Strategic management is the art, science and craft of formulating, implementing and evaluating cross-functional decisions that will enable an organization to achieve its long-term objectives. It is the process of specifying the organization's mission, vision and objectives, developing policies and plans, often in terms of projects and programs, which are designed to achieve these objectives and then allocating resources to implement the policies, and plans, projects and programs.
Strategic management seeks to coordinate and integrate the activities of the various functional areas of a business in order to achieve long-term organizational objectives. A balanced scorecard is often used to evaluate the overall performance of the business and its progress towards objectives. Strategic management hinges upon answering three key questions:
1. What are my business’s objectives?
2. What are the best ways to achieve those objectives?
3. What resources are required to make that happen?
Answering the first question requires serious thought about what your ultimate goals are for the business. What are you trying to make happen? What are you attempting to facilitate or enable? What is the best possible outcome your company can aspire to?
Drilling down to uncover a company’s core objectives can have several phases:
• Assessing the landscape within which the company will operate, and formulating how the company sees its role within that landscape. This is commonly known as a mission statement.
• Establishing objectives to answer some of the unmet needs, taking both a long- and short-term view of what the company can offer. This is commonly known as a vision statement.
• Stipulating the goals the company has for itself, both in terms of financial and strategic objectives.
Once these steps have been taken, a strategic plan should begin to emerge — effectively setting the stage for answering the second question above, or “How best can we reach our goals?” Phase two of successful strategic management is formulating a plan by which the company can accomplish what it sets out to do.
Within this phase, a chain of command should be put in place, pairing individuals with the right skills, knowledge, and experience with the business’s needs and objectives. From there, responsibilities for processes and tasks should be distributed across the full chain of command, delegating work to teams and individuals so that they company’s goals can be attained through the combined efforts of all employees. This includes communicating responsibilities and deliverables (what needs to be done, and how the results of those tasks will be measured).
Finally, strategic management entails allocating the right amount of resources to the different parts of your business so that those assigned to particular goals have what they need to meet their objectives. This ranges from providing your workers with the right supplies to enacting systems by which employees...