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Strategic Management Issues

Dr. Susan Scribner (founder of Wise Monkeys Communications Ltd) describes strategic management plan as a process for enacting and developing plans for long-term goals which incorporates internal and external variables. Good strategic management must be integrative and future oriented. For a management team to be successful, they should be outwardly focused, forward thinking and performance based. Strategic managers should; evaluate and monitor organizational resources, set long-range targets and goals, forge an alliance with stakeholders and make adjustments to suit the organizational goals and objectives. Any barrier to these plans is a major issue that should be promptly dealt with by the organization's management team.

Mulcaster likens strategic management to looking in', looking out' and looking ahead'. Looking in' implies assessing and improving on organizational systems and structures for management of finances, personnel, and any other essential resources. Looking out' implies exploring beyond the organizational boundary to set realistic and achievable objectives, build avenues for change and identify major stakeholders. Looking ahead' implies interweaving strategies with resources and structures to achieve the set goals and objectives.

In the wider context, the main issues in a strategic management include strategy formation, goal setting, goal analysis, strategy implementation and analysis issues. Successful strategic planning is an iterative process that incorporates successful management of all these five issues. Goal setting assists the management in articulating its vision. Any impediment to goal setting, therefore, means poor organizational objectives spelling doom to the organization. Analysis guides the management team to consider available information that helps them understand their situation. In order to determine organizational strategies, the management should reflect, prioritize, develop alternatives and make decisions based on the results. This is called strategic formation. In a strategic implementation, all the necessary and available resources are assembled and applied accordingly. Finally, the management team checks their progress as per their set goals and objectives. If the strategic plans are not on the right course, plans should be modified and actions adjusted accordingly. Any hitch in any of these plans is an issue that should be looked at critically by the management team.