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Strategic Planning
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Table of Contents

Articles by David Chaudron, PhD


Decisions to Make Before Organizational Change and Strategic Planning

David Chaudron, PhD

Organizations need to avoid selecting the current popular techniques for organizational change. Organizations should begin to evaluate what actions they need to take in order to grow and perform. How to decide the course of action is discussed in this article. To read the full article click here Decisions to make before Organizational Change and Strategic Planning.

The Nine Pitfalls of Organizational Change

David Chaudron, PhD

Why do some organizations succeed when implementing change while others do not? There are significant causes that impact the success of organizational change. This article provides recommendations to avoid “pitfalls” that inhibit organizational change. To read the full article click here The Nine Pitfalls of Organizational Change.

Assessing Your Organization

David Chaudron, PhD

Many of us are not trained to identify what is going wrong in the organization. However, we are able to achieve a sense when organizations do not function properly. This article provides recommendations as to how we can diagnosis the problems and identify the causes that inhibit organizations to function effectively. To read the full article click here Assessing your Organization.

Deciding between Re-engineering and TQM

David Chaudron, PhD

Many organizations use various incremental approaches when implementing total quality management (TQM). This article provides an alternative approach to total quality management. To read the full article Deciding between Re-engineering and TQM.

Performance Improvement & the Balanced Scorecard: Using measurement in strategic planning

David Chaudron, PhD

Does money measure organizational success? Measuring success by focusing on one aspect provides a poor evaluation. Organizations need to use a more comprehensive measurement such as a balance scorecard. The benefits of using a balance scorecard are discussed in this article. To read the full article Performance Improvement & the Balanced Scorecard:using measurement in strategic planning.


Additional Information on Strategic Planning



Oschman, J. J. (2017). The Role of Strategic Planning in Implementing a Total Quality Management Framework: An Empirical View. Quality Management Journal, 24(2), 41- 53
This paper deliberates on the role of strategic planning in the implementation of the total quality management framework. The article indicates 14 dimensions which are critical in the development of TQM. These dimensions are divided into six primaries and eight supportive aspects. The primary dimensions are leadership commitment, strategic plans, empowerment, teamwork, customer satisfaction and continuous improvement and growth. The eight supportive dimensions include communication, training, change management, culture formation, supportive structures, systems and resources, the system thought, self-assessment and processes. All the 14 dimensions are intertwined and are responsible for organizational excellence. This paper covers the literature materials on TQM and later analysis and interprets data on the South African air force.
To conclude, the author with the aid of computer-aided test for the data emphatically prove that strategic planning plays a critical role in the implementation of the total quality management framework. The authors suggest that a more integrated and complete strategic plan in support of TQM boosts business transactions for organizations who want to have a better performance and a competitive edge against their competitors. In the academic perspective, this paper this paper recommends that organizations should apply strategic planning and its dimensions to enhance the sense of organizational worth and prosperity.

Sztando, Andrzej. (2017). “Does the Strategic Planning of Local Development Result from the Motives Indicated in Literature? Contemporary Motivation of Polish Small Towns’ Authorities for Strategic Planning of Local Development.” Transylvanian Review of Administrative Science. 51. 106-122.
This paper presents a comparison between what literature has shown as a motivation for authorities to implement strategic planning of local development, and what authorities of small Polish towns have as a motivation for a temporal “implementation” of the strategy. For this, the author selected authorities of Polish small towns that represented urban municipalities or urban part of urban-rural municipalities. “Polish authorities prepare strategies primarily or exclusively to apply for the means from the EU funds [as it is usually a requisite or something that increases the chances of obtaining them] and do not intend to use them in any other way.” The author finds that this approach is the reason why strategies become out-of-date –some even adopted or updated a dozen years ago– as the interest for implementing them is temporal and “depreciates the idea of strategic planning of local development and reduces interest in its practical, entire application.”



H. Poister, Theodore and Gregory Streib (2005). “Elements of Strategic Planning and Management in Municipal Government: Status after Two Decades.”
Public Administration Review. 65 (1), 45-56.

This study analyses the application of strategic planning and management in municipal governments with populations over 25000. The aim was to understand how strategic planning is used as well as what the results obtained are for which the authors employed surveys regarding budgeting systems, performance management systems, and measurement systems. Strategic planning was defined as an action-oriented process the purpose of which is to “maintain the balance between an organization and its environment over the long run. The process involves gathering information in order to establish –using futuristic thinking, objective analysis, and subjective evaluation of goals and priorities– a long-term direction considering the actions that need to be taken as well as the objectives and goals that the organization wants to reach.
The results show that strategic planning is more commonly linked to budgets and performance management during implementation. Success factors include the linkage between individual performance and strategic goals and objectives, reporting strategic performance measures to the public, evaluating the feasibility of proposed strategies, tracking performance data over time, targeting new incomes in the budget to achieve strategic goals, and involving external stakeholders in the planning process from the beginning.

Rothstein, Eric and Donna Kiyosaki. (2003). Development of a Strategic Plan: Portfolio Management for Public Utilities. Journal (American Water Works Association). 95 (1), 52-65.
This paper addresses the implementation of the strategic planning process to restructure the Honolulu Board of Water Supply’s services, community presence and utility’s organization. The integration of portfolio management theory to strategic planning is achieved thanks to the support of the American Water Works Association Research Foundation (AWWARF). Besides providing an overview of the application of portfolio management theory, this paper also showcases the value of strategic planning for organizations that are challenged by rapidly changing market conditions. The model it provides might also be a trigger for water utilities to become high-performance organizations.
This article also presents an eight-step approach incorporating the principles of portfolio management which will serve as a model for the integration of planning activities in other utilities:
  1. 1. Define HBWS resource portfolio goals
  2. 2. Identify investment options
  3. 3. Establish performance measures
  4. 4. Evaluate investment options
  5. 5. Prioritize investment options
  6. 6. Develop portfolio options
  7. 7. Develop implementation plans
  8. 8. Document and communicate the strategic plan

Michael Abels. (1989) Strategic Planning. Public Administration Review. 49 (3) 294-295.
Michael Abels does a review of some case studies provided by Bryson and Roering and makes several observations for strategic planning success. Bryson and Roering studied two organizations with two key variables for success: active participation of stakeholders on the strategic planning process. The first step, of course, is recognising the need for change. Once that is settled, stakeholders must agree to be part of the planning team, accepting the results of the planning process regardless of their personal views and preference. Second, understanding that strategic planning is not so much about following a number of steps but having a guide that helps the organisation identify strategic issues and state strategies and priorities.
Where the author, Michael Abels, differs with Bryson and Roering is that, while most of the planning process need not be integrated to “normal planning and budgeting processes”, the process should still be “closely integrated with the organization’s planning and budgetary cycle”. It is important that stakeholders understand that fundamental organization change might have financial costs or require a relocation of resources. That is the reason why the planning process should be taken into account for the organization’s planning and budgetary cycle.

Petkovic, Jovica, Edmundas Jasinskas and Laima Jesevičiūtė-Ufartienė. (2016). Significance of Strategic Planning for Results of Sport Organization. Ekonomika a management. 4, XIX, 56-72.
This paper discusses the importance of implementing strategic planning activities for a sports organization. Among those activities we can mention the following: establishment of a vision and mission, creation of specific goals, environmental analysis, identification of an organization’s strengths and weaknesses, planning accordingly to all of the previous activities, control and evaluation of the implementation process, and revision of strategies. First of all, this paper deals with the theoretical dimensions of Strategic Planning activities, then, the application in Kaunas sport and leisure clubs is analysed and evaluated. To facilitate the understanding of strategic planning, the paper presents and compares several definitions and models.
As a conclusion, the authors suggest ten main strategic planning activities: executives’ participation, setting strategic goals, documentation, analysis, prognostication, strategy selection, strategy implementation, strategy control and correction, improvement and evaluation of activities. A negative aspect found after their research was “the insufficient understanding of connection between goal setting and strategic planning and management activities carried out in an organization”. Both strategic planning and strategic planning activities have a significant impact on the effective function and profitability of the organization, goal-achievement and market
Ph.D R. Fairholm, Matthew. (2009). Leadership and Organizational Strategy.
The Innovation Journal: The Public Sector Innovation Journal, Volume 14(1), article 3. http://www.innovation.cc/scholarly-style/fairholm3.pdf

After establishing some main differences and more adequate definitions of both strategic planning and strategic thinking, Fairholm proposes four comparative approaches that will later help enlist the aptitudes and attitudes required to think strategically. From a definition of strategic thinking given by the U. S. Internal Revenue Service, he subtracts the following:
- Strategic Thinking understands the organization’s Strategic Goals.
- Strategic Thinking links daily tasks to strategies, or long-term perspectives.
- Strategic Thinking develops work plans based on strategic priorities.
- Strategic Thinking develops strategies in support of the mission.
After presenting this list of actions necessary for strategic planning, Fairholm proceeds to further exemplify the differences between the definitions of strategic planning and thinking by explaining the four types of approach: The How Approach, The What-How Approach, The What-Why-How Approach, and the Why-What-How Approach. The first type of approach is linked with traditional strategic planning insofar as it focuses on how to achieve mission objectives, which actions to take, and when to take them. The What-How Approach allows organizations to reach their “methodically devised goals” (or whats) “using traditional planning techniques”; this approach is then about organizational focus and uses tools such as SWOT, PESTLE, and BACHA to determine it. The third approach is linked to strategic thinking as it takes into account notions such as visioning, scenario building, and future casting. Finally, the last approach more clearly states what strategic thinking implies: “strategic thinking is a unique competency of leadership based more on organizational philosophy than organizational technicism”.
In other words, strategic planning attempts to control the future by establishing a series of rules and protocols that pretend to standardize the inner functioning of the organization and the types of impacts it receives from the outside. In opposition, strategic thinking is driven by both a non-linear perspective and a holistic view of the organization: intuition and creativity for the first, and pattern recognition and integrated perspective for the second. About strategic planning the author quotes Mintzberg: “Systems do not think, and when they are used for more than the facilitation of human thinking, they can prevent thinking”. For strategic thinking the following actions are needed:
- Be an organizational philosopher, not technical expert: love to learn (about the organization) and discover (the complexities of life within organizations).
- Recognize strategic planning is not strategic thinking: the first one is about controlling; the second one is about understanding.
- Influence the values of the organization, not just the objectives: focus on leadership, not management.
- Unleash information, rather than control it: maintain the organization as an identifiable entity over time, but change and adapt for future demands; recognize that people are part of the organization and the relationships among them are substantial for a flexible and sustainable organization; develop trust.
- Accept ambiguity and work with the “unmeasurables”, rather than reduce the organization to numbers: understand the need for innovation and recognize that “organizational equilibrium is undesirable in an uncertain world compared to progress and development”.
Ferreira, M. R., & Proença, J. F. (2015). STRATEGIC PLANNING AND ORGANIZATIONAL EFFECTIVENESS IN SOCIAL SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS IN PORTUGAL. Management: Journal Of Contemporary Management Issues, 20(2), 1-21.

In recent times, many countries have experienced an increase in the non-profit organizations (NPOs), however this increase has not been seen in the available resources for these organizations. This has led to NPOs utilizing techniques and processes often used in for-profit organizations. It is evident that the changes in NPOs environment call for a more formal management structure, in order to understand the relationship between strategy and organizational effectiveness. The main objective of this article is to analyze the degree of implementation of strategic planning in social service organizations in Portugal and the impact of higher or lower degrees of adoption of those techniques on organizational effectiveness.
A literature review was conducted around strategic planning in general as well as in the third sector (NPOs). The authors then went on to try and define effectiveness and organizational effectiveness in non-profit organizations. The effectiveness is related to the issue of goal fulfillment, since NPOs goals include realising behavioral changes in order to ensure a higher quality of life for target population as well as for all those involved in these activities, eventually generating growth and the general welfare of a society. Therefore, measuring an organization’s success depends on the specific goals and objectives.
The main conclusion to be drawn from this research refers to the existence of a clear relationship between the levels of adopted strategic planning and levels of organizational effectiveness. In terms of management implications, findings of this research may be useful for managers / directors / technicians from social service organizations because the information gathered in this research indicate that the adoption of strategic planning has positive influences on organizational effectiveness.
Strategic Planning and Business Performance of Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

Adam, Pawliczek, Karel, Skokam, & Radomir, Piszczur. Strategic Planning and Business Performance of Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

Within markets, firms may choose to strategically adapt in effort to capitalize on new emerging conditions. For companies in the Czech and Slovak Republic, these choices bore a importance for the enterprises who continued to operate amid the global financial crisis. Many organizations recognized the importance of strategic management, however, it was found that the small and medium (SME) sized companies neglected the benefits and continued operating blindly.

During variable market conditions, it is even more essential for a firm to incorporate strategic management through planning. Created through basic and repeatable stages, companies may pursue and achieve their long-term business objectives. The four key stages include: strategic analyses, formulation of strategy, strategy implementation, and feedback. Many managers, to this day, forget the importance of this type of management and in the case they do, fail to establish it correctly.

The size of the organization does not diminish the level of importance surrounding the implementation of strategic management. This type of management works to forecast long-term trends and helps the organization anticipate and prepare for future challenges and opportunities. The benefits from incorporating strategic planning include: a clear vision and mission of the company, contribution to setting the right goals of the company, preparation to deal with expected and unexpected problems, evaluation of environmental issues and its changes to name a few. Because strategic planning is difficult to cultivate and often underestimates, the paper delves into four hypotheses that work to explain SME’s issues with strategic planning.

Hypothesis 1 states that bigger companies pay a greater amount of attention to their strategic management and have committed to a strategic plan in a formalized document. This hypothesis has proven correct, bigger companies will pay more attention to strategic management. Approximately 95% of enterprises who identify at an SME will fail to create a formalized document, compared to 20% of the big corporations who failed to create dynamic documents. The second hypothesis looks into the existence of a detailed written strategy of the organization has a definite positive effect on business performance, has also been proven correct. Out of total evaluated performance parameters, 80% confirmed that a detailed written strategy has a positive effect on business parameters.

The two hypothesis that failed to be proven correct were: existence of any written strategy has definite positive effect on selected business performance indicators, and the selected data group “number of employees” is correlated to Chi-squared or Poisson distribution.

The most important findings in this paper center around the conclusion that bigger companies pay more attention to strategic management and have a detailed strategy compared to their SME counterparts. The value of this paper lies in the empirical proof of the Hypothesis 1 and 2. While the paper proves the value of strategic management, there are limitations surrounding the geographical scope of obtained data.

Does Strategic Planning Enhance or Impede Innovation and Firm Performance?

Song, MichaelIm, SubinBij, Hans van derSong, Lisa Z.
Journal of Product Innovation Management. Jul2011, Vol. 28 Issue 4, p503-520. 18p.
Description:
There has been a lot of debate recently on strategic planning impeding innovation. This article examines 227 firms that follow the strategic planning process.:
After analyzing the data, it was suggested that more strategic planning and more new product development projects lead to better firm performance. It also suggests that Strategic planning is more effective in larger firms with higher R&D intensity for increasing the number of NPD projects.


Strategic Planning: Deliberate Organizational Change

Lunenburg, F. C. (2011) Strategic planning: deliberate organizational change.

Strategic planning is a change strategy that is very carefully planned and deliberate. With this in mind, strategic planning may be defined as the process of formulating, implementing, and evaluating decisions that enable the organization to achieve its goals.
The process of strategic planning typically follows nine steps: (a) Develop a mission, because a strategic plan must begin with a stated goal, which often involves improve organization’s outcomes and improve its organizational culture. (b) Conduct a critical analysis of the internal environment, and conduct a critical analysis of the external environment. “Internal environment” in this article is referred to the nature of the organization itself as identified by the characteristics that constitute an organization. (c) Prepare planning assumptions because it is important to highlight the assumptions underlying the plan such as the knowledge the plan is based on. (d) Develop a strategy that is based on a careful assessment. (e) Communicate the strategy. The strategy must be communicated to the stakeholders. (f) Develop evaluation procedures, which need to be done prior to evaluating the results. (g) Implement the strategy. During this step we need to be ready for some resistance. And finally (h) evaluate the results. Although these steps are not always followed in the exact order specified, they do describe the way most organizations go about planning change strategically.
Collaborative foresight: Complementing long-horizon strategic planning

Kirk Weigand, Thomas Flanagan, Kevin Dye, Peter Jones (2013). Collaborative foresight: Complementing long-horizon strategic planning. Elsevier Inc.

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of facilitated collaborative foresight within a hierarchical organizational culture defined by a strong preference for rational, top-down strategic planning. In the study, the author stated that bottom-up strategic planning as a complement to top-down strategizing.
Large research institutions plan investment over long time horizons and must cope with significant uncertainty, complexity, and mandate changes. On the other hand, collaborative foresight enhances organizational resilience by improving ideation, problem definition, and consensus in long-horizon strategies. It increases the variety of perspectives in scenario creation, resulting in improved strategic options. Also, the author introduced the Structured Dialogic Design (SDD) which was employed as a complementary strategic planning method to the mandated Capabilities-Based Planning (CBP) process. This collaborative foresight approach demonstrated strong consensus for organizational priorities defined in scenarios and investment pathways. The SDD method demonstrated that transactive and generative planning integrated with traditional rational planning and surpassed it by incorporating deep tacit knowledge from diverse participants. It also fostered organizational cohesion through facilitated collaboration in the planning sessions.
The modalities of planning and foresight is built on Hart’s typology of strategy making Brews and Purohit’s four modalities of planning rational, transactive, generative and symbolic. It indicates that higher performance is correlated with increased use of generative and transactive modes. Capabilities-based, top-down, rational planning appears complementary with generative/transactive, bottom-up planning. Conducting collaborative, transactive and generative planning activities in a rational and symbolic planning organization will fail to change organizational practices if there is no expectation of implementation from the bottom-up planning effort.
Strategic planning methods will improve benefits in transparent and actionable aspects. The collaborative planning resulted in empirical evidence for consensus on a strong set of inter-related strategic options that both included and surpassed the span of recommendations. The significant improvement of planning represents a highly visible management achievement. Comparison with a parallel strategic planning and foresight initiative validated that the SDD methodology achieved a superior planning product with wider organizational consensus.

Elements of Strategic Planning and Management in Municipal Government: Status after Two Decades.

Theodore., H. P., & Streib., B. Elements of Strategic Planning and Management in Municipal Government: Status after Two Decades. Georgia State University.

There is the need for multifaceted research on performance-based management in the public sector, especially those studies that use quantitative analysis to assess impacts of performance measurement or systematically analyze factors affecting performance oriented government. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to explore the use of various planning and management elements that have undertaken strategic planning efforts. Moreover, there is the needs to identify elements of strategic planning and management which are most related to overall positive results. The authors attempted to discover the role of strategic managing aside from strategic planning. They believed that strategic planning is a central element while strategic management is broader and much more in demand for most organizations.

The study has used survey methodology to address issues in all jurisdictions with populations of 25,000 or more. The authors used questions regarding the type of budgeting systems, performance management systems and measurement system with purpose of evaluating the relationship between strategic planning and performance measures.

The result of study shows that strategic planning processes has led to improved performance in maintaining overall financial condition, managing operations efficiently and delivering high quality services. They also found out that there are critical factors, which lead to success of strategic planning. First, it is the involvement of stakeholder in the process of deploy strategic plan. Second, they need to pay attention to planning elements in aspects of feasibility assessment of proposed strategies and development of action plans. Third, they also need to keep in mind the budgets spending throughout the processes because it is influenced strongly by strategic plan, goals and objects. Fourth, performance management is also important factor in area of annual evaluations of department, objectives, and annual salary adjustments. Lastly, process performance also needs to be measured throughout progression of implement strategic plan. Those critical factors will support the value and the impact of strategic planning on strategic management.

Ferreira, M. R., & Proença, J. F. (2015). STRATEGIC PLANNING AND ORGANIZATIONAL EFFECTIVENESS IN SOCIAL SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS IN PORTUGAL. Management: Journal Of Contemporary Management Issues, 20(2), 1-21.
In recent times, many countries have experienced an increase in the non-profit organizations (NPOs), however this increase has not been seen in the available resources for these organizations. This has led to NPOs utilizing techniques and processes often used in for-profit organizations. It is evident that the changes in NPOs environment call for a more formal management structure, in order to understand the relationship between strategy and organizational effectiveness. The main objective of this article is to analyze the degree of implementation of strategic planning in social service organizations in Portugal and the impact of higher or lower degrees of adoption of those techniques on organizational effectiveness.
A literature review was conducted around strategic planning in general as well as in the third sector (NPOs). The authors then went on to try and define effectiveness and organizational effectiveness in non-profit organizations. The effectiveness is related to the issue of goal fulfillment, since NPOs goals include realising behavioral changes in order to ensure a higher quality of life for target population as well as for all those involved in these activities, eventually generating growth and the general welfare of a society. Therefore, measuring an organization’s success depends on the specific goals and objectives.
The main conclusion to be drawn from this research refers to the existence of a clear relationship between the levels of adopted strategic planning and levels of organizational effectiveness. In terms of management implications, findings of this research may be useful for managers / directors / technicians from social service organizations because the information gathered in this research indicate that the adoption of strategic planning has positive influences on organizational effectiveness.

Mims, B., & Engel, M. L. (2015). Strategic Planning for NFPs. Journal of Accountancy.

Bob Mims, CPA, CGMA, controller and director of investments at Ducks Unlimited, and Mary Legakis Engel of The Management Coach provide tips not-for-profits can use to make their strategic planning successful. They include seven techniques that include picking a strategic-planning team, choosing a team leader, building consensus on the team, keeping the objectives simple, moving toward a business plan, implementing the plan, and establishing accountability.
The authors mention that in regard to picking a strategic planning team it is important for the team to represent the whole entity in order to avoid those underrepresented groups to feel left out, and it is especially critical for finance to be represented. When considering and choosing the team leader it should be the person that can most effectively bring the team together, given that this article is specifically about the not-for-profit sector the leader should be aware of his or her financial constraints. The next step is to build consensus on the team and the authors discuss that this can be one of the most difficult parts of the process because everyone’s thoughts must receive careful consideration in order for the plan to be successful and ultimately in this step the goal is to develop fundamental objectives for the plan.
The next step is to keep the objectives simple, the corporation discussed in the article—Ducks Unlimited—had just three objectives for a five-year strategic plan. It is then suggested to move toward a business plan and this step involves developing metrics that define success in striving toward the objectives. Once the plan is developed it is time to implement the plan and this is the step where most strategic plans often fail. It is important in this step for employees to understand and embrace their duties related to the plan and be motivated to achieve the goals. Finally, accountability must be established. Ideally this accomplishment of the strategic plan will be tied to job duties and merit pay increases and in the context of this article being geared towards the not-for-profit sector, the strategic plan should successfully integrate volunteers and staff and encourage the cooperation between departments.

The Strategic Dimension of the Dynamic Capabilities of Enterprises
KAZIMIERZ KRZAKIEWICZ
SZYMON CYFERT
Management 2014 Vol.18, No. 2

Strategic management is a science of changes. When proving the correctness of
the foregoing statement, one could point out the dynamic nature of the issues investigated by strategic management, the pace of change in the business environment, and the high variability of the sources of competitive advantage. As a consequence of the drastic changes in the economic environment, the approach to competition and the
mechanisms employed by companies, taking place on the turn of the 21st century, conclusions highlighting the emerging crisis and the twilight of the theory of strategic
management have been formulated. While it is possible to point out certain factors which deny the validity of the conclusions declaring “the twilight of strategic management”, the validity of the postulates pointing out the need to put the previous approaches to strategic management in order and to develop new paradigms cannot be easily undermined.



Making strategic planning part of your legal department operations
Oliver,Patricia(2015). Inside Counsel, April 2015.
I admit it-I like to have a game plan, and I find it enormously satisfying to execute against a well-considered strategic plan and track my team's progress. While I may be in the minority as far as lawyers are concerned, over the years I have become convinced that developing a solid strategic plan and making it part of how your team operates is an effective tool for managing a legal practice. Whether you are a GC managing an in-house legal function or a law firm manager or practice leader, there is value in a strategic plan. As I see it, strategic planning offers you both an offensive tool for setting a new direction, as well as a context for crafting new initiatives. On the defensive front, it lets you figure out how best to respond and integrate new corporate-wide initiatives and creates a point of reference for matching up your plans with those of other corporate functions and lines of business techniques for professional services business abound; I continually review and consider many of them in search of "better" and "best" practices to include in my own planning efforts. In configuring a strategic planning process, I think it is critical to take into account your audience and, ultimately, the group from whom you seek to obtain buy-in and enthusiastic participation! Legal teams are generally made up of smart, analytical minds who can rapidly research and digest information and who view themselves as excellent problem solvers. Given lawyers' inherent nature, legal training, and frenzied day-to-day responsibilities, an esoteric planning process focused on amorphous concepts (rather than concrete action plans around building their practices and adding clients) is doomed to fail. In my experience, a healthy strategic planning process is one that adds value in a variety of specific, measurable ways, includes a role for all participants, and ends up becoming a sustainable part of how individuals and the team as a whole behave and want to operate into the future. Whether it involves a long-standing internal legal function looking for new direction or a newly formed firm team seeking a broader client base, I suggest establishing a simple, well-defined and understandable menu of tasks with clearly defined goals. There are five key elements I would imbed in the strategic planning process:
1. Spending time on team education before strategic planning begins
As the facilitator/developer, think ahead about the topics that are likely to be major discussion points during your planning retreat. Provide some recent research and a list of outside resources. Organize small groups (preferably representing different skill sets, seniority, geographic locations, etc.) to discuss and come up with comments on current status and recommendations for the full team to consider at your planning retreat. For lack of a better name, I like to call these "practice essentials". For an in-house planning exercise, practice essentials would likely include such topics as: enhancing client service; legal talent management; operational efficiency; effective use of outside counsel; managing total legal spend; and positioning the legal function as a value (rather than a cost) center. In a law firm context, the practice essentials would look pretty similar on the talent management and client service fronts, but would likely focus on a variety of practice positioning/business development activities. Make small group reports and research results on these practice essentials the first item on your retreat agenda. Discussing them will provide helpful background information for your entire team on key topics before you turn to the next part of your agenda- a team assessment of your current status.
2. Performing an honest assessment of your current situation
Planning for the future requires that everyone understands the starting point. I am a firm believer in the usefulness of working through an assessment premised on a SWOT Analysis (i.e, identifying strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) with your entire team present and participating. Strengths and weaknesses provide critical internal data, and opportunities and threats force you to look outside your organization as you approach the planning process. Once the SWOT results are laid out, your team will have established some common ground for moving forward as a cohesive group. Next, having every participant vote on priorities for the coming year based on your SWOT results facilitates the critical "buy in" needed on the front end of your planning exercise. If you have other resources available, such as recent client surveys or 360 reviews, by all means use them in order in to make your assessment .
3. Finding a seasoned facilitator to keep your process on track
As a leader/manager of an in-house function or law firm practice, you need to be able to participate fully in the strategic planning process itself, so as to be viewed as part of the "team". In order to ensure your process runs smoothly, you need a facilitator who can keep things on track and move you through the planning process into the creation of concrete objectives and action plans. This is especially critical if this is your initial strategic plan, so scour your human relations, business development and corporate planning functions to find the best facilitator or bring in an experienced external resource to partner with you.
4. Rejecting fuzzy goals in favor of SMART objectives
Fast forward to your completed SWOT assessment and the discrete (say six to eight) issues/topics your team has voted to tackle as their top priorities. Even the most seasoned planners can flounder when coming up with specific strategies and action plans if they do not have any parameters. My planning brethren at BB&T taught me about SMART objectives, which essentially requires objectives that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant/result-oriented and time bound. In effect, by insisting on the creation of SMART objectives, you are building yourself the implementation plan you need to make your strategic plan a success. Divide your group into small teams based upon their individual levels of interest in working on one or more of your SWOT priorities. These focused groups can then be tasked with putting together step-by-step action plans, with timelines, specific assignments and metrics to gauge their progress and success.
5. Making your strategic planning part of your ongoing operations
Including progress reports from each SMART team as a standing item on your legal department meeting agenda reinforces the importance of your SMART objectives and everyone's accountability. At the individual level, including SMART team participation in a professional development plan and making this a discussion point at evaluation time is a helpful way to emphasize the importance. In addition, using leadership opportunities on SMART teams as a way for more junior lawyers to learn valuable team-building and management skills may be helpful retention and recruiting tools. Outside the legal department, be sure to brief your lines of business and other corporate functions on your SMART objectives, and figure out ways to partner with them to achieve common and mutually beneficial results. Finally, be sure to give progress reports on your SMART objectives to the executive management team or to firm leadership so they are aware of your initiatives and can provide guidance, necessary resources and financial support.
What to do next? The case for non-predictive strategy

Wiltbank, R., Dew, N., Read, S. & Sarasvathy, S.D. (2006). What to do next? The case for non-predictive strategy. Strategic Management Journal. 27, 981-998. doi:10.1002/smj.555

Wiltbank et al bring up an excellent question that firms face when everything runs smoothly: what to do next? Is it wise to continue maintaining status quo, or must a new strategy be formulated in order to sustain its competitive advantage? The authors claim that creating a strategy for the future when all is well is one of the most difficult challenges in a business.
Two different approaches dominate the topic: the planning and the adaptive approach differing only in the firm’s confidence in predicting the future. The planning approach is based on trying harder to predict the firm’s future better, and the adaptive approach is based on moving faster in order to adapt better; both grounded in Mintzberg’s ten schools of thought about strategy, namely the planning school and the learning school. The authors’ note that strategic management’s main concept is prediction, especially in the understanding of what can be predicted can be controlled; however, they argue for the independence of prediction and control based on their assumption that success can come through non-predictive, but control-oriented approaches. They use the control-oriented approach to explore a firm’s next steps and how such approaches may impact a firm’s costs, risks, strategies and innovation.


Archival Review of the Influence of Organizational Strategy on Organizational Performance

Adegbuyi, O., Oke, A. O., Worlu, R. E., & Ajagbe, A. M. (2015). Archival Review of the Influence of Organizational Strategy on Organizational Performance.

The article discussed on the topic of improving on performance within the organization. It is known as one greatest interest to all organization leaders in today’s business environment. Most researches relating to large, small and medium sized firms constantly stress a positive link between business strategies, management activities and organizational performance. Because it is often detailed that best business strategies produce outstanding organizational performance. This study used secondary method of data collection to review various empirical literatures on business strategies and their effects on organizational performance. The study was able to ascertain from various literatures reviewed that business strategies such as customer orientation, employee autonomy, communication, training and development job satisfaction, corporate social responsibility, and others. Those business strategies have major role to play in organizational performance in general and each member of team in particular. Recognizing the causes of organizational performance is critical and important in many perspective. Most important perspective is the view of the current global crises. The main reason is that it supports organization to reveal those factors that should be given priority attention in order to improve the organizational performances. In general, this study suggested that business organizations should adopt suitable strategies which can enhance current organizational performances.


Strategic Planning: Deliberate Organizational Change

Lunenburg, F. C. (2011) Strategic planning: deliberate organizational change.

Strategic planning is a change strategy that is very carefully planned and deliberate. With this in mind, strategic planning may be defined as the process of formulating, implementing, and evaluating decisions that enable the organization to achieve its goals.
The process of strategic planning typically follows nine steps: (a) Develop a mission, because a strategic plan must begin with a stated goal, which often involves improve organization’s outcomes and improve its organizational culture. (b) Conduct a critical analysis of the internal environment, and conduct a critical analysis of the external environment. “Internal environment” in this article is referred to the nature of the organization itself as identified by the characteristics that constitute an organization. (c) Prepare planning assumptions because it is important to highlight the assumptions underlying the plan such as the knowledge the plan is based on. (d) Develop a strategy that is based on a careful assessment. (e) Communicate the strategy. The strategy must be communicated to the stakeholders. (f) Develop evaluation procedures, which need to be done prior to evaluating the results. (g) Implement the strategy. During this step we need to be ready for some resistance. And finally (h) evaluate the results. Although these steps are not always followed in the exact order specified, they do describe the way most organizations go about planning change strategically.


Collaborative foresight: Complementing long-horizon strategic planning

Kirk Weigand, Thomas Flanagan, Kevin Dye, Peter Jones (2013). Collaborative foresight: Complementing long-horizon strategic planning. Elsevier Inc.

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of facilitated collaborative foresight within a hierarchical organizational culture defined by a strong preference for rational, top-down strategic planning. In the study, the author stated that bottom-up strategic planning as a complement to top-down strategizing.
Large research institutions plan investment over long time horizons and must cope with significant uncertainty, complexity, and mandate changes. On the other hand, collaborative foresight enhances organizational resilience by improving ideation, problem definition, and consensus in long-horizon strategies. It increases the variety of perspectives in scenario creation, resulting in improved strategic options. Also, the author introduced the Structured Dialogic Design (SDD) which was employed as a complementary strategic planning method to the mandated Capabilities-Based Planning (CBP) process. This collaborative foresight approach demonstrated strong consensus for organizational priorities defined in scenarios and investment pathways. The SDD method demonstrated that transactive and generative planning integrated with traditional rational planning and surpassed it by incorporating deep tacit knowledge from diverse participants. It also fostered organizational cohesion through facilitated collaboration in the planning sessions.
The modalities of planning and foresight is built on Hart’s typology of strategy making Brews and Purohit’s four modalities of planning rational, transactive, generative and symbolic. It indicates that higher performance is correlated with increased use of generative and transactive modes. Capabilities-based, top-down, rational planning appears complementary with generative/transactive, bottom-up planning. Conducting collaborative, transactive and generative planning activities in a rational and symbolic planning organization will fail to change organizational practices if there is no expectation of implementation from the bottom-up planning effort.
Strategic planning methods will improve benefits in transparent and actionable aspects. The collaborative planning resulted in empirical evidence for consensus on a strong set of inter-related strategic options that both included and surpassed the span of recommendations. The significant improvement of planning represents a highly visible management achievement. Comparison with a parallel strategic planning and foresight initiative validated that the SDD methodology achieved a superior planning product with wider organizational consensus.


Elements of Strategic Planning and Management in Municipal Government: Status after Two Decades.

Theodore., H. P., & Streib., B. Elements of Strategic Planning and Management in Municipal Government: Status after Two Decades. Georgia State University.

There is the need for multifaceted research on performance-based management in the public sector, especially those studies that use quantitative analysis to assess impacts of performance measurement or systematically analyze factors affecting performance oriented government. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to explore the use of various planning and management elements that have undertaken strategic planning efforts. Moreover, there is the needs to identify elements of strategic planning and management which are most related to overall positive results. The authors attempted to discover the role of strategic managing aside from strategic planning. They believed that strategic planning is a central element while strategic management is broader and much more in demand for most organizations.

The study has used survey methodology to address issues in all jurisdictions with populations of 25,000 or more. The authors used questions regarding the type of budgeting systems, performance management systems and measurement system with purpose of evaluating the relationship between strategic planning and performance measures.

The result of study shows that strategic planning processes has led to improved performance in maintaining overall financial condition, managing operations efficiently and delivering high quality services. They also found out that there are critical factors, which lead to success of strategic planning. First, it is the involvement of stakeholder in the process of deploy strategic plan. Second, they need to pay attention to planning elements in aspects of feasibility assessment of proposed strategies and development of action plans. Third, they also need to keep in mind the budgets spending throughout the processes because it is influenced strongly by strategic plan, goals and objects. Fourth, performance management is also important factor in area of annual evaluations of department, objectives, and annual salary adjustments. Lastly, process performance also needs to be measured throughout progression of implement strategic plan. Those critical factors will support the value and the impact of strategic planning on strategic management.

The Double Edge of Ambiguity in Strategic Planning.

Abdallah, C., & Langely, A. (2014). The Double Edge of Ambiguity in Strategic Planning. Journal of Management Studies. 51(2), 235-264.

Sufficient research in the literature has suggested that the ambiguity in the writing of the strategic plans fosters diverse thinking and contribute to building organizational commitment. However, there has been little research done on the consequences of such an ambiguity in the strategy texts. This qualitative study empirically examines the double edge nature of strategic ambiguity. It identifies three underlying mechanism that contribute to this ambiguity, writing of the strategy, reading of the strategy and enactment of strategy.

Furthermore, the authors suggest that each of the mechanisms stated above have multiple contributory sources. The ambiguity arising from writing strategy has to do with structural duality, the goals that are productive in short term but have the potential to generate long term conflict. At the same time multiple strategic plans can inhibit initiative attempts to prioritize and evaluate goals. The second mechanism is reading of the strategy, which is concerned with the reader’s perception of the strategic text. Some employees view the document as organizational identity that could provide them with more opportunities, some see it as a symbolic document and some take an instrumental view and see their job and responsibilities defined by the document. Employee’s perception of the strategic text has profound impact on the last mechanism, enacting strategy.

The author concludes the study by placing an important emphasis on understanding the different mechanisms that contribute to the ambiguity in strategic planning. The article suggest that further research should concentrate on better understanding of each form of ambiguity to be able to draw a conclusion on whether to make strategies clear and precise or keep it more as a pluralistic approach.

Small Businesses Ignore Strategic Planning at their Peril

Cordeiro, W.P. (2013). Small Businesses Ignore Strategic Planning at their Peril. Academy Of Business Research Journal, 322-30.

This interesting article focuses on strategic planning in small business by discussing the benefits of strategic planning for both small businesses and large organizations. The author illustrates that strategic planning aspects are well known and widely documented. This paper begins by a brief summary of strategic planning principles and then it describes the theoretical benefits of strategic planning for all organizations. The author provides two cases that describe strategic planning practices in small business, one success and one failure. Finally, the article provides some recommendations for the use of strategic planning in small business.

The author explains that small business should perform all business related functions: finance, accounting, staffing, planning, production, marketing, sales, distribution, control, and reporting as the larger firms perform. The main difference is that small businesses have fewer human and financial resources to apply to their activities. Therefore it is important for small business to implement effective strategic planning and perform well from the first time to survive in a competitive business environment. The paper presents two stories – a success and a failure – about small business use of strategic planning to demonstrate the implementation of effective strategic planning.

The author summarizes the major advantages of an effective strategic planning in four categories: understand the environment – including gaps, focus resources on specific goals, maintain/improve competitive position, and prepare for future environment. The author then does an excellent job by providing recommendations for small business based on his own experience in many large and small organizations during their strategic planning process. If you are looking to gain more knowledge about strategic planning, then this article is for you!

Personality Type and Strategic Planning

Jennings, D., & Chang, J. (2014). Personality Type and Strategic Planning. Developments in Business Simulation and Experiential Learning, 33.

The authors analyzes the design of the strategic planning process as well as the personality type of the person who designed the strategic planning to determine if there is a relationship between the two (Jennings, D., and Chang, J., 2006). The author tests 187 managers to determine this.

This article explains the details of the tests performed and the type of methods used to measure personality. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator was used to assess a manager’s personality. The author then presents the manager with various management scenarios and asks how they would address them. This data was then analyzed for correlations between personality type and the strategic planning processes applied.

The conclusion was that a manager’s personality type does not materially affect the design of the strategic planning process that the manager will employ. This authors articulate this by giving instruction to business owners that have managers with varying personalities and who suspect that their personality may affect the strategic planning process.
التخطيط الإستراتيجي(Strategic Planning)يقوم الكاتب في هذه المقالة بتحليل عملية تصميم التخطيط الإستراتيجي وتحليل الشخصية التي تعمل على هذا التصميم لمعرفة ما إذا كان هناك علاقة بين مصمم التخطيط والتصميم نفسه. تفسر المقالة التى أجريت نوع الأساليب المستخدمة لقياس أنواع الشخصيات. في هذه المقالة استخدم الكاتب مؤشر مايرز بريجز لتقييم شخصية أحد المدراء ثم يعرض على المدير سيناريوهات مختلفة عن الإدارة لمعرفة الطرق التي سوف يستخدمها المدير لمعالجة تلك السيناريوهات. يحلل الكاتب هذه البيانات لمعرفة العلاقة بين شخصية المديروعملية التخطيط الإستراتيجي التى تم تطبيقها
وكانت النتيجة أن شخصية المدير لم تؤثر جوهريا على عملية التخطيط الإستراتيجي التى تم تطبيقها. يوضح الكاتب للمستثمرين وأصحاب الأعمال أن شخصية المدير قد لا تؤثر على عملية التخطيط الإستراتيجي


Leadership and Organizational Strategy

Fairholm, M.R.(2009). Leadership and Organizational Strategy. The Innovation Journal: The Public Sector Innovation Journal, 14(1).

This interesting article focuses on strategic planning that includes activities such as leadership perspectives, planning, performance management, and program budgeting. This piece articulates the many goals of strategic planning and how it is used and practiced in an organization to help ensure that meaning and direction are permeated throughout the organization with the purpose of desired and appropriate goals being developed to meet the needs of the organization.

The author explains how strategic planning relies heavily on particular concepts such as mission, objectives, metrics, performance management, action plans, key result areas, long and short-term goals, and tactics. These terms are essential to good management and they influence the values of the organization and not just the objectives. Recognizing different strategies is essential for managers who have to deal with planning and delivering specific results to meet their organizations goals.

This article does a thorough job in articulating what strategic planning is, how it can be accomplished, and the different leadership perspectives that can compliment an organization’s goals in strategic planning. The author illustrates important distinctions to make regarding practicing strategic planning, such as recognizing that strategic planning is not strategic thinking, the difference between an organizational philosopher and a technical expert, and influencing the value of the organization, not only the objectives. Consider gaining more knowledge about leadership and organizational strategy to apply to your business today!
التخطيط الإستراتيجي
(Strategic Planning)
القيادة والتنظيم الإستراتيجي
تعد هذه الدراسة من الدراسات المهمة حيث تركز على التخطيط الإستراتيجي الذي يتضمن أنشطة متعلقة بوجهات النظر القيادية، التخطيط الإداري، إدارة الأداء، ووضع الميزانية للبرامج الإدارية للمؤسسات. تتحدث هذه المقالة بوضوح عن أهداف التخطيط الإستراتيجي وكيفية إستخدام تلك الأهداف وممارستها في الشركات لضمان وصولها وتطويرها لتحقيق الأهداف المرجوة منها

وتوضح هذه الدراسة بطريقة دقيقة مفاهيم التخطيط الإستراتيجي وكيف يمكن العمل على تحقيق هذه المفاهيم. وتناقش إيضا وجهات النظر القيادية المختلفة التي يمكن أن تؤثر على أهداف الشركات في مجال التخطيط الإستراتيجي. ويوضح الكاتب الفروق الهامة التي يجب أن تؤخذ بعين الإعتبار عند فهم أو ممارسة التخطيط الإستراتيجي، كمعرفة أن التخطيط الإستراتيجي مختلف عن التفكير الإستراتيجي ومعرفة الإختلاف بين القائد الإستراتيجي والخبير التقني ومعرفة كيفية التأثير على قيم الشركة وليس فقط أهدافها. ابدأ اليوم في تعلم المزيد عن طرق القيادة والتخطيط الإستراتيجي


The Seven Startup Metrics You must Track

Ehrenberg, D. (2014). The seven startup metrics you must track. Forbes.com.

This article talks about focusing on your business and growing it to the next level. This can be completed by using the correct metrics to monitor success. This metrics can be categorize by sales, customer and finance. Overall, the metrics used should be specific to your business.

The sales metrics include: Revenue run rate and average revenue per user. Revenue run rate identifies how sales are developing over a period of time. It helps you see patterns, develop accurate sales forecast. The average revenue per user is the average amount each customer is spending. Increases in this metric means that each customer is spending more on products.

The customer metrics include: Custom acquisition cost and churn rate. Customer acquisition cost is the amount it cost to attract the customer. The churn rate is you keep customers or lose them.

The financial metrics include: Burn rate, operation efficiency and gross margins. Burn rate is how much money is spent and knowing how much time you have until the money is all spent. The operation efficiency calculates return on investment. This is a ratio of expenses to sales. The gross margin measures the profitability of the operation as a whole. Overall, the metrics used should be specific to your business.

Brand Positioning Strategies for Industrial Firms Providing Customer Solutions

Jalkala, A. M., & Keranen, J. (2014). Brand positioning strategies for industrial firms providing customer solutions. Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing, 29(3), 253-264. Doi 10.1108/JBIM-10-2011-0138

Previous research provides little understanding brand position strategies. This article discusses how firms build a brand positioning strategy that integrates the sale of goods and services. Specifically, findings highlight the importance of building the strategy around key capabilities rather than product attributes or service attributes. The organization needs to identify which capabilities have the most potential in delivering customer value and then match these capabilities with customer goals. An in-depth analysis of customer goals can prove to be helpful because brand positioning strategy needs to highlight how the organization contributes to meeting these goals. It is also beneficial to focus on customer network goals. This is important for business to business solution providers who need to consider organizational goals of their customers, the individual-level goals within the customer organizations, and wider goals within their customer’s network. By understanding the process in which customers buy, use and evaluate the offerings by the organization, organizations can obtain valuable insights on developing their brand positioning strategies.

Stakeholders, Strategic Planning and Critical Success Factors in Professional Accounting Organizations

Cooper, T., & Downer, P. (2012). Journal of Leadership, Accountability, and Ethics, 9(4), 82-98.

This study examines the factors that impact of a formalized strategic plan in a self-regulated industry such as the accounting profession. A comprehensive case study enacted over a 10 month period examined critical factors of strategic performance. The critical factors that were essential for the success of the strategic plan were: Public and government, members, students, educators (both members and nonmembers), employers, and lastly, staff and volunteers.

The article further drills down into the factors such that the public and government factor included transparency and accountability in all its regulatory processes as well as timely delivery of all self-regulatory activities. The member’s factor states that it should provide opportunities for continuing professional development for all its members and ensure consistency of all self-regulatory activities. With regard to students and educators, adequate training opportunities should be provided to the students. Employers should assess the best and the brightest accounting students while also developing clear training guidelines. Clear direction to execute responsibilities for the staff and volunteers, in addition to availability of resources, is key for this factor.

Furthermore, the critical factors approach states that certain key factors must be focused on in order for the organization to achieve its goals and objectives and therefore, these factors and the details outlining them were built into the strategic plan.

Does Strategic Planning Enhance or Impede Innovation and Firm Performance?

Song, MichaelIm, SubinBij, Hans van derSong, Lisa Z.
Journal of Product Innovation Management. Jul2011, Vol. 28 Issue 4, p503-520. 18p.
Description:
There has been a lot of debate recently on strategic planning impeding innovation. This article examines 227 firms that follow the strategic planning process.:
After analyzing the data, it was suggested that more strategic planning and more new product development projects lead to better firm performance. It also suggests that Strategic planning is more effective in larger firms with higher R&D intensity for increasing the number of NPD projects.

Strategic planning for public and nonprofit organizations :a guide to strengthening and sustaining organizational achievement

John M. Bryson (John Moore), -ebrary, Inc.

This article guides leaders and managers how to effectively and efficiently plan ahead. The report is divided into two parts; part one explains the importance of Strategic Planning by defining its dynamics and defines the strategic life cycle; part two explains the key steps in thinking and acting strategically, that includes: initiating and agreeing on a process, clarifying mandates and assessing the SWOT analysis.

Strategic planning as communicative process

Clark, Timothy ; Cooren, François ; Cornelissen, Joep P ; Kuhn, Timothy ; Spee, A. Paul ; Jarzabkowski, Paula
Organization Studies, 2011, Vol.32(9), pp.1217-1245
This paper examines the construction of a strategic plan as a communicative process. Drawing on Ricoeur’s concepts of decontextualization and recontextualization, we conceptualize strategic planning activities as being constituted through the iterative and recursive relationship of talk and text. Based on an in-depth case study, our findings show how multiple actors engage in a formal strategic planning process which is manifested in a written strategy document. This document is thus central in the iterative talk to text cycles. As individuals express their interpretations of the current strategic plan in talk, they are able to make amendments to the text, which then shape future textual versions of the plan. This cycle is repeated in a recursive process, in which the meanings attributed to talk and text increasingly converge within a final agreed plan. We develop our findings into a process model of the communication process that explains how texts become more authoritative over time and, in doing so, how they inscribe power relationships and social order within organizations. These findings contribute to the literature on strategic planning and on organization as a communication process.

Does Strategic Planning Enhance or Impede Innovation and Firm Performance?

Song, M., Im, S., Bij, H., & Song, L. Z. (2011). Journal Of Product Innovation Management, 28, 503-520. doi:10.1111/j.1540-5885.2011.00822.x

Does strategic planning enhance or impede innovation and firm performance? The current literature provides contradictory views. This study extends the resource-advantage theory to examine the conditions in which strategic planning increases or decreases the number of new product development projects and firm performance. The authors test the theoretical model by collecting data from 227 firms. The empirical evidence suggests that more strategic planning and more new product development (NPD) projects lead to better firm performance. Firms with organizational redundancy benefit more from strategic planning than firms with less organizational redundancy. Increasing R&D intensity boosts both the number of NPD projects and firm performance. Strategic planning is more effective in larger firms with higher R&D intensity for increasing the number of NPD projects. The results reported in this study also consist of several findings that challenge the traditional views of strategic planning. The evidence suggests that strategic planning impedes, not enhances, the number of NPD projects. Larger firms benefit less, not more, from strategic planning for improving firm performance. Larger firms do not necessarily create more NPD projects. Increasing organizational redundancy has no effect on the number of NPD projects. These empirical results provide important strategic implications. First, managers should be aware that, in general, formal strategic planning decreases the number of NPD projects for innovation management. Improvised rather than planned activities are more conducive to creating NPD project ideas. Moreover, innovations tend to emerge from improvisational processes, during which the impromptu execution of NPD activities without planning spurs "thinking outside the box," which enhances the process of creating NPD project ideas. Therefore, more flexible strategic plans that accommodate potential improvisation may be needed in NPD management since innovation-related activities cannot be planned precisely due to the unexpected jolts and contingencies of the NPD process. Second, large firms with high levels of R&D intensity can overcome the negative effect of strategic planning on the number of NPD projects. Specifically, a firm's abundant resources, when allocated and deployed for NPD activities, signal the high priority and importance of the NPD activities and thus motivate employees to acquire, collect, and gather customer and technical knowledge, which leads to creating more NPD projects. Finally, managers must understand that managing strategic planning and generating NPD project ideas are beneficial to the ultimate outcome of firm performance despite the adverse relationship between strategic planning and the number of NPD projects.

Drivers and Outcomes of Scenario Planning: A Canonical Correlation Analysis
Chermack, T. J., & Nimon, K. (2013). European Journal of Training & Development, 37(9), 811-834. doi:10.1108/EJTD-03-2013-0030

Scenario planning is of popular practice but the literature is limited on its predictions about scenario planning outcomes. This article reports on sets of mediator and outcome variables in order to assess the relationship between two sets of variables in scenario planning. The first set is communication skills and mental models while the second set is decision making and learning organizational characteristics. To explain the degree to which the first set of scenario planning variables explained variance in the second set of scenario planning variables, a canonical correlational analysis was conducted. Findings indicate that the way employees communicate and their formation of mental models explains their decision making styles and learning characteristics. Further results indicate that employee’s communication skills and their mental models about the organization strongly related to their preference to make decisions based on intuition and input derived from other employees.

This quantitative scenario study provided additional support that scenario planning is a useful tool for reinforcing decision styles, specifically intuitive/dependent decision styles and learning about the culture of the organization.

Strategic Planning and the Fiscal Performance of City Governments during the Great Recession

Jimenez, B. S. (2012). The American Review of Public Administration, 43(5), 581–601. doi:10.1177/0275074012451051

Strategic planning has the potential to decrease the effects of a financial crisis. Government officials’ can gather information internally and externally to implement some fiscal policies that can minimize exposure to external shocks, and to experiment with alternative services that can reduce cost. Linking strategic plans to budgets allows cities to focus on core services. Strategic plans can also provide a structure for operations, facilitating closer cooperation and coordination among managers and employees in preventing the further deterioration of their organization.

Therefore, can cities that implement comprehensive strategic planning adjust better to the current fiscal crisis and minimize their budget deficits? Managers from cities with comprehensive strategic planning are more confident of their fiscal outlook than those who do not have a strategic plan. A positive outlook may help local governments’ adjust to financial crises. Periods of loss revenue are often associated with the decline of organizational optimism, disorganization, and decision paralysis. Improving organizational confidence is crucial because it creates a sense of control and capacity to act.

Strategic Management of Intellectual Property: An Integrated Approach

III, W. W. F., & Oberholzer-gee, F. (2013). Strategic Management of Intellectual Property, 55(4), 157–184.

There is no one best way to manage IP as stated in Iii, W. W. F., & Oberholzer-gee, F. (2013) many managers overestimate the appeal of using IP to utilize market power. Instead, the value of the several means to protect and profit from IP depends on firm strategy, competitive landscape, and the rapidly changing contours of intellectual property law.

On the attack, Using IP protection to avoid imitation and exercise market power is the most common method to thinking about IP followed by selling or licensing. Another option is to boost the value of a firm’s innovations and its associated IP assets through collaboration. Finally, the least reasonable of the offensive strategies is the option to give away a company’s IP.

Defending, companies that compete with competitors who own vital IP properties also have a range of opportunities to meet this task. In fact, the options for IP non-holders reflect the choices available to corporations who own and control IP such as asserting legal privilege to getting permission and licensing. To ward off patent violation suits and gain access to rivals’ technology, businesses can opt to build large patent portfolios. The capability to threaten countersuits may deter competitors from aggressively proclaiming their legal rights. On the defense you can disregard the impending claims of rivals and instead disseminate a possibly infringing technology in rapid approach.

Concluding Iii, W. W. F., & Oberholzer-gee, F. (2013) supports that many IP-related assessments are of strategic significance, and they must not be given to specialists who tend to be little involved in strategy formulation and application. Also, early and continuous communication between executives, lawyers, and engineers are critical to recognizing the best opportunities for deploying IP. Lastly, managers believe all too often that the best technique of using IP rights is to suppress competition. the significant benefits of the close and early collaboration between creators, managers, and lawyers. In order to benefit to the greatest possible extent from novel technologies and products, managers need to collaborate across functional silos.


Do Higher Costs Spur Process Innovations and Managerial Incentives? Evidence from a Natural Experiment

Dostie, B. & Jayaraman, R. (2013). Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, 22, 529-550.

Dostie and Jayaraman (2013) examined the extent to which process innovation and managerial incentives reduce costs. The researchers wondered whether organizations facing high costs are more likely to (a) invest in innovations as a cost reduction strategic plan and (b) offer performance-based incentives to their managers.

Based on a difference-in-difference approach, the researchers compared data from 1,105 workplaces including Canadian manufacturing exports and manufacturing non-exports to the US before and after 9/11. Dostie and Jayaraman (2013) documented that when workplaces were financially challenged, the organizational leaders tended to implement various process innovations to reduce cost but they did not provide any incentive for the managers. One of the reasons for lack of the incentives, according to the researchers, is the fact that the incentive pay often requires the support of executive which often is a time-consuming process.

Understanding Aesthetic Innovation in the Context of Technological Evolution

Eisenman, M. (2013). Academy of Management Review, 38, 332-351.

The focus of this article is to propose a theoretical model of aesthetic innovation which explains the importance of strategic use of design in product development in relation to technological advances. Eisenman (2013) suggests that design is the most important tool not only for communicating the uses of a new product but also for influencing buyers’ perception and emotions towards that product.

Eisenman (2013) argues that product characteristics such as color, shape, texture, or size provide an opportunity for the designers to “explain” the product uses, to “excite” potential buyers, and to “extend” the primary function of the product. The researcher suggests a strong relationship between product design and a dynamic technological evolution.

When referring to companies’ effort to use product design as a communication tool, Eisenman (2013) proposes “aesthetic innovation” term as the new product design significantly influences buyers’ senses. The researcher lists several examples of aesthetic innovations such as the use of light materials, bright colors and attractive prints in suitcase production, the opportunity to replace older products with the new ones, and the ability to express one’s identity and status through obtaining the most current product models. Eisenman points out that the firm’s success of using aesthetic innovation depends on the market dynamics, new model introduction, user characteristics, and cultural dynamics.

Eisenman (2013) suggests several opportunities for future research such as identifying relationship between users, cultures, and technology, explaining the effects of technological limitations on new product design, and measuring spending on design.


Strategic Involvement of Training Professionals in the Firm’s Business Strategies: Evidence from the U.S.

Sum, V., & Chorlian, J. (2013). Global Journal of Business Research, 7(4), 127-134.

Are company trainers or training professionals involved in their companies’ business strategies? Do companies need to develop a strategic integration of training in their business strategies? Sum and Chorlian (2013) examined the role of training professionals employed in the U.S. companies and the extent to which they are strategically involved in their companies’ business strategies.

Sum and Chorlian (2013) develop a questionnaire for the members of the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) and posted it on 450 discussion boards located on community.astd.org, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Out of 450 invitations sent, 111 (23.77%) training professionals responded and filled out the questionnaire.

The dependent variables included: product differentiation, cost leadership, focus, market penetration, product service development, market development, and diversification along with the independent variables that included: types of training, ways of training delivery, companies’ general characteristics, and awareness of training integration in the participants’ business strategies at each company. The researchers showed that training professionals in product development and diversification strategies working at the US-based local firms scored higher on strategic integration than those training professionals who work at the US-based global companies.

Sum and Chorlin (2013) concluded that not only training professionals are strategically involved in their companies’ strategic business plan but also companies value training and perceive it as a competing tool in the knowledge-based economy.

Land Use - Transportation Scenarios and Future Vehicle Travel and Land Consumption

Bartholomew, K. & Ewing R. (2009). Journal of the American Planning Association, 75(1), 13-27.

This article analyzes several scenario planning studies to identify the extent to which compact growth scenarios can be predicted as a means of reducing vehicular travel and land consumption. Bartholomew and Ewing (2009) hypothesized that the use of alternative scenarios over extended period of time significantly reduces the land consumption and automobile use.

Bartholomew and Ewing reviewed 85 scenarios and identified 23 planning studies from 18 metropolitan areas. The researchers developed a regional vehicle-miles-traveled (VMT) model by using hierarchical modeling and meta-analysis to identify the relationship between study variables. The dependable variable was the amount of difference in VMT between the planning scenario and the trend scenario. Independent variables included percentage of density difference, infill or compactness (dummy variable), mixed use of land, population growth increment, coordinated transportation investment, and pricing policies. The 23 studies were at a regional scale, had stable population and employment projections, and had thorough data on regional density and VMT.

Overall, the results revealed that there was a reduction in land consumption and vehicular travel when scenario planning in the development of land use-transportation was used. The researchers predicted that compact growth scenarios will reduce VMT by 2050. Under the alternative scenarios, there was variation in VMT influenced by infill/compact development, mixed land use, and the population growth increment each of which relates to decrease in VMT under current trend. The variations indicated correlations such as the higher the population growth the greater variation in VMT. Also, scenarios used in the same region were nested and lacked unique characteristics. To identify unique properties within each scenario, researchers used Hierarchal Linear and Nonlinear Modeling technique.

The issues of land use and transportation polices are not fully considered when transportation models are developed. It is imperative that changes occur so that scenario planning becomes beneficial. Researchers suggested that global economic and environmental trends are included in scenario planning.


Strategic Planning Through Complexity: Overcoming Impediments to Forecast and Schedule
Patnaik, R. (2012). IUP Journal Of Business Strategy, 9(1), 27-36.

This article explains strategic planning and its complexity. Strategic planning can be seen as a fundamental activity to reach a future goal. “Strategic planning is an exercise to visualize or anticipate or project the future and act accordingly (Terry, 1953; Allen, 1958 and 1973; and Strong, 1965), keeping in sync the organizational resources and objectives” (27).

In order to have a successful strategic plan you must propose scenario-planning with the help of complexity theory that holds the potential to assist strategic planning overcome impediments to achieve the objectives of an organization. With strategic planning you must forecast the controllable and uncontrollable factors, which can be difficult due to shaping the global environment that is unforeseen, yet it can be seen as evolutionary. This is why forecast and scheduling are the preliminary stage in the process to determine the future course of action. In order to determine the future course of action, you must forecast the parameters or elements that may affect the future. Besides, forecasting you must implement a schedule to prioritize your plan.

The reason why you should understand the impediments of strategic planning at a macro level is to understand the complexity of cause and effect. This complexity seems to be the causal effect of turbulence that makes the strategic planning elements extremely dynamic and random. The way to overcome these problems is by analyzing them on a larger scale over the national industry system. The technique to use is the qualitative analysis. This analysis’s commences from an existing theoretical position compared to the emerging theory. According to the author, multiple variables of the industry-system interact with each other, they behave in a nonlinear way and operate with nested type (network) feedback loops and are mostly turbulent, chaotic and lacking order. Nevertheless, the complexity of the plan may appear random with a cause and effect relationship, but it becomes difficult to understand. So the effective way to handle this uncertainty in forecasting is through scenario planning. This is why multiple scenario planning is needed for understanding the changing parameters, which is similar to a chess game.

Therefore, the impediments to strategic planning maybe complex and difficult to understand and that is why developing possible scenarios for scheduling, and redefining the forecast information over time prepares organizations for the uncertainty that arises from the complex environment.


Effects of scenario planning on participant mental models

Glick, M. B., Chermack, T. J., Luckel, H., & Gauck, B. Q. (2012). European Journal of Training & Development, 36, 488-507. doi:10.1108/03090591211232066

Many scenario planning researchers claim that scenario planning is a tool for shifting mental models and assumptions in the organization. This article proposed to test this claim by examining whether scenario planning affects individual mental model. The five mental models of the interest are political, financial, efficient, social, and systems.

An individual with political mental model style views the organization as a system for political activity focusing on power relations. Even if the individual is not politically driven him/herself, he/she may view other individuals as driven by hidden political agenda. Since scenario planning focuses on group dialogue, open communication, and inclusion of diverse opinions, it is hypothesized to reduce individuals’ reliance on a political mental model (Hypothesis 1). An individual with financial mental model style views the organization’s efficacy only in terms of financial performance, and may limit the understanding of other important organizational processes. Since scenario planning emphasizes on learning various influential factors to organization rather than such a single factor as the financial factor, it is hypothesized to reduce individuals’ reliance on a financial mental model (Hypothesis 2). An efficiency mental model emphasizes an operationally efficient and rational mechanism of the organization. An individual with efficiency mental model views employees primarily as the parts of a larger organic mechanism while he/she views a manager as the primary decision maker. Since scenario planning seeks to promote a comprehensive view of the organization in the external context, reliance on efficiency mental model is expected to increase (Hypothesis 3). An individual with social mental model style views the organization in terms of a shared culture. A sense of belonging is valued, and its core manifestations include relationship, team building and other group activities. The process of scenario planning is consistent with social mental model in the sense that it is based on group interaction and group decision making. Engaging in scenario planning is hypothesized to increase individuals’ reliance on social mental model (Hypothesis 4). An individual with system mental model views the organization as a cyclical system comprised of input, process, and output. This mental model fosters understanding of the parts making up the whole organization, the systematic relationships of the parts, and the impacts of internal and external variables to the organizational system. Since consistent with system mental model, scenario planning emphasizes understanding the organization as a system, engaging in scenario planning is hypothesized to increase the individuals’ reliance on system mental model (Hypothesis 5).

Self-selected 129 participants from ten organizations underwent a 12-to-14-week scenario planning project. Job titles included from line workers to executive managers. The pre-test and the post-test were conducted on the participants’ mental model via the Mental Model Style Survey (MMSS).

The results from paired t-tests supported all of the hypotheses except the hypothesis 2. In sum, the study indicated that scenario planning may influence the shift in the individuals’ mental model while its influence on the shift with financial mental model was not observed.


Decision making and planning under low levels of predictability: Enhancing the scenario method

Wright, G. & Goodwin, P. (2009). International Journal of Forecasting, 25, 813-825. doi:10.1016/j.ijforecast.2009.05.019

This article reviewed scenario planning as a decision making and planning tool for future with low predictability. The reasons for low predictability include inappropriate mental model to frame a reality, cognitive and motivational biases. Those four factors can be mitigated by application of scenario planning to explicitly unfold causal chains of future events. The technique illustrates elaborate stories via a description of a prospective state, an interpretation of current events and their influence and manifestation in future, and analyses of causal logic to explain chains of events and consequences. However, some researchers suggest problems with scenario planning technique. That is, having participants imagining and developing scenarios would make them develop overconfidence in the likelihood of the focal scenario’s occurrence. The use of multiple plausible scenarios may alleviate this problem but the overconfidence may persist if the scenario development relies on biased mental model like heuristics and myopia. Including individuals with opposing or skeptical views on the scenario may help counter this issue.

The authors proposed four principles for enhancement of scenario planning technique to cope with unpredictability. Firstly, mental frames and the boundaries of uncertainty must be challenged. For example, “frame analysis worksheet” can be used to assess the scenario. Using backward logic from the potential end-states to the current to develop the scenarios rather than chronological causal chains is also suggested as an alternative scenario construction approach. This would widen the range of analysis of possible extreme impacts that conventional forward logic may fail to address due to the limitation of creative imagination and the biased mental frames. Secondly, the skeleton of the scenarios should be fleshed out by understanding and incorporating the stakeholders’ interests and values. Thirdly, the scenarios should be augmented to cover as many potentially surprising events as possible by brainstorming technique, role-playing, and so on. Finally, the strategic options in the scenarios must be ensured to be general rather than too specific to have flexibility, diversification, and insurability.


What will marketers need to do to make 2013 a lucky one?

Marketing Week (Online Edition), 2.

This article describes top marketers views on what it will take for an organization to succeed in 2013. Joan Lewis, Global consumer and market knowledge officer of Procter & Gamble, believes many brands are looking towards Asia. In order to build a successful brand it requires that the organizations learn about their consumers. This is why Proctor & Gamble are learning about “Asia’s consumers’, who differ in cultures, stages of economic development and income, from billionaires to people living on less than a dollar a day” (para. 1). It is believed that the Asia-Pacific will be leading the adoption of digital technology because consumers can tailor their messages to what brands they prefer or want.

According to, Peter Briffet Director of UK and Ireland Living Social, the key to success in 2013 “lies in developing consumer-centric mobile strategies to match the changing psychology of today’s social shopper” (para. 3). Social Living believes consumers are the ones making recommendations 24/7 and this is why brands need to meet their expectations in order to succeed in their social space culture. Like Peter Briffer, James Wildman the Director and Vice President of sales from Yahoo! UK and Ireland he believe “with the increasing proliferation of smartphones and the gradual roll-out of 4G, more traffic is likely shift to mobile and tablet devices so it will be important to focus on cross-platform experiences and capabilities” (para. 5). With this growing trend of social communication the Director of Aston Martin believes the biggest trend in 2013 is “integration, not in just communication but linking overall business strategy with customer value in terms of product, promotion, place, price and people” (para. 4). With this link it is vital that businesses use social channels to continue to engage their consumers in returning back to your brand.

As a result of the growing trend of digital technology and today’s social consumer, mobile technology is emerging and TV commercials are going to have a decrease in overall effect on consumer shopping. Therefore, marketers need to ensure that their brands are offering a seamless customer experience across all the channels being used, with realization that everyone is becoming more used to consuming content across different platforms, from video content through paper magazines. In order to succeed in 2013, business need to change their strategic planning to accommodation today’s world of social networking.


How to use scenario planning: Analyzing the post-election possibilities for health reform

Lamb, J. (2012). Employee Benefit Adviser, 10(6), 62.

A VP of EbixBenergy, a software supplier to insurance industry, uses 2012 U.S. Presidential election and constitutionality of Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) as the case to present exemplary scenarios drawn from hypothetical scenario planning process. The simplest form of scenario planning is to generate two series of dichotomous possibilities. In this case, the authors presented 1)PPACA found constitutional versus unconstitutional; and 2) Obama gets elected versus Romney gets elected (The article was published before the election result). These two make up quadrants of a) PPACA constitutional and Obama re-elected; b) PPACA unconstitutional and Obama re-elected; c) PPACA constitutional and Romney elected; and d) PPACA unconstitutional and Romney elected. See the below summary table to have some idea about how scenario planning technique can give you the forecast.


Obama
Romney
PPACA constitutional
  • Full-speed on federal and state health insurance
  • Timing of the coordination by the stakeholders may be off.
  • The number of insured will reduce in the beginning.
  • Small Business Health Options Programs (SHOPs) will attract many employers with various incentives.
  • Health care costs may sky-rocket.
    • Response of Washington and the market?
    • Can private exchange compete?
  • Stagnation of the federal process
  • Possible attempts on marginalization of PPACA
  • Repeal of PPACA
  • State-sponsored exchange may grow
  • Market opportunity of private exchanges
PPACA unconstitutional
  • If only the individual mandate is found unconstitutional;
    • Fixing unconstitutionality of the individual mandate is simple.
    • The health care costs will be large.
  • If the entire PPACA is found unconstitutional;
    • Already enacted popular components of the law must be addressed.
    • No more legislative requirement
    • Alternatives via private exchanges?
  • Some market chaos
  • Exchanges will fall while some may take continuous initiatives.
  • Private exchanges may prosper.
  • A national risk pool or tax incentives idea
  • Employers with carriers will work together to take control of the cost increases.
  • Workers will have to take on more ownership of the costs via HDHPs or others.
  • More premiums if one does not actively control overt health risk in their life styles (smoking, diet, etc.).


How ‘social intelligence’ can guide decisions

Martin, H., Estelle, M., & Hugo,S. (2012). McKinsey Quarterly, (3),81-89.

In this article, the authors’ explore four distinct ways that social technologies can enhance intelligence gathering with the use of social media in strategic planning and decision making by corporations. It is forecasted that most companies rely on their marketers to tap into the insights on how consumers think and behave. As social technologies mature, the authors believe with their strategic planning they can forecast the use of social media with current methods of intelligence gathering. Social intelligence is a critical asset for senior executives and directors of corporation’s members who are seeking the best possible basis for their decisions. The four methods consist of mapping people, data gathering, SWOT analysis and reporting to curating.

The first method is identifying data to map individuals and their conversations. This new information map in social media provides companies with a competitive analysis in current information from “primary sources of information (from experts, competitors, employees, and suppliers)”, “and secondary sources (such as published data, articles, and market research)” (para. 2). This social intelligence identifies people and their conversations in social spaces, which provides the right “curators and experts collecting and channeling vital, accurate information, that eliminates the need for extensive searches of traditional databases and published information” (para. 2). This information allows a company to join online conversations and allows them to shape them to provide real-time information which gives them a lead over their competitors. This strategic planning reinforces accurate and current social media data information, which creates a variety of perspectives from multiple social media sources to internal check and balances with a better insight.

The second method is gathering data to engage and track that alters the traditional gathering data before the analysts analyze the information. Social intelligence allows “analysts to create dynamic maps that pinpoint where information and expertise reside and to track new data in real time” (para. 3). This is an effective way of obtaining new information to engage a carefully mapped network of experts on specific subjects.

According to the Martin et. al. (2012):

“General Electric employed this proactive approach last year in an effort to gather ideas about what it called a "social" airplane, offering prizes with Virgin Airlines for the best insights.” The company enlisted a community of more than 90,000 people who follow its @ecomagination Twitter account and organized conversations around key topics using hashtags. Over the course of only two hours, this global network produced thousands of ideas that had not been discussed or published elsewhere. Some focused on green topics, such as the use of solar panels and electric vehicles in engine- manufacturing operations and of LED lighting on aircraft. Participants also suggested giving each flight its own hash tag for conversations or allowing airlines to send messages directly to passengers when their rows were boarding. GE used the information to fine- tune its understanding of airline passengers' expectations and to create new processes for injecting stakeholder input into strategic planning and product development” (para. 3).

This example shows that social media helps companies to gain a competitive edge over their competitors with the networking map and influence ratings.

The third method consists of updating the old SWOT analysis and Porter’s five forces to using social media such as Facebook and Twitter to analysis and synthesis data. With the new analytic methods and social media data points a company can structure and derive insight from complex information. For example, “Earlier this year, executives at a major telecom company launched a social-research effort to get a detailed picture of consumer conversations about the company on social media. The results of that initiative were surprising and significant: a realization that 4G data speeds and new devices attracted the most discussion, fresh consumer perspectives on the strengths and weaknesses of the company's major competitors, and the realization that the success of its growth strategy would depend on a more thorough education of customers” (para. 4).

The last method is deals with intelligence reports that are “formal documents sent by e-mail, broadcast by corporate newsletters, or posted on intranets” (para. 5). With “new social software now on the market lets companies rapidly, even automatically, curate highly pertinent information -- from news sources, Web discussions by experts and influencers, freshly minted market data, and customer feedback.” (para. 5). This software allows companies to produce "micropublications" instantly, with external sources that are automatically generated by targeted newsletters on a particular subject in attractive and intuitive formats. Therefore, this creates a personalized dashboard, which "democratizes" intelligence and embeds relevant data deep within the organization.

Therefore, with social media enhances any companies business strategic planning.


Becoming more strategic: Three tips for any executive

Birshan, M., Kar, J., & Perry, E. (2012). Mckinsy Quarterly. (3):60-66.

In order to increase your ability to develop and conquer strategies you should focus on three methods. Regardless of your industry context and experience-based instincts all strategies help shape an organizations direction by moving beyond framework and the key is to have effective communication during the development process.
According to Birshan et al. (2012), there are three tips that any executive can use that are simple but effective. The first tip is to “understand what strategy really means in your industry” (p. 60). When you have approached this level you have already set your core strategy framework for your industry. However, you should have an in-depth idea for your core strategy not just a general idea. “General ideas can be misleading, and as strategy becomes the domain of a broader group of executives, more will also need to learn to think strategically in their particular industry context” (p.61). This can raise an issue with our strategy because a strategy is a passage that needs to be studied and understood to ensure the context can guide your industry down the correct path.

Birshan et al. (2012) uses this example:
“being able to think strategically in the high-tech industry involves a nuanced understanding of
strategy topics such as network effects, platforms, and standards. In the utilities sector, it involves mastery of the economic implications of (and room for strategic maneuvers afforded by) the regulatory regime. In mining, leaders must understand the strategic implications of cost curves, game theory, and real-options valuation; further, they must know and be sensitive to the stakeholders in their regulatory and societal environment, many of whom can directly influence their opportunities to create value” (p.61).
Therefore, with this example it illustrates why it is important to understand and study your strategic plan for your industry.

The second by tip by Birshan et al., (2012) is to become an expert at identifying potential disrupters. This tip is vital because knowing your potential disrupters can make or break your company. However, you are going to have to do some networking and learn more about your investors and etc. to be able to sort out any weaknesses or competitive signals. According to Birshan et al. (2012):
“Picking up weak competitive signals is more often than not a result of careful practice: a systematic updating of competitive insights as an ongoing part of existing strategic processes. Executives with diverse backgrounds can boost the quality of dialogue by contributing to -- and insisting on -- issue-based competitive analyses. Who is well-positioned to play in emerging business areas? If new technologies are involved, what are they, and who else might master them? Who seems poorly positioned, and what does that mean for competitive balance in the industry or for acquisition opportunities? Focusing competitive reviews on questions like these often yields insights of significantly greater value than would be possible through the more common practice of periodically examining competitors' financial and operating results. It also helps push the senior team away from linear, deterministic thinking and toward a more contingent, scenario-based mind-set that's better suited to today's fast-moving strategy environment” (p.64).

Lastly, the third tip is to develop “effective communications from all executives participating” (p. 65). Having strong communication is vital for any industry to be successful and a way to ensure effective communication is by scheduling weekly or bi-weekly meetings to discuss any red flag issues or about the strategic topic.


Exploring individual differences in scenario planning workshops: A cognitive style framework

Franco, L. A., Meadows, M. & Armstrong, S. J. (In Press). Technological Focus & Social Change doi:10.1016/j.techfore.2012.02.008

Scenario planning is a strategic planning technique that involves exploration of a set of plausible future scenarios, and strategy formulations against the scenarios. It is often performed in a workshop setting, led by a facilitator. Some researchers argue that cognitive diversity of the workshop participants have significant impacts on the success of scenario planning. The authors further explored this claim, reviewing different scenario planning approaches, the concept of cognitive styles, and their contributing roles.

There are three major scenario planning schools: intuitive logics relying on subjective analysis of the future from logical perspective, trend impact analysis relying on forecasting methods like time-series to weigh importance and probability of the future events’ occurrence, and cross-impact analysis leading to identification of readily apparent scenario components based on the analysis of the events’ likelihood and impacts, and the consistency across the scenario distributions. The authors infer from their secondary research that the intuitive logics is more prevalent than the other schools in the academia and practitioners community, and thus, represents mainstream approach.

As for the cognitive styles, the authors focused on the Jungian model of Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, and explored the types: sensing-thinking (STs), sensing-feeling (SFs), intuition-thinking (NTs), and intuition-feeling (NFs). Considering the previous research on the cognitive styles, it was proposed that 1) homogenous groups consisting of NTs and NFs will be more effective than STs and SFs in scenario planning in terms of positive engagement for social-emotional and task-oriented processes; 2) homogenous groups consisting of NTs and NFs will show more commitment, cohesion, and satisfaction with scenario planning workshops; 3) individuals trained to override preferred cognitive style to in order to address different issues that is incongruent with their preferred style; 4) coping behavior is needed in heterogeneous groups to deal with incongruent cognitive style; 5) those around the group mean of cognitive style can act as a mediator between the members with extreme cognitive style differences: 6) heterogeneous group management will be more effective through diversity training.

Organized Change is not an advocate of MBTI for its relatively low reliability. However, the fit of certain cognitive style/preference for scenario planning activity suggested by this study is worth consideration.


Wellness strategies for smaller businesses

Neely, M. (2012). Benefits Quarterly, 28(3), 16-19.

Due to our current economy smaller businesses are focusing on their core strategies instead of their limited resources. According to Neely (2012), smaller businesses are implementing employee wellness programs. The unstable economy and rising health care costs has led smaller businesses to restructuring their core strategies to keep their businesses afloat.

“Company wellness programs are widespread in the corporate world, where some 90% of large companies that offer health benefits also offer at least one type of wellness program, such as weight-loss, fitness classes or instruction in nutrition or healthy living”(p.16). With these employee wellness programs they can be incorporated into smaller businesses that have less than 200 workers to help them in creating a long-term health culture within their core strategic plan.

The purpose of the program is to decrease employee absenteeism, health care costs, and increase productivity and morale within the small businesses. According to Wellness Council of America, a small business saves two to three dollars for every one dollar. Therefore, for a small business to incorporate this program into their core strategic plan they need to build trust with their employees to prevent resistance by using data. Then provide confidential surveys and health risk assessments and create a reward incentive program that offers cash or a reduced premium for the employees who complete the assessment. This core strategic plan builds a strong and a healthy business.

The practice and process of delivering integration through strategic planning

Jarazablkowski, P., & Balogun, J. (2009). Journal of Management Studies, 8, 1255-1288.

Researchers out of Britain, argue that while communication and participation within planning processes are perceived to have an integrative effect, we argue that these effects are unlikely to arise simply from bringing people together. They suggest that given the varying interests of actors in different business units, integration will only arise from active negotiations and compromises between these actors. The article is based on a case analysis of strategic planning from a multinational organizational that was attempting to develop a greater strategic integration throughout Europe. The findings resulted in a new process model that is used to show how different business unit characteristics of planning experience and relative power shape different experiences of communication and participation activities and different processes for achieving integration.

Results from a strategic planning process: Benefits for a nonprofit organization

McHatton, P., Bradshaw, W., Gallagher, P. A., & Reeves, R. (2011). Nonprofit Management And Leadership, 22(2), 233-249.

A non-for profit organization in education undertook a strategic planning process to identify a variety of needs, refine its mission, and obtain feedback from members to better address their concerns. In this case study, three key planning tools were used to collect data to develop a new strategic plan. The case study outlines the plan, design, and implementation of the strategic plan, as well as key findings for each. The research also suggests future developmental issues of strategic planning based off the organization’s findings.



The impact of strategic planning and the balanced scorecard methodology on middle managers’ performance in the public sector

Marin, J. (2012). International Journal of Business and Social Science, 3, 115-127.

Marin investigated the impact of strategic planning activities and the Balanced Scorecard on the perceived performance at the middle management level in the public sector, particularly, Canadian Department of National Defense. It was hypothesized that: 1) middle managers perceive that strategic planning improves their overall performance; and 2) middle managers perceive that the Balanced Scorecard improves their overall performance. The self-report questionnaire was administered to 55 middle managers with very little knowledge about strategic planning and the Balanced Scorecard Methodology, 115 middle managers with very little knowledge about strategic planning but have no knowledge about the Balanced Scorecard, 6 middle managers with very little knowledge about the Balanced Scorecard and no knowledge about strategic planning, and 129 middle managers have no knowledge about strategic planning and the Balanced Scorecard. The findings suggest that the top two skills that are perceived to be the most positively impacted are the awareness of the overall environment, the big picture, identifying trends and developments to impact the organization; and the understanding of the mandate, mission and business processes of the middle manager’s organization. The top two competencies that are perceived to be the most positively impacted are managing change and organizational awareness.


Strategic planning and corporate performance relationship in small business firms: Evidence from a Middle East country context

Aldehayyat, J. S. & Twaissi, N. (2011). International Journal of Business & Management, 6, 255-263. doi:10.5539/ijbm.v6n8p255

“This research aims to identify strategic planning system characteristics in Jordanian small industrial firms and to examine its relationship with corporate performance. This is one of the first studies to examine such questions. Existing literature, both theoretical and empirical, is examined to identify the state of knowledge associated with this question in both developed and middle East countries. The empirical research was co-ordinated via a survey of small Jordanian industrial publicly quoted firms. A questionnaire survey of these firms yielded a 52.1 per cent response rate. The results of the survey provided a rich source of data in relation to a variety of practices associated with strategic planning in small Jordanian industrial firms. Key findings provided empirical evidence about the involvement of top and line management in planning, the use of environmental screening, and the use of strategy tools and techniques. Furthermore, the study found a strong positive relationship between strategic planning and corporate performance. This research gives a new empirical evidence about the value of strategic planning to corporate performance from Middle East countries context” (Abstract).


Strategic planning as communicative process

A. P. Spee & P. Jarzabkowski (2011). Organization Studies, 32, 1217-1245. doi:10.1177/0170840611411387

Spee and Jarzabkowski conducted a case study of a British university (Unico) to examine how texts such as Powerpoint presentations, planning documents and such are constructed in a strategic planning process through communicative interactions. The research questions are: (1) How is a strategic plan constructed as a communicative process?; (2) What are the implications of this communication process for the plan; and the plan’s production process?. The researchers collected 11 versions of strategy documents and 20 audio recordings of the 25 meetings. In addition, 76 interviews with key players of strategic planning were conducted throughout the planning process for the benefit of in-depth interpretation. Throughout the 12-month case period, the researchers recorded and examined the cyclical process of the strategic planning, in which the strategic planning documents are developed based on the discussions at the preceding meetings, and the new version of the strategy documents establish the basis for further discussion at a subsequent meeting. Unico focused on Teaching, Research and Third Stream in the planning process.

The study demonstrated that the planning documents shape planning activities. Simultaneously, the planning documents are also shaped by these very same planning activities. Thus, a strategic plan is not an inflexible device as debated by some researchers. This observation offers a conceptualization of strategic planning as organizing device for communication process that is integral to the planning per se rather than an independent process that occurs after the planning. Although the amended strategy documents may appear detached from the initial strategy making value and context, such decontextualization was indicated to be due to the institutionalized planning providing important meaning-making and agreement platform to the planning participants and key players. In other words, the planning text and talk communication cycle recursively re-evaluates the strategic context in a way detached from the initial analysis to result in the agreed final strategic plan content.


How to get strategic planning and business model design wrong: The case of a mobile technology provider

A. Ghezzi, R. Balocco & A. Rangone

The researchers analyze the longitudinal case study where strategic planning and business model design failed. The major mistakes in the planning process and their influences on the planning are explored. A list of ten DON’Ts is analyzed from theoretical standpoint.

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Do it but don’t do it alone: The importance of, and resources for, successful strategic planning

B. R. King, J. R. Bond-Raacke, & C. E. Saylor

This paper explores typical steps in strategic planning at academic department level in US higher educational institution setting. Along with the steps, it lists the important principles for the successful strategic planning, including communication, specificity, assessment, leadership, and transparency. Furthermore, collaboration with academic support unit as an aid is suggested.

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Resource Configuration in Family Firms: Linking Resources, Strategic Planning and Technological Opportunities to Performance

K. A. Eddleston, F. W. Kellermanns, & R. Sarathy

The researchers investigated how reciprocal altruism and innovative capacity benefit family firm performance. Additionally, they investigated the importance of strategic planning and technological opportunities to those two potential contributing factors. The results indicated that the levels of reciprocal altruism have a larger impact on the firm performance when technological opportunities are rich, and strategic planning is more influential when the firm lacks innovative capacities.

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Get into the Value Habit

B. Wortman

Many leaders have some idea of how to make their organization better, but changing the company’s entire foundation on which it stands can be rather difficult. Instead of tweaking a few processes to see short-term gain, creating avenues for making value a habit will see many positive outcomes over time. This article provides suggestions that get at the root of strategic change so your vision can get past simple surface changes.

Find out how to create good habits from strategic planning here:


Changing organizational culture with scenario planning

R. F. Korte & T. J. Chermack

This article provides conceptual explanation as to how scenario planning can be used to change organizational culture. Exploring the previous research, it discusses the underlying theoretical models of scenario planning and cultural change, and their relationship. An alternative model is proposed for future research at the end. The article also includes brief description of the scenario planning’s step-by-step process.

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6 Rules to become simply better

P. Barwise & S. Meehan

Trying to grow and develop your company to extend beyond its current capabilities can sometimes seem like running in sand. It may be helpful to take a step back and make sure your strategic plans are still keeping your customers’ needs in mind. To be the best, we must also attend to the basics or else possibly miss the mark. This article in the Business Strategy Review provides a few reminders about keeping your business successful.

Find some ideas on how to improve your organization here:

Scenario Planning Approach to Strategic Management of Small Travel Business in Malaysia

N. Sevaguru & M. S. Safa

In this article, Sevaguru and Safa introduce scenario planning technique as a strategic management tool in the context of the small traveling business in Malaysia. The researchers identify three factors that underlie organization’s failure to foresee the environmental turbulent, and ultimately lead to ineffective strategic planning. The three factors are 1) operational ineffectiveness; 2) business success; and 3) over dependence on forecasting. The researchers present scenario planning as the key strategic management strategy to overcome those blinding factors, and look into possible futures. Through the case of the small Malaysian traveling business, the process of scenario planning exercise is described.

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The Future of Public and Nonprofit Strategic Planning in the U.S.

J. M. Bryson

The benefits of strategic planning have shown to bring a competitive edge to many organizations far and wide across countless industries. Government and nonprofit agencies have increasingly utilized this beneficial process, and they encounter many of the same advantages and pitfalls practitioners find in for-profit entities. Ever wonder what the future of strategic planning could bring to your organization? Read on to discover Bryson's predictions of how strategic planning may be evolving over the next decade.
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The Practice and Process of Delivering Integration through Strategic Planning

P. Jarzabkowski & J. Balogun

Strategic planning is known to unite diverse business units under common strategic goals though communication. But how do such integrative effects occur? Jarzabkowski and Balogun present process models to address this concern, and elaborate the needs for varying integrative activities through negotiations and compromises according to different business units’ characteristics/interests and power allocations. The findings are drawn from a longitudinal case study of a multinational organization that implemented new strategic planning system in an effort for greater strategic integration across Europe.
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ISO and Strategic Management


Has over 18,500 standards covering over 163 countries. With an organization that big and with the type of service they provide it is imperative that they employ a strategic management system for the years ahead. The standards represents a consensus of the world given the standard and the subject under investigation. The articles speaks about six deliverables that meet customer needs, four standards that promote innovation, drive solutions and address global issues. It goes into countries and their capacity to be able to participate along with making sure the stakeholders are engaged and willing to participate the development of standards. This is not the end of their strategic management; furthermore, there are also three additional strategies.

Read this informative article click the link and scroll down one document http://www.iso.org/iso/about/iso_strategy_and_policies.htm


Mental Models, Decision Rules, and Performance Heterogeneity

M. S. Gary & R. E. Wood


Managerial mental models are a clear determinate of strategic choices. The paper explores the difference between a clear mental model and performance. It also helps to explain why some managers adopt strategies that lead to success while others do not. Managers with more accurate causal models of the business environment achieve higher performance outcomes. Managers do not need to know the entire business environment yet only the key aspects of the business.

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Grey areas in ivory-tower strategies

Strategic Direction

Strategy execution is namely made of up smaller more detailed decisions that are less “black and white.” Companies should aim their strategy execution process on these smaller but tough decisions. The articles explains five guiding principles that companies should adopt. The first principle is quantify resource allocation decisions. One must be careful regarding the number of decisions that are identified. Any amount over 50 may risk strategic slippage. What exactly is strategic slippage and what are the remaining four principles read this three page article to find out.

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Formal Strategic Planning: Annual Raindance or Wheel of Success?

N. O’Regan & A. Ghobadian

702 small and medium sized manufacturing firms were surveyed. Results indicated that firms with a formal, written, strategic plan and firms without a formal strategic plan experienced the same eight barriers. However, the firms with a formal strategic plan were better equipped to face barriers and problems with greater confidence. The authors suggest that a firm concentrate on other contingency factors to create comparative advantage. What are these other contingencies? And if a firm should concentrate on these, is that a strategic plan in and of itself? You be the judge.

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Drivers of Corporate Social Responsibility: The Role of Formal Strategic Planning and Firm Culture

J. Galbreath

A multidimensional perspective is used to measure strategic planning. Five dimensions were assessed by the author to understand strategic planning and their links to corporate social responsibility with regards to organizational culture. The five dimensions and the scales adopted is further detailed in this article. Based on the study conducted, corporate social responsibility is a vital concern for stakeholders yet a firms orientation in demonstrating this is affected by culture. How? Please read the article to find out.

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Practical Techniques for Strategic planning in Health Care Organizations

P. Varkey & K. E. Bennet

Strategic planning has various benefits to organizations; if done correctly. This article talks about doing the strategic plan correctly and the various elements that are needed to create long lasting change. What are those elements, well one of them is creating a ‘sense of urgency.’ Find out what the others are b y reading this article.
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Making human resources strategic by going to the Net: reality or myth?

J. H. Marler

Can HR function become strategic? The authors of this article say no. Even with addition of an electronic Human Resource Management strategy in place it becomes too cumbersome. New technology combined with the “way things use to run” poses strategic challenges for goal setting. Implications of these findings are discussed.
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Information Systems Strategy: Reconceptualization, Measurement, and Implications

D. Q. Chen, M. Mocker, D. S. Preston & A. Teubner

The authors suggest that an organizations information systems strategy falls into two categories. One being a strategy of innovation and the other being a strategy of conservation. A multi-item scale was developed through analysis of 174 US based organizations. The results provided nine items that CEO's and top business executives used to assess where their organization fell into one of these two categories. The nine items are provided on page 246 of this article.

Is your organization a leader in the industry or does it sit back in the sidelines and adopt well tested innovations? Better yet, does your organization fall into a third category?
Find out what the third category is by reading the full article here .


Strategic Entrepreneurship: Exploring Different Perspectives of an Emerging Concept

Donald F. Kuratko & David B. Audretsch

This article discusses how the merger between strategic management and entrepreneurship—strategic entrepreneurship—can work together to add business to a firm. Five types of strategic entrepreneurship are discussed. The authors further urge that more research be done on this topic.
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Modern Strategic Management: Balancing Strategic Thinking and Strategic Planning for Internal and External Stakeholders.

By Tim O’Shannassy
The article discusses strategic planning from the perspectives of all employees’ and their involvement. Contemporary definitions of strategic planning and management are developed and discussed.

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Strategic Planning: A guide for supervisors

Erich N. Brockmann & Clifford M. Koen, Jr.

Strategic planning can be as easy as an exercise in time management. This article emphasizes not to get caught up in the web of strategic planning, but make things flow by following these easy steps in understanding the process.

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Designing Organizations: Does Expertise Matter?

Miriam Sanchez-Manzanares, Ramon Rico & Francisco Gil

Organizational Design is created through a problem solving pattern. This research examines the creative process of navies, novices, and experts in designing organizations. Research indicated that navies create mechanistic structures while novices and experts, alike, create organic structures. Further information on the phases of organizational design and the different levels of expertise can be found by reading this publication.

To read the full article please click here .

The Nature and Practice of Strategic Planning in Egypt

Said Elbanna

Strategic Planning is not only a US business tool but a tool used in many organizations around the country. This article explains how many organizations use strategic planning. The article also goes into detail about organizations that do not use strategic planning in Egypt. It is surprising how many organizations do not have a strategic management system and are not familiar with the most basic tools of strategic management.
To read the full article please click here .

Design and Execution of a Collaborative Business Strategy

G. A. Watson

This article explains the importance of strategic planning in helping organizations to achieve their goals. Organizations need to "plan their work and work their plan" in order to achieve the ultimate success.

To read the full article Design & Execution of a Collaborative Business Strategy .

How to Implement a New Strategy without Disrupting Your Organization

R. S. Kaplan & D. P. Norton

Kaplan and Norton recommend using a balance scorecard as a framework for strategic planning. They claim that it helps to align strategy and structure while providing a clear vision of the organization's objectives.

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Board Involvement in Strategy and Organizational Performance

J. I. Siciliano

This author recommends the involvement of board directors in strategic planning. This study examines the level of board of directors’ involvement in the strategic planning process and their involvement in strategic decision making with senior management. The results of the study determined that the organization’s financial performance is dependent on the level of board of directors’ involvement.

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Improving Understanding of Strategy

A. Sinickas

Communication is important in helping employees to understand the organization's strategy as well as their part in the strategic planning process. However, there are different reasons as to why strategic planning is not clearly communicated to employees.

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Steady As You Go: Achieving a balanced vision

J. Baldoni

There are many pitfalls in strategic planning. One concern is that leaders create a vision for the organization, however, this vision in not clear. This article provides suggestions for leaders as to how to “craft a meaningful vision.”

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External Assessment for Ford Motor, Inc

A. Chen, A. Avigdor & J. Konkin

PowerPoint presentation on Ford Motor, Inc that includes PEST analysis, global situations, key success factors, competitive strategies and SWOT analysis.

To view PowerPoint presentation click here .

Embracing Change in Tough Times

J. Lui

Future planning in times of economic downturn has started to raise more questions that must be clarified by top members of the organization before defining the organizations business plan and goals.

Click here to read more about how organizations are embracing change .

Mission Statements in U.S. Colleges of Business: An Empirical Examination of Their Content With Linkages to Configurations and Performance

T. Palmer and J. Short

The mission statements of business schools were found to be linked to their performance. While they have much variation, they generally tend not to be comprehensive.

Click here to read more about mission statements .

Changing Organizational Culture to Achieve Excellence in Research

W. Shera

This article introduces the effectiveness and importance of strategic planning to different kinds of organizations. Though the author focused on the department of research at the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto, the concepts of strategic planning proved to be useful with leadership commitment, research capacity, productivity, personnel and resource management.

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