- Thoughts on Strategy and Management

Overcoming barriers for strategic planning

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Traditionally strategic planning has been recognized as very important activity to the effective management of the firm. However, according to some recent surveys (from 2006 and 2007), which are related to the organizational practice of strategic planning, “some” survey participants were not satisfied fully with the process or outcome.

Hence I would like to select some typical barriers and problems, which exist within strategic planning and would like to make some suggestions how to overcome them. These barriers are analysis barriers, agenda setting related barriers and barriers for strategy finding

Overcoming analysis barriers
To develop a successful and sustainable strategy, organisations could apply an approach that considers the impact of secondary effects. I recommend taking a dynamic view of the marketplace all the time. Therefore organisations should anticipate competitive reactions and explicitly incorporate them into their strategic analysis. To ensure such a dynamic view I recommend applying an approach that is based on the analytical technique of business dynamics.

Overcoming the issues of agenda setting
In some cases only top managers contribute to the agenda of the strategy meeting. Two major disadvantages are linked with this approach: a) Not all really important issues will be set to the agenda; due to this fact: b) some important aspects that have an impact on the meta level of corporate issues will not be considered. The quality of strategic decisions can be improved if middle management has the chance to contribute their knowledge to the stage of agenda setting. Hence it is recommended to establish a procedure that ensures the involvement of middle managers during the process of agenda setting. Degree and content of such a procedure should consider both size and structures of the organization.


Overcoming the barrier of strategy finding
To generate a variety of ideas the organisation has to ensure that various perspectives and different levels of knowledge are reflected. This can be achieved by including senior management representatives from all functional units of the organisation. That should include small units as well as those units that are far far away from corporate HQ.

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