Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The importance of the strategic planning process

 I am very interested at the article of “The Real Value of Strategic Planning”. In this article, the author mentioned how to build prepared minds that are able to make sound strategic decisions. The author said the actual goal of a strategic planning process is not to make strategy but to build minds for useful strategic decisions. The point of view like this is new paradigm for me, so I am very interested this article.

 He indicated various concrete methods for creating prepared minds, who should attend, how long should be reviewed, where we should hold, what we should discuss, and so on. These methods are very clear to understand for me. Especially, his saying that companies whose processes look more like tribal rituals may leave corporate leaders unprepared when inevitable moments of truth arise is very impressive. In fact, the globalization has been progressed rapidly, so, the environment of many companies has been changed dramatically. In such situation, the company whose members of strategic planning plan almost the same process of making strategy each year like tribal rituals would not be able to survive. For example, in Japan, there were a terrible earthquake in east side of Japan, and a lot of companies had been suffered, so many of them lost their profits first. However, after one year has passed, some companies have been able to survive but some companies have continued to lose their profits. Of course, there are various factors of this situation, but I can say the difference of the companies’ process of making strategy is one of the most important factors whether they have survived or not.

 In this way, I can know the importance of the strategic planning process, however, I would also like to know about the application method for huge company or group. In fact, I work at NTT group which is the biggest telephone and internet service providing company in Japan and our group has a bunch of hierarchal structure and also has a lot of group companies. Therefore, there are also a lot of strategic department. In such environment, how should we apply the author’s proposition for our group? This means our group companies cannot plan strategy separately, they have to plan their strategies after the controlling had decided our group’s strategic plan, so it takes very long term to plan strategy if all of strategic department in our group companies apply the method. In fact, the author said strategic members should devote long term to review strategies. How do you think?

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