop their products, they look for new features to offer that allow their products to stand out from the competition. Furthermore, in adopting an emergent strategy, it could be result in discovering something before competitors, leading to a competitive advantage. However on the other hand, Gamble and Thompson, (2009) suggest that the disadvantage to emergent strategy is the inability of some companies to plan properly for it and the damage it can do to the organizational structure A further approach adopted by companies is known as the core competency theory. Prahalad, C.K. and Hamel, G. (1990) describe how core competencies are particular strengths relative to other organizations in the industry, which provide the fundamental basis for the provision of added value An example of success by core competency is that of Canon.

Cannon grew very rapidly to beat Xerox with a range of core products including image scanners, laser printers, copiers, and cameras, based on core competencies in precision mechanics, fine optics, and microelectronics. Galon et al., (1999) identifies key strengths of the Core competency theory, said strengths include; Core Competencies being bundles of skills and technologies that are very difficult or impossible to match, therefore they are very organisation specific. Such competencies are very much unique to the particular organization and to the particular industry, in which the organization operates. Therefore, Galon later goes on to explain how, when applied through corporate operational processes to create products and services, core competencies make a critical contribution to corporate competitiveness Collins, J. (2001) on the other hand, discusses possible weaknesses of this theory, such as the fact that Core competency needs intense human effort over the years and significant investment in R&D and infrastructure.

The core competency will simply rot away if it is not constantly maintained. As well as the fact that the core competencies not only have to configure the existing value chains of the company but also to explore new value chains to seek new customers in same business line, this can often mean that organisations lose track of external environment as it is a very inward looking theory. Taking into account all of the above theories that have been discussed, there is also room for a blended approach, and Organisations often pursue what Mintzberg describes as ‘umbrella’ strategies (Mintzberg, 1994, pp. 24-26). This is where the broad outline of the planning phase are deliberate, while the details are allowed to emerge within them. Mintzberg later on in the chapter goes on to explain how, good, effective strategies mix characteristics in ways that reflect the conditions at hand, notably the ability to predict as well as the need to react to certain events. Similarly, contrary to Porter’s view of all companies should adopt a 1 strategy approach and ‘nail’ it (Porter, 1980:220). James Quinn is an advocate of the Dual Approach theory; this theory sees companies adopt more than one theory of planning.

A company that is currently adopting this strategy is Singapore Airlines. According to the Harvard Business review (Heracleous and Witz, 2010) Singapore airlines operate with a dual approach of cost leadership, and high quality. This has seen Singapore airlines excel in areas such as profitability, customer satisfaction, cost per km and so on. This is an example of how sometimes it is not necessary to operate using only one approach. To conclude, throughout this piece of work a range of different theories have been discussed, analysing both their strengths and pitfalls. One thing that has become abundantly clear however is the point that, the strategy used by a company, is largely dependant on which industry they operate within, and what works for one company, may not necessarily work for another. What has become very apparent from the research is that no matter which strategy a company adopts, they must always consciously continue to listen to their target consumers and not lose sight of what they want.

References
Armstrong, M. 2003. How to be an even better manager.
Brem, A. and Voigt, K. 2008. The boundaries of innovation and entrepreneurship. Wiesbaden: Gabler. Camillus, J. C. 1986. Strategic planning and management control. Lexington, Mass.: Lexington Books. Collins, J. (2001) Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and others don’t (Hardcover). Pearson. USA pp 90-119

Dettmer, H. W. 2003. Strategic navigation. Milwaukee, Wis.: ASQ Quality Press Galon, Mark.R, Stillman, Harold M., and Coates David (1999) Putting Core Competency thinking into practice. RTM Journal. http://cms.schwarzpharma.com/_uploads/media/7171_Gallon%20et%20al%20Putti ng%20Core%20Competency%20Thinking.pdf/ accessed on Dec 31st, 2012 Volume Gamble, J. and Thompson, A. A. 2009. Essentials of strategic management. Boston: McGraw-Hill Irwin. Grünig, R., Kühn, R. and Kühn, R. 2005. Process-based strategic planning. Berlin: Springer. Heracleous, L. and Wirtz, J. 2010. The globe: Singapore airlines’ balancing act. Hill, C. W. L. and Jones, G. R. 2013. Strategic management. Mason, OH: South-Western, Cengage Learning. Hill, C. W. L. and Jones, G. R. 2008. Essentials of strategic management. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co. Houben, G., Lenie, K. and
Vanhoof, K. 1999. A knowledge-based SWOT-analysis system as an instrument for strategic planning in small and medium sized enterprises. Decision support systems, 26 (2), pp. 125-135. Investor.jnj.com. 2014. Johnson & Johnson – Investor Relations – Strategic Planning Process. [online] Available at: http://www.investor.jnj.com/governance/strategic-planning.cfm [Accessed: 3 Mar 2014]. J&J. 2014. Johnson & Johnson – Investor Relations – Sales and Earnings. [online] Available at: http://www.investor.jnj.com/sales-earnings.cfm [Accessed: 3 Mar 2014]. Jnj.com. 2014. Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies | Johnson & Johnson. [online] Available at: http://www.jnj.com/ [Accessed: 3 Mar 2014]. Mintzberg, H. 1994. Strategic Planning. 3rd ed. Cornwall: Prentice Hall.

Mintzberg, H. 2000. The rise and fall of strategic planning. New York: Free Press. Pettigrew, A. M., Thomas, H. and Whittington, R. 2002. Handbook of strategy and management. London: Sage Publications. Porter, M. E. 1980. Competitive strategy. New York: Free Press. Prahalad, C.K. and Hamel, G. (1990) The core competence of the corporation, Harvard Business Review (v. 68, no. 3) pp. 79–91. Shell.com. 2014. New Lens Scenarios – Shell Global. [online] Available at: http://www.shell.com/global/future-energy/scenarios/new-lens-scenarios.html [Accessed: 17 Mar 2014]. Simon, H. A. 1997. Empirically grounded economic reason. Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press Ltd. Steiner, G. A. 1979. Strategic planning. New York: Free Press. Voyer, P. 2013. A shift in perspective for A world in trAnsition. new Lens Scenarios, 40 (1), pp. 1-5.

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Strategic planning Essay

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Strategic planning Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of Arkansas System

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 2057

  • Pages: 8

Strategic planning

Strategic planning is an organization’s process of defining its strategy, or direction, and making decisions on allocating its resources to pursue this strategy. In order to determine the direction of the organization, it is necessary to understand its current position and the possible avenues through which it can pursue a particular course of action. Generally, strategic planning deals with at least one of three key questions:[1] 1. “What do we do?”

2. “For whom do we do it?”
3. “How do we excel?”
In many organizations, this is viewed as a process for determining where an organization is going over the next year or—more typically—3 to 5 years (long term), although some extend their vision to 20 years. Contents

[hide]
1 Key components
2 Strategic planning process
3 Tools and approaches
3.1 Situational analysis
4 Goals, objectives and targets
5 Business analysis techniques
6 See also
7 References
8 Further reading
Key components[edit]

Video explaining the strategic plan of the Wikimedia Foundation The key components of ‘strategic planning’ include an understanding of the firm’s vision, mission, values and strategies. (Often a “Vision Statement” and a “Mission Statement” may encapsulate the vision and mission). Vision: outlines what the organization wants to be, or how it wants the world in which it operates to be (an “idealised” view of the world). It is a long-term view and concentrates on the future. It can be emotive[citation needed] and is a source of inspiration. For example, a charity working with
the poor might have a vision statement which reads “A World without Poverty.”

Mission: Defines the fundamental purpose of an organization or an enterprise, succinctly describing why it exists and what it does to achieve its vision. For example, the charity above might have a mission statement as “providing jobs for the homeless and unemployed”. Values: Beliefs that are shared among the stakeholders of an organization. Values drive an organization’s culture[citation needed] and priorities and provide a framework in which decisions are made.

For example, “Knowledge and skills are the keys to success” or “give a man bread and feed him for a day, but teach him to farm and feed him for life”. These example maxims may set the priorities of self-sufficiency over shelter. Strategy: Strategy, narrowly defined, means “the art of the general”.[citation needed] – a combination of the ends (goals) for which the firm is striving and the means (policies) by which it is seeking to get there. A strategy is sometimes called a roadmap – which is the path chosen to plow towards the end vision.

The most important part of implementing the strategy[citation needed] is ensuring the company is going in the right direction which is towards the end vision. Organizations sometimes summarize goals and objectives into a mission statement and/or a vision statement. Others begin with a vision and mission and use them to formulate goals and objectives. Many people mistake the vision statement for the mission statement, and sometimes one is simply used as a longer term version of the other. However they are distinct; with the vision being a descriptive picture of a desired future state; and the mission being a statement of a rationale, applicable now as well as in the future.

The mission is therefore the means of successfully achieving the vision. This may be in the business world or the military. For an organization’s vision and mission to be effective, they must become assimilated into the organization’s culture. They should also be assessed internally and externally. The internal assessment should focus on how members inside the organization interpret their mission statement. The external assessment — which includes all of the businesses stakeholders — is valuable since it offers a different perspective. These discrepancies between these two assessments can provide insight into their effectiveness. Strategic planning process[edit]

There are many approaches to strategic planning but typically one of the following approaches is used: Situation-Target-Proposal
Situation – evaluate the current situation and how it came about. Target – define goals and/or objectives (sometimes called ideal state) Path / Proposal – map a possible route to the goals/objectives Draw-See-Think-Plan

Draw – what is the ideal image or the desired end state?
See – what is today’s situation? What is the gap from ideal and why? Think – what specific actions must be taken to close the gap between today’s situation and the ideal state? Plan – what resources are required to execute the ‘plan’?

Tools and approaches[edit]
Among the most widely used tools for strategic planning is SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats). The main objective of this tool is to analyze internal strategic factors, strengths and weaknesses attributed to the organization, and external factors beyond control of the organization such as opportunities and threats. Other tools include:

Balanced Scorecards, which creates a systematic framework for strategic planning; Scenario planning, which was originally used in the military and recently used by large corporations to analyze future scenarios. PEST analysis (Political, Economic, Social, and Technological) STEER analysis (Socio-cultural, Technological, Economic, Ecological, and Regulatory factors) EPISTEL (Environment, Political, Informatic, Social, Technological, Economic and Legal).

ATM Approach (Antecedent Conditions, Target Strategies, Measure Progress and Impact).[2] Once an understanding of the desired endstate is defined, the ATM approach uses Root Cause Analysis (RCA) to understand the threats, barriers, and challenges to achieving the endstate. Not all antecedent conditions identified through RCA are within the direct and immediate control of the organization to change.

Therefore, a review of organizational resources, both human and financial, are used to prioritize which antecedent conditions will be targeted. Strategies are then developed to target the prioritized antecedent conditions. Linking strategies to antecedent conditions ensures the organization does not engage in activity traps: feel good activities that will not lead to desired changes in the endstate. Once a strategy is defined then performance measures and indicators are sought to track progress toward and impact on the desired endstate. Situational analysis[edit]

When developing strategies, analysis of the organization and its environment as it is at the moment and how it may develop in the future, is important. The analysis has to be executed at an internal level as well as an external level to identify all opportunities and threats of the external environment as well as the strengths and weaknesses of the organizations. There are several factors to assess in the external situation analysis: 1. Markets (customers)

2. Competition
3. Technology
4. Supplier markets
5. Labor markets
6. The economy
7. The regulatory environment

It is rare to find all seven of these factors having critical importance. It is also uncommon to find that the first two – markets and competition – are not of critical importance. (Bradford “External Situation – What to Consider”) Analysis of the external environment normally focuses on the customer. Management should be visionary in formulating customer strategy, and should do so by thinking about market environment shifts, how these could impact customer sets, and whether those customer sets are the ones the company wishes to serve.

Analysis of the competitive environment is also performed, many times based on the framework suggested by Michael Porter. With regard to market planning specifically, researchers have recommended a series of action steps or guidelines in accordance to which market planners should plan.[3] Goals, objectives and targets[edit]

Strategic planning is a very important business activity. It is also important in the public sector areas such as education. It is practiced widely informally and formally. Strategic planning and decision processes should end with objectives and a roadmap of ways to achieve them.

The goal of strategic planning mechanisms like formal planning is to increase specificity in business operation, especially when long-term and high-stake activities are involved. One of the core goals when drafting a strategic plan is to develop it in a way that is easily translatable into action plans. Most strategic plans address high level initiatives and overarching goals, but don’t get articulated (translated) into day-to-day projects and tasks that will be required to achieve the plan.

Terminology or word choice, as well as the level at which a plan is written, are both examples of easy ways to fail at translating your strategic plan in a way that makes sense and is executable to others. Often, plans are filled with conceptual terms which don’t tie into day-to-day realities for the staff expected to carry out the plan. The following terms have been used in strategic planning: desired end states, plans, policies, goals, objectives, strategies, tactics and actions.

Definitions vary, overlap and fail to achieve clarity. The most common of these concepts are specific, time bound statements of intended future results and general and continuing statements of intended future results, which most models refer to as either goals or objectives (sometimes interchangeably). One model of organizing objectives uses hierarchies. The items listed above may be organized in a hierarchy of means and ends andnumbered as follows: Top Rank Objective (TRO), Second Rank Objective, Third Rank Objective, etc.

From any rank, the objective in a lower rank answers to the question “How?” and the objective in a higher rank answers to the question “Why?” The exception is the Top Rank Objective (TRO): there is no answer to the “Why?” question. That is how the TRO is defined. People typically have several goals at the same time. “Goal congruency” refers to how well the goals combine with each other.

Does goal A appear compatible with goal B? Do they fit together to form a unified strategy? “Goal hierarchy” consists of the nesting of one or more goals within other goal(s). One approach recommends having short-term goals, medium-term goals, and long-term goals. In this model, one can expect to attain short-term goals fairly easily: they stand just slightly above one’s reach. At the other extreme, long-term goals appear very difficult, almost impossible to attain. Strategic management jargon sometimes refers to “Big Hairy Audacious Goals” (BHAGs) in this context.

Using one goal as a stepping-stone to the next involves goal sequencing. A person or group starts by attaining the easy short-term goals, then steps up to the medium-term, then to the long-term goals. Goal sequencing can create a “goal stairway”. In anorganizational setting, the organization may co-ordinate goals so that they do not conflict with each other. The goals of one part of the organization should mesh compatibly with those of other parts of the organization. Business analysis techniques[edit]

Various business analysis techniques can be used in strategic planning, including SWOT analysis, PEST analysis, STEER analysis, and EPISTEL (see above). SYSTEM:

System Pyramid
Successful and sustainable transformation efforts require leaders who know how to manage change. At the simplest level, managing change means: Knowing what you want to accomplish and creating a compelling vision that motivates others Understand stakeholders and communicating with them early, consistently and often Managing the varying levels of support and resistance that will inevitably emerge in response to any change Change Leadership is a skillset that is required throughout any deployment, from planning and executing to sustaining improvements.

Change Leadership is essential for both high level executives and program leaders, who are responsible for setting the vision, communicate the vision and make the changes happen.

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  • University/College:
    University of California

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 441

  • Pages: 2

Strategic planning

Strategic planning refers to a course of action for outlining organizational objectives, carrying out planning to achieve those objectives, and measuring the usefulness of those strategies (Kovner & Knickman, 2011). How will the organizational performance at Montefiore be measured? Performance measures are important for it improves communication internally among their employees and externally between the organization, customers, and stakeholders. After all, Montefiore effective communication for their strategic planning activities is explained in their mission statement, which is to heal, to teach, to discover, and to advance the health of the community that they serve (Kovner & Knickman, 2011). Montefiore organizational performance should be measured to justify programs and their costs that should include a measure of supply and demand. For instance, patient appointments, which supply is the total of clinician hours and non-appointments (refills and messages) and for demands, the total number of request for appointments received on any given day from both internal and external sources.

Montefiore organizational performance should be measured by showing accountability of stewardship of the tax payer’s dollars to show that they are addressing the needs of the society by making progress towards goals (Kovner & Knickman, 2011). The vision is that all organizations within the department have performance measurement systems to reinforce their planning and evaluation activities (Kovner & Knickman, 2011). Planning and evaluating activities is the responsibility of every individual within that department working together to develop valid and useful measures.

Why don’t all HCOs have strategic goals like Montefiore’s? Unfortunately, not all health care organizations agree with strategic planning. Questions about its importance and successfulness have continued. The reason for this is that after decades of research the outcome of strategic planning on an organization’s performance is still not clear. Significant benefits from planning have been found in some studies while others have found no connection and some unfavorable outcomes (Kovner & Knickman, 2011). What contributions should the management team make?

Management teams contribute to clarifying common goals and purposes of the organization to their employees. All employees contribute to the organization’s success. Organizing people, dollars, services, equipment to accomplish the work required by the employees is another contributing factor the management teams plays a role in (Kovner & Knickman, 2011). Above all, management team contributions are about teamwork, collaboration and being responsible of resources entrusted to them.

References
Kovner, A. R., & Knickman, J. R. (2011). Jonas & Kovner’s Health Care Delivery in the United States (10th ed.). New York, NY: Springer.

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  • University/College:
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  • Words: 465

  • Pages: 2

Strategic planning

1. What is the difference between strategic planning and tactical planning?

Strategic planning is the process of determining an organizations primary objectives and finding and implementing steps that will achieve the objectives. Tactical planning is setting short-term actions that are needed to compete larger strategies.

2. what is the difference between a business plan and a marketing plan?

Business plan is a detailed plan setting out the objectives of a business, the strategy and tactics planned to achieve them, and the expected profits, usually over a period of three to ten years. Marketing plan is a strategic plan at the functional level that provides a firm’s marketing group with direction. The strategy for implementing the components of marketing; creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging value.

3. what is the purpose of a marketing plan?

It is a road map that improves the firm’s understanding of its competitive situation. It helps the firm allocate resources and divvy up the tasks that employees need to do for the company to meet its objectives.

4. what are the two elements of every marketing strategy?

1)product strategy-product development strategy – creating new products or services for existing markets. 2)market strategy-market penetration strategy – selling more of existing products and services to existing customers.

5. how would you describe first-mover strategy?

A market innovator, not a follower – Corporate level strategy theorizing that being the first organization to offer a product in the marketplace will be the long-term market leader.

6. what are the advantages and disadvantages of being a first mover?

Three advantages of being first: technology leadership, control of resources, and buyer switching costs. The disadvantages: later entrants can overcome advantages, must heavily entice customers to try new type of product ( high education expense), some first movers may become complacent with changing customers needs.

7. how would describe second-mover strategy?

Corporate level strategy theorizing that closely observing the innovations of the first movers, and then improving on them can help an organization gain advantage in marketplace.

8. what are the advantages and disadvantages of being a second mover?

Advantages: ability to observe competitors’ successes and failures. Lower risk in product development and less controversy. Revising rather than creating and competitor surprise, and stealing market share rather than creating it. Disadvantages: persuading customers to “switch,” communicating your value add.

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  • University/College:
    University of Arkansas System

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 2548

  • Pages: 10

Strategic Planning

Understanding the wider significance of a research is important in determining its significance to the community thus relevance to the objectives it set to achieve. The results clearly show that over 64% of the respondent are not aware of any form of volunteering activity towards the 2012 London Olympics and that the most frequent communication channel is the internet which is closely followed by leaflets.

The research came to the realisation that only 6 out of 67 participants were active volunteers who represent a proportion of about 9% of the volunteers and that gender is not significantly related with previous poor volunteer experience and can therefore not be blamed for some choosing not to volunteer. Furthermore, the results show that there is no significant correlation between gender and being unaware of volunteering.

Most people are of the view that financial assistance is either moderately important or the most important factor in pushing them to volunteering; assistance with refreshment is considered by many as the least important reason to engagement in volunteer activities while it appears that free entry into Olympic events takes the cake with respect to pushing people into volunteering. The research further found that a greater degree of volunteering promotion can significantly lead to a greater degree of participation in volunteering activities.

a) Secondary London is based in a first world nation and this may play a significant part in determining the nature of variables that determine the motivation of people engaging in various activities. It is worth noting that in most cases nations or communities that are of considerable levels of resource ability are generally concerned with the attainment of self actualisation needs in the Maslow’s hierarchy (Arussy, 2005 p. 34).

Olympics are a prestigious event that most consider prestigious to be involved with and this perception is reflected in the number of people who think that getting a pass to the Olympic could be a great motivation in engaging in volunteer activities. It is not surprising that few are involved in active volunteering considering the low levels of awareness on existence of volunteer work. Any activity that seeks the involvement of a community or a defined segment of a community requires the implementation of strategies that ensure all in the community are aware of the existence of the activity and its objectives.

Development of awareness is of critical importance in ensuring that the target population is aware of the volunteer activities and also plays an important part in developing appreciation of the cause for volunteer activities which is important in developing motivation. It is worth noting that the failure of strategies in addressing the target population can either be traced in the strategies being employed or are a manifestation of failure in employing approaches that are relevant to the communication channel used by the target populations.

In either case, there is need to address the failure of the communication channel in reaching the target audience before even taking steps in ensuring that the right motivators are directed towards the target population (Barksdale & Lund, 2006). It is only by developing relevant communication strategies that steps towards attracting more volunteers irrespective of their activity can be attained. b) Primary

The finding that gender is not significantly related to the target population having had previous poor experiences or unawareness point to the fact that the strategies developed to ensure the development of more awareness or motivation toward engagement in voluntary activities should not be based on gender. This result should be expected considering the levels of development that the UK and especially the London community have recorded over the last few decades (Cassidy, 2005).

The position of the male and female genders in the society is nearly equal and therefore disparities arising from gender should not be expected in communication channels and in management. Though the results should not be translated as being reflective of a society that is lacking in discrimination on the basis of gender, the implication of the findings is that basing strategies that seek to develop awareness or motivation towards volunteering to the 2012 London Olympics should take on a gender independent platform.

The finding that greater degree of volunteering promotion can significantly lead to a greater degree of participation in volunteering activities is line with findings regarding motivation and its dependence on awareness. It is important to note that motivation is highly dependent on awareness which can either be intrinsic or extrinsic (Kao, 2007). Without motivation to achievement set objectives, it is nearly impossible to develop the urge to meet set goals.

While man seeks the basic needs out of the internal need to meet his food, clothing, security and even sexual needs, as one climbs higher up the hierarchy of needs most sources of motivation tend to be developed out of awareness attributed to external stimuli (Kao, 2007). Self actualisation and other higher needs are mainly results if the interaction between an individual and the environment that he is in that develops a perception of having to attain higher goals. This is the role played by volunteering promotion in creating awareness on the need to volunteer for the 2012 London Olympics preparations.

It is further important to note that due to the nature of volunteering with respect to the needs that it addresses places it among the high level needs that are mostly a result of the interaction between an individual and the environment. Without the development of awareness on such high level issues through approaches like promotion there is little that can be done since motivation for participation in voluntary tasks is not developed out of a need that must be met but one that an individual meets to feel worthy to attain personal ambition. Recommendations

Volunteer work plays an important part in determining the levels of efficiency that can be attained in the preparation and therefore eventual success of the 2012 London Olympics. Failure in preparation is courting disaster that may manifest in the development of a poor reputation for London as a city and England as a nation which should no be allowed. It is apparent from the research that the current approaches being employed in seeking volunteers who determine the levels of success that can be attained in preparation are lacking in either the communication approaches that they employ or the area of motivation they address.

Due to the importance placed on the volunteer works, it is important that relevant strategies be developed to address the areas that the current strategies are lacking in. Understanding the nature of the social segment that is being sought is important in developing an understanding of approaches that would be highly relevant to the challenges that are currently being experienced in addressing low levels of motivation towards volunteer work regarding the 2012 Olympics preparations. A notable area of failure is in communication which plays an important part in developing awareness and motivation towards volunteer work.

Communication plays an important part in developing awareness and appreciation of the need to engage in volunteer work towards preparation for the 2012 Olympics. An analysis of communication as an approach to addressing the failure of the current approach should place special emphasis on the content being communicated and channels being used. It is important to note that an integrated marketing approach to communication is important in developing more awareness and appreciation for the Olympics that would play an important part in developing the clearly missing motivation.

An integrated marketing communication approach that should be implemented would involve planning aimed at ensuring that the nature of the Olympic goals and its significance are consistent with the different areas of motivation of the target population over a period of time (Brody, 2004). This implies that the approach should be holistic and may require the involvement of all concerned with the preparation for the Olympics. It is quite evident from the failures of the current approaches that they are lacking in addressing the needs of the target population and have failed in ensuring consistent relevance.

Due to lack of a clear understanding on why the current approaches are lacking it is important that the strategies be reviewed (Cassidy, 2005); this may require a restatement of the significance of the Olympic to ensure it is relevant to the motivation needs of the target populations. Consistency of significance of the Olympic to the motivation needs of the target population can only be attained if the motivators and expectations of the target population are understood. This stage is of critical importance in determining the levels of success that can be attained in the implementation of volunteer programs.

It is important to note that under the integrated marketing communication approach the main emphasis lies in consistency of the messages and use of media that complement the message (Cassidy, 2005). This last aspect has clearly been lacking in the approaches employed in seeking volunteers in preparing for the 2012 Olympic. The failure of the approaches can be traced to over reliance on impersonal approaches that are of reduced efficiency in developing awareness on issues that the target population seek clarification on’ moreover, the current approaches require so much of the target population if they are to get additional information.

This failure should be addressed by employment of multiple approaches that ensure the different areas of motivations in the target population are properly addressed (Bryson, 2004 p. 91). The current approach that employs mainly the internet and leaflets should not be the case for it fails in developing appreciation in the target population due to its lack of a personal touch. Internet and leaflets which are clearly aimed at reaching a large audience fail to transform this large audience into affordable voluntary working force due to their nature that make them less convincing (Cassidy, 2005).

The current approaches are relevant in developing awareness though they also failed in this goal either due to the resource they employ or their implementation; this should be investigated and corrective measures developed. There are multiple media that can be employed thus the over reliance on internet and leaflets cannot be explained considering they display low levels of efficiency with respect to addressing key factors behind motivation.

Consistency across different media platforms and the use of a language and content that would be appealing to the target population must be stressed on if communication goals are to be achieved (Soros, 2008 p. 56). More funds should be directed into research to determine the nature of the target population so as to develop an effective campaign that would ensure a large population is reached and touched by the call for volunteer work.

Developing relevant approaches to communication is important in ensuring that the communication goals are met and in reducing complications and problems that would hinder the attainment of communication objectives (Dettmer, 2003 p. 79). Though motivation as an area of research has been central to a number of conflicting approaches, there are several accepted facts regarding motivation in humans (Shim, Siegel & Dauber, 2008). One of the most important findings with regard to the nature of motivation is that above the basic existential needs individuals are motivated by different factors.

The complexity in motivation which is an important factor in determining the propensity of the target population engaging in the volunteer activities has played an important part in the failures recorded by the current approaches (Kao, 2007 p. 13). Appreciation of the fact that though all may be looking forward to the 2012 Olympic, the need to participate in the preparation on a voluntary basis would be perceived differently is important in developing steps that would seek determine the different areas of motivation within the target population thus development of approaches that are highly robust.

This understanding is further important in developing an appreciation of the diversity presented by motivation and therefore the development of an understanding of the complexity involved in ensuring masses are convinced on the need for voluntary work with regards to preparation for the 2012 Olympic. Assumptions should never be made on the nature of motivation due to its complexity (Gilad, 2003).

This calls for an objective approach in research on the factors that motivate masses into voluntary undertakings. Motivation as an issue has over the years been grappled with by theorist and socialist thus such a research should not focus on defining motivation within the target population rather emphasis should be placed on different manifestation of motivation within the target population (Griffin, 2008).

The research clearly points to the fact that the current approaches used in communication and definition of motivation are central to the low involvement of most people in volunteering to preparations for the 2012 London Olympic. The significance of the events on the economy and reputation of London and England as a nation places all English in a position where they have to change the approaches to seeking volunteer manpower or risk dealing an irreparable damage to their economy and reputation.

Addressing the issues highlighted with respect to volunteering, communication and motivation may require the involvement of the Olympic steering committee, research organisations, non-governmental bodies and even the government; it is worth noting that though the corrective measures may call for additional funding it is worth the effort considering the cost of failure in addressing the problem.

References

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New York, NY: Wiley_Default. Cassidy, A 2005. Practical Guide to Information Systems Strategic Planning. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press. Dettmer, HW 2003. Strategic Navigation: A Systems Approach to Business Strategy. Washington, DC: American Society for Quality. Gilad, B 2003. Early Warning: Using Competitive Intelligence to Anticipate Market Shifts, Control Risk, and Create Powerful Strategies. New York: AMACOM Div American Mgmt Assn. Griffin, A 2008.

New Strategies for Reputation Management: Gaining Control of Issues, Crises and Corporate Social Responsibility. London: Kogan Page Publishers. Kao, J 2007. Innovation Nation: How America Is Losing Its Innovation Edge, Why It Matters, and What We Can Do to Get It Back. New York: FreePress. Shim, JK, Siegel, JG & Dauber, N 2008. Corporate Controller’s Handbook of Financial Management 2008-2009. London: CCH. Soros, G 2008. The New Paradigm for Financial Markets: The Credit Crisis of 2008 and What It Means: Washington DC, PublicAffairs.

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