here is the preview link; http://www.scribd.com/doc/52351132/Strategic-Management
In short what is STRATEGY really?
Ask around, hay friend! What is STRATEGY exactly?
Nine out of ten times someone will have some sort of an idea…very few will peg the mark…and be able to give you the detail of it, this brings strategy into peril. People need to know and understand that everything they do, eat, hear, smell, taste and say daily is because of some form of STRATEGY.
The history of strategy is the history of our world, and the future of man.
We are and were born hunters and gatherers first – afterwards we just become; all self-centred, and aim to exploit our habitat and those in it, with the use of strategy and scheming, to our advantage. It’s all programmed and hot wired into our psyche, to manipulate and use emotional blackmail, we tend to get what we want from a very young age by using these approaches; it’s all forms of strategy we practice.
Strategy exists in order for us, to get what we want, so why don’t we know what it means to be strategic?
We are at risk of losing all the benefits and application of real life strategy, if we do not clarify and quantify how it’s to be seen, used, understood, referred to and handled.
What is Strategy in the true sense of the word or by nature?
We need to make sure that everyone understands not its implicit meaning ;( implying what we think we understand it to be, all in general terms, with only limited insight).
NO! It’s part of life skills…We want and need people to understand and relate to strategy from its explicit meaning; (what it really implies as a matter of fact, and practices, to be representative of this, this is what strategy truly is, and can do.)
Moving from the Implicit; where our answer would be, it means something like planning…
To Explicit; by being able to give a simple definition; 1*Strategy is the 2*art of 3*planning and 4*directing large 5*scale 6*movements and 7*operations of 8*business nature. Furthermore we should also be able to explain the words that describe the complexity, to create connections for ourselves and others; then we will be able to describe elements that make up strategy. By starting with the basic description of strategy and what it implies.
- Strategy; is best described as an approach; a way of doing something’s, by utilising tactics and initiative.
- The ability to use something/ anything to your advantage, from very simple to very complex, it can also take on any form, like; policy, procedures, devices, mashines, skill, knowhow – anything that you can use to give you a power, or leverage. Then we get more complex form of tactics; with manoeuvre, technology…anything that will give you an advantage, or make you faster, or keep you in power, or give you the ability to take and lead by initiative, coercion, enslavement, mediation, the list is open ended. Then lastly War; from infantry to nuclear bombs; it all sorts under this aspect of tactics.
- Initiative on the other hand is; the thinking behind all of this, how we structure and organise our selves is called initiative, also entrepreneurship is included. This includes the design of something, also the planning, organising, orchestrating, politicising, and campaigning for an event to take place. It is the cognitive; the thinking part, the thinking about thinking, the critical thing and communication of these ideas. As well as the rallying of agents and means, and the selling of these concepts. How we connect resources, Knowledge and effort to deliver on a goal, this is using our initiative, being labelled as being very resourceful, and cunning, stems from being able to use all of these mentioned elements to add value and then deliver a result.
- 2. Art; implies; having certain skills, talents and or ability to do things with people, or perform actions with resources and create something… if you can do it consistently then you have mastered the Art of something, you then become proficient at what you do, then you are labelled an artist.
- 3. Planning relates to; the amount of preparation that was set aside beforehand, to think about ways and means of aching goals. This action can be done alone or as groups, or even segmented, where sections are planned and the eventually joined to become the master plan, or blue print. Project management functions mainly on planning. It also looks at forecasting, and scheduling so that we could say with some amount of certainty how much it will cost, what is needed, and how long it will take etc. Other terms used here are; prioritizing, systems, design, risk, budget, influence, techniques, goals, vision, mission, objective, review, action plan, strategic review, closing the gap, swot analysis, analyzing data, etc…
- 4. Directing; much like a conductor directs and orchestra, in the same fashion we need to direct all forms of planning into one act. This is leadership, management network, and supervision functions, as well as structure, systems, policy and procedure, all of it has one aim. To deliver the results contemplated in the time, and with the exact specifications in mind.
- 5. Scale; refers to the size of the project and the amount of effort required.
- 6. Movement; is simple enough; this implies that we need actions, and acts to make them happen, some will be specific, other vague… yet all co-ordinated and calculated. Things won’t happen if we don’t act.
- 7. Operations; this is where it all happens on the ground, where we plant the seed, where we do what we had contemplated with effort and time is spent doing it, performing the acts contemplated…
- 8. Business; is supply and demand; in exchange for money…
I hope to some extent; that we can now have 9 out of ten people that can tell me what strategy is- If not, then strategy is still in peril.
Read more in my new book Strategic Management, The Radical Revolutionary Strategic Management Matrix for Predators by Reinier Geel, now available at Trafford;
How far do you think you are you from disaster, with your current management style?
Is it still business as usual for you, everyday? Just applying sound business practices, systems, policy and procedure. All the academically correct stuff you were taught, and have refined to a fine art.
Then you are okay, all you will need is to know how to sharpen the saw, (your mind from time to time) with new knowledge, in order to sharpen the strategy. You also do realise that daily any strategy will require some sort of orientation and drive towards bettering the strategy as it grows. You are set; nothing is in your view that does not look good. Furthermore, this type of thinking is common and general application. This is a good business principle and practice then.
However, how far from the leadership edge are you really moving, are you seconds from disaster, and don’t even know that you are facing imminent collapse just by navigating your mindset like this. No I’m fine; my job is simple grow business, improve operations, and cut costs…
Is it that simple; enhancing the competitive advantage is arguably one of the most commonly used principles in business today? It is headline in all the business articles on how to, what to, and when to get more advantage. We go from analysing our competitive edge, to customer satisfaction, to production outputs, and the list goes on, and on…
However; have we ever considered that what we are really looking for, is right here, we don’t need to solve old problems in new ways, the answer is right in front of us…
No?, it can’t be. We know business it’s never simple, it’s always complex.
Some refer to this dilemma as the leadership trap… mmmm, so what’s n leadership trap?
Well, the principle is that a leader is only as strong as his people, and the people as strong as their weakest link – their culture.
What we seem to forget although we read a lot about it lately: That leaders influence culture directly, or should they? – see the article i am changing culture come hell or high water by Reinier Geel – because culture connects directly with strategy; so much so that it influence every single aspect of it.
Much of what is at the heart of any culture today will not be revealed as rules to follow, in order to belong. It’s not the rules it’s the designation, or the authenticity that make you belong or not.
Culture extends natural boundaries and laws, it has it’s enlighten and dark-side; weak leaders weak culture, strong leaders strong culture, it’s all related like a soup. Every element makes up the total aroma, and taste.
We are only seconds from disaster if we do not look at business as a matrix of interacting segments forming a totality. Systems thinking must now include the sociological approaches and political aspect of culture, as well as cultural influence, to align strategies with it goals and objectives. We can no longer distance ourselves from it. As it impacts; directly, at several levels of organisation – penetrating the paradigms of management and business philosophy deeply. The place where it is felt and observed most is when we start forming, storming, norming, and performing… as management. How we connect the dots… will reveal who we truly are and how this culture works for us or not…
This is the leadership trap; leaders and managers have become trapped in culture, they have to now carefully consider and rethink every element of directives that they give; as it will be infected with culture and politics.
This will not be a problem, or a concern, if the culture is a sterile business one, and free from adverse influence, because of a greater collective awareness, throughout the corporation. Only when we all subscribe to the same ideology, and consciousness, guided by a recognised company doctrine, will we form the required strong business culture. In the absence of any doctrine, the norm will prevail, and set the tone for the company to follow as its culture. This has become the rule rather than the exception.
Is this wise? When we now realise that culture is also significant in all we do, hear, say and speak. We tend to start practicing silo management, in the absence of true business culture that is A-Political. Then we get the norm, then its every leader for him self…when the culture is not on track, and uniform. Then we see moral weakness, worry, uncertainty, and stagnation set it…again, seconds from total collapse, these are the signs of the leadership trap opening up; then corruption and all other evils follow. Unity is strength in all things, divided we fall, united we stand.
Again, culture connects with strategy and structure, because it’s the golden thread that links us to our organisations, and then back to our roots. If there is no solid corporate culture, then we can be sure that personal agendas will dictate culture and these traits will become norm.
Nothing correlates if not for culture; we cannot work together if we do not set aside certain cultural issues, and come to grips with diversity, and enmity ( hate, ill feelings, distrust, suspicion etc)
We are truly second from disaster if we allow the leadership trap to open, and stay open; strategy without implementation, or action, is stimulating, but very unproductive. So too is a diversified co-operate culture…it will just not be able to produce, because diversification, is just that, it renders different ways of doing things in a divers manner- “right”. We can either subscribe to the one or the other but never to both ways of doing things, and therein lies the crux, of stagnation, and under performance, when we can be seen to be doing the right things, or doing the thing right. I assure you there is a marked difference…
People’s culture can fire up, or kill off, corporate culture. Therefore culture in both forms, become internally inhibiting or empowering attributes of strategy. The aspect of Culture on society and business has become a driver of change and initiative, informing strategy, both positive and negative, culture will and can eat strategy for breakfast, if we can’t control it.
So ask yourself how is your business culture doing?
Now – Read the book or Ebook; Read more in my new book Strategic Management, The Radical Revolutionary Strategic Management Matrix for Predators by Reinier Geel, now available at Trafford;http://www.trafford.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?Book=339320