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Sample Essay

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Introduction: Strategic Planning

A simple description of strategic planning is figuring out where the organization desires to go and how it is going to get there. The quick pace of day-to-day life in organizations may root managers to overlook the larger goals of the organization. Short-term tasks become so demanding that there is no time for the organization to make certain it is having the impact it intended. Gathering organizational members and creating a strategic plan is one way to sketch what your organization will accomplish and how exactly this will take place. Strategic planning is a disciplined way of thinking about an organization as a whole in order to decide how decisions made today may affect the organization over a given period of time. It is a process that links short-term, medium-term and long-term plans. It permits management to assess the relative value of different courses of action. (Thompson, 1990)

Even organizations with plenty of resources cannot do everything. Therefore, the question becomes how to get the most out of the use of the resources that are available. Strategic planning does not anticipate or predict the future. In essence, it asks:

What is the most appropriate course of action, given the capabilities of our organization and the circumstances in which we operate?”

Strategic Planning Activities

One interpretation of the major activities in strategic planning activities is that it includes: (McNamara, 1999)

Strategic Analysis

This activity can include performing some sort of scan, or review, of the organization’s environment. Planners cautiously consider various driving forces in the environment, for instance, increasing competition, changing demographics, etc. Planners also look at the range of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats regarding the organization.

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