What is Strategic Management?

In short, Strategic Management is practiced by the most successful organisations in the world. It’s how they set and achieve their goals.

Strategic Management is a continuous process. An organisation’s leaders determine their business objectives; then establish a strategy, or map detailing how these will be accomplished; they then implement this strategy, evaluate the results and adjust. It’s the difference between a strategy gathering dust on a shelf, and one that affects real change and growth in an organisation.

Stage one: Assessment
Also known as ‘environmental scanning’, the first stage of Strategic Management is collecting and analysing data to ensure that any strategy has a firm foundation to build upon. It’s a review of the company’s current position in order to assess the gap to the final goal(s).

Stage two: Plan
The stage of ‘Strategy Formulation’ looks at the organisational plans in place and adjusts them, or creates an initial strategy based on the assessment’s findings. A common mistake is creating a list of actions and calling it a strategy. A real strategic plan has clear prioritisation of actions and a clearly planned review process.

Stage three: Implementation
Strategy Implementation is the biggest stage, requiring the most input and resources. Processes need to be changed; staff need to be involved through a change management project; measures and controls need to be put in place and more. This is the stage that most organisations fail at due to poor planning and execution.

Stage four: Evaluation
Strategy Evaluation looks at the Performance Measures in place, and after analysing the data, taking any corrective steps required. This process is ongoing. Strategic Management is a continuous process of measurement and improvement.

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