Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Think, Plan or Work, Act, Reinforce ?

Man reacts dynamically to changes in his surrounding. “Fight or flight” is a proverb commonly heard. In dark moonlight, the pupils dilate to increase vision. A blood clot prevents tremendous amounts of blood to flow out of the human system thereby preventing loss of life. If a company, in times of turbulence follows a similar approach, they can achieve unprecedented success.

Strategic planning process should not take a traditional blackboard and pen and paper approach where employees are informed about the steps to be followed to reach a strategic goal; rather it should be a continuous nurturing process of “preparing minds”, shaping mindsets of the workers to think in a direction that would lead to successful strategic decisions which would ultimately differentiate a firm from its competitors.This is exactly what Henry Mintzberg points out in his article “The Real Value of Strategic Planning” by explaining how real strategy is developed informally in hallway conversations, flights, etc. When a company is faced with challenging situations it is this nurturing of employees and managers that will help them save the firm as these practical experience will have an upper hand that following book defined procedures to save the firms future. “Real strategy is made in real time”.

The four perspectives to translate a company’s vision and strategy entail managing customers efficiently, financing to make shareholders happy, having streamlined business processes and an adaptive learning environment. With these factors in place, a company can build a strategic management system by having a clear vision, communicating to middle managers, translating organization wide scorecard to templates that can be used by other business units, eliminating non- strategic investments, reviewing these business unit scorecards periodically and refining organizations vision to check if they are in line with the new strategy.


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