Getting Started in Strategic Management

I think I’ve jumped-the-gun a bit with my posts. I realized that I began discussing advanced applications and tools in the Strategic Management process but never actually defined what strategic management is!

Strategic Planning is PART OF Strategic Management

Every company has – at one time or another – gone through what some would call “Strategic Planning”. The general result is that a “Strategic Plan” is drafted (the validity of that plan will be discussed in another post). Where these gatherings fall short is in the actual execution of the plan that should follow.

What is Strategic Management?

Strategic management is the process in which you develop a roadmap for long-term success of your organization, and define how you execute. That’s not a very catchy definition, but it really says a lot. We say that Strategic management is a PROCESS, that we develop a Roadmap for Success (planning), that we KNOW what success is, and that we KNOW how we’re going to achieve it!  This is self-explanatory, but it’s worth noting that a “Roadmap” – in general terms – defines an ultimate destination with stops on the way. ALWAYS look for long-term success…Focusing only on short-term success is a trap (reference the US mortgage crisis for an example).

So what’s this process all about?

The process many people use is the Comprehensive Strategic Management Model proposed by Fred David. Each step of the process has methods (which are largely the topic of this blog) but each step is also repeated continually and as needed. So here is one of the key points: Strategic Management is a Continual Process! As the environment changes, so does your plan!  The graphic below tells part of the story. Throughout my blog, I’ll have tips and tutorials on each of these processes and what the mean for you, your future, and the future of your organization.

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