Strategic management—seeing the Big Picture
With the business (and global) environment continually shifting, the only long term constant is uncertainty and change. Your strategic management skills, leadership acumen, and ability to achieve ambitious goals is paramount. Exceptional management skills give you a competitive edge — as long as you remember to keep moving! We are passionate about sharing expertise in ways that promote your rapid understanding and application of what works for you — now and in the future.
Breakthroughs in leadership are already inside you, in your capacity to reframe your situation, create opportunities and lead from strength. Coaching and consulting you on this breakthrough journey is our specialty.
Strategic thinking skills call for seeing the big picture view. The following big picture is worth many words. Study and check against your own systems for gaps and potential business improvements. Check to be sure you have documented and implemented the equivalent of all these critical strategic components. Later articles will expand further on strategic thinking skills to introduce systems thinking tools, amongst others, to help document and understand the complex processes (including politics!) at work in any business. For now though, we will focus on strategic management system components.
Strategic management system
Having a robust strategic management system in place is the starting point. Various tools and techniques can help elicit your company vision and mission, or their equivalent, which should then be used to generate strategic objectives. These objectives are important, and should be agreed and ‘signed-off’ by the company board of directors and used for deriving critical success factors or CSF for the company level. Five or six CSF is often all you need, but they must be well-formed and easy for all company staff to understand and internalize.
The core CSF are communicated and rolled down to the strategic business unit (SBU) level where managers agree on their specific CSF for their units, and for each employee — often using the alternative human resources terminology key results areas (KRA) for people. With specific objectives set for each set of CSF/KRA, the business results, or outputs, can be measured and tracked. Needless to say, although sadly not sometimes the case, the CSF/HRA and their Key Performance Indicators (or measures) MUST be actionable. A common method for achieving this is the SMART system, which will be discussed in a later article.
Completing the loop, business unit and staff results (outputs) feedback into the business via its stakeholder‘s (who support continued investment) and into the strategic management review system. Continued and improved results (outputs) are essential for growing the business. A sophisticated strategic management measurement system will be described in an another article here for you to make use of. The system incorporates all of the Big Picture principles above, combined with what is known to some as the Balanced Scorecard system.
To end, following is a review for the book reference in the right-hand-side column. A thoroughly up-to-date book on most, if not all of the key management models you would likely need. Love them, or hate them, these models crop up all the time. But models can be the framework for controlled and measured improvement of business performance, so best to get to know them well—whether an executive, senior manager, or internal consultant. An essential guide for everyone to read before deciding you need help.
Review: Key Management Models: The 60+ models every manager needs to know, 2ed. M van Assen, G van den Berg & P Pietersma.
With over 33,500 copies sold of the previous edition, the winning formula of this incredibly successful book will remain the same. From SWOT analysis and core competencies to risk reward analysis and the innovation circle, Key Management Models explains each model in a clear, structured and practical way. There is a brief overview of each of the 61 essential models that spans no more than 3-4 pages. For each model you will find: * The model in a nutshell (the big idea) * Its applicability (when to use it) * The practicalities of applying it (how to use it) * A critical appraisal (the final analysis) The PERFECT reference book, no matter what business you’re in. A truly excellent and up-to-date resource.