Strategic Planning


In the mid-1960s when strategic planning first arrived, corporateleaders regard it as “one best way” in devising and strategicimplementation that seeks to enhance competitiveness in everybusiness unit. This “one best way” having been pioneered byFredrick Taylor involved scientific management with separate thinkingfrom coming up with a new function full of specialists strategicplanners. Then, it was expected planning systems would come up withthe best strategies and also step by step instructions to be used tocarry out such strategies done so that the managers of the businesscould not misunderstand. Since then, strategic planning as neverworked out that way.

As it is understood, strategic planning is different from strategicthinking. This confusion often lies at the center of the issue:visions, not plans are the most successful strategies (Mintzberg,1994). As it has often been practiced, strategic planning has sincebeen strategic programming, visions, or the elaboration andarticulation of strategies that already exists. Strategic planning isabout analysis – breaking down goals or setting intentions intosteps, formulation of those steps such that it is easy to implementalmost automatically, and anticipating articulation of results orconsequences of each step. According to Mathew (2009), he claimedthat he favors a set of analytically constructed techniques thatinvolves developing strategy.

According to Mintzberg 1994), strategic planning premises is supposeto remain still while a strategic plan is being executed and thereafter stay on a predictable course while the same plan is beingimplemented. The evidence points on the contrary. Certain terms suchas seasons, repetitive terms, and forecasting discontinuities,remains impossible. It evidenced that a strategy can at times bedeliberate in that it can realize specific intentions from seniormanagement. However, a strategy can again be emergent such thatconvergent pattern forms among different actions over time in theorganization.

Strategy making requires operating beyond such boxes to encourageinformal learning that develops new combinations and perspectives.Failure to plan transcends down to show why it discouragesorganizational change. This kind of failure explains why there ispromotion of planning strategies that have been extrapolated orcopied from other in the past (Mintzberg, 1984). This is also thereason why strategic planning has never resulted to strategicthinking. Understanding this means that managers could avoid somecostly misadventures that are caused by formal technique applicationwithout intuition or judgment.

There are a number of components of strategic planning including:Plans as tools to control and communicate, as strategy finders,planners as analysts, and plans as catalysts. To begin with, as atool for control and communication, this component if used forcoordination to ensure each individual in an organization is draggedtowards the same direction. Strategic planning in for of programs forexample budgets and schedules can be used as a prime media to informon strategic intentions and also control individual pursuit as aconsideration to a common direction importance than individualdiscretion (Jane &amp Robert, 2007).

As strategic finders, it emerges as the most important in anorganizational setting without intention or other times awarenessfrom the top managers. By fully exploiting these strategies, it oftendemands that they be required to be recognized then broadened intheir influence in accidentally taking their new product.

From analysts, in-depth analysis suggests that effective plannersspend a considerable amount of time not doing much or encouragingeven other planners to carry out analyses of special issues. Most ofthis analysis, it will be dirty or quick within the time frame and onthe basis that is required by managers. It could include competitiveanalyses or industry or internal studies, which involves usingcomputer models for analyzing organizational trends.

As catalysts, they have since been promoted in this role. Strategicanalysis is not involved in the black box strategy but by ensuringthat such a box is full of active strategic managers. The work isoften viewed as engaging others to question conventionalism andhelping other people especially out of conceptual rut. The strategyinvolves provocation, shock tactics such as coming up with difficultquestions challenges to conventional assumptions (Powell, 1994).

There are insights, after going through the strategic planninganalysis and components, that I found to be helpful in understandingmy personal development and sensible. To begin with, people seem toformalize after predisposing our behavior. I found it sensible not togo overboard in the formalization edge during strategic planning.However, I found it important to formalize a lot of things in themodern society. The presence of many organizations makes sense inthat it teaches us the importance of strategic planning and thatthere are also limits as much it is understood during creative andcomplex activities when making strategies at personal level.

At personal level, it is important to know that strategy making isnot process in isolation, and that it does not occur simply becauseit is attached with that label. On the contrary, I found out thatthis person only happens when interwoven with everything that ittakes when managing one’s life or even at organizational level.

I also found out that there is a need to loosen up when strategizingrather than trying hard to completely seal it off through formalizingarbitration. It also important through excessive rhetoric and falsestarts that planning one’s life is not and it could not do, andthat planning could be what it is and what it could do. I found itsensible that management literature can be swayed away and moreimportantly it is about a place for appropriate analysis in general.

Strategic planning at a personal level makes sense in that I learntthat formal technique in itself is not about that but also persons’in an organization do and do not cope with the strategic functions.Most importantly, I learnt that there was a manner we could think ashumans, and other times, we could stop thinking.

Information acquired from the strategic planning analysis can beused to influence the people one works with around the organization.In my case, I have learnt that strategic issues that arise duringplanning can be used to motivate or challenge my fellow colleagues.First, I will commence by teaching them what strategic issues are andhow they could use them to their advantage. From Mintzberg (1994),would begin by defining strategic issues as developments, trends, orevents that can generate potential in an individual or organizationstrategy when put into use. To be a decision maker, I would encouragethem to be aware of the problems or opportunities before makingdecisions. It is important that they learn that challenges at aperson or organization level when dealt with head on could reducepotential loss to them or the organization. I would make them awarethat a competitor in market may come up with a new technology or aproduct that is considered to potentially modify availability ofsubstitutes or could pose a significant threat in the organization’sviability.

Again, I could inform them to be aware of opportunities thatrepresent trends and developments that if they could act upon, couldrepresent a potential gain to the organization. From what I havelearnt, I would make them be aware of development of new material orany new technology outside the organization’s boundaries as a formof strategic issue, could have a potential competitive advantage tothe company. According to Jane &amp Robert (1987), both theopportunity and problem strategic issues are potentially importantsince they affect a company’s ability to realize its objectives andgoals.

Mathew (2009) also noted that there are strategic planning issuesthat indicate the presence of some disparity between the “ideal”and “real” state. In essence, I would be in a position to educatemy colleagues that there is difficulty in managing subjectivity thatis involved in their diagnosis and detection that are ambiguous influidity and complexity in making strategic issues. From this, Warner(1996) noted the presence of market solely for strategic planningthat has value in the members of the organization, and thatlegitimization and recognition of administrative routines ofstrategic issues that are devised to process them.

By adequately informing them more on the need to incorporatestrategic ideas to their daily activities in the organization, Iwould easily make them aware of the need to translate theirindividual concerns into those of the organization in action. Inaddition, if they would be in a position to frame their individualstrategic issues into the organization’s strategy, they will beable to increase their chances of personal agendas becomingoperational. A sub-unit o9r division head forexample will be in a position to decline labor quality as a generalstrategic concern for the organization or company, acquire quick andmore extensive support for individual’s attempts for implementationof new quality control programs (Powell, 1990).

From this, it will be easier for me to point out intentional focusduring decision making from fellow colleagues by driving collectionand interpretation in a more predictable way. From example, Warner(1996) encourages that learning strategic planning would be easier toissue entry from a new competitor into the organization’s primarymarket thus avoiding concerns on impending deregulation.


Jane E. Dutton &amp Robert B. Duncan (1987). Strategicdecision making process: The influence of organizational learning andexperience. Strategic ManagementJournal

Mathew R. Fairholm (2009). Strategic leadership and decisionmaking 1. Chandni Chowk, Delhi [India: GlobalMedia. The Public Sector Innovation Journal

Mintzberg, H. (1994). The rise and fall of strategic planning:Reconceiving roles for planning, plans, planners. New York: FreePress.

Powell, T. C. (1990). Organizational skill as competitiveadvantage: An extension of Porter`s analytical framework

Warner, M. (1996). Strategic Development Planning at the CommunityLevel: A Modification to Participatory Planning. CommunityDevelopment Journal, 31, 4, 330-42.