INVESTING IN YOU...with Arlette L.M. Jeet-Falone MBA
Benefits of combining Strategic Thinking with Strategic Planning by Arlette L-M Jeet Falone
How many losses could be prevented if one knew what the future would hold? How much money could one make if one knew what the future would be and how to incorporate one’s ideas profitably into that future? These were the prevailing thoughts I had as I viewed the Christmas movie
Santa Baby starring Jenny McCarthy yesterday evening. Jenny played the daughter of Santa Claus, Mary. Mary had moved away from her native Polaris and was living the big city life as a consultant working under the name Mary Class of Class Consulting. She specialized in advising people on how to run their businesses in an effort to increase profitability. She had to face the facts though that strategic thinking and strategic planning in one location cannot automatically be transferred to another.
One has got to look at past trends along with present trends to predict possible futures. One also has to formulate strategic plans in a manner suitable to the culture of an area. Mary learned that although trends and plans for one location and culture may work in that location and culture, this does not necessarily mean that it will work just as successfully in another location and culture.
When one combines strategic thinking with strategic planning, one has the ability to reap the benefits of so doing. By using such a combination, one is able to look at how things were and how they presently are then foresee how things may be in the future. In essence this is strategic thinking in action. When one has this information at hand then one is able to formulate strategic plans with the elements of SMART plans with a view to accruing the benefits of the possible future derived from the trends.
Thinking strategically has the ability to guide one as to when to buy, when to sell, when to invest, when to liquidate and the like. When one follows such patterns one is actually in a position to anticipate the next best thing to do. One is in the position as to what to produce, what to purchase, when to produce, when to purchase, what to sell and when to sell it. Being in such a position has the ability to lead to profit which is ultimately why I am writing this article, to assist you to profit.
The reason I advise that strategic thinking must be combined with strategic planning is simply that without a strategic plan, strategic thoughts may never become a reality. It should also be noted that strategic planning may also fail without strategic thinking. Take a look at the Harley-Davidson story from which it is plain to conclude that strategic planning failed because it was not combined with strategic thinking.
When they continued to produce state of the art carburetors with their great plans for its manufacture, they failed to realize the trends were shifting and moving away from use of carburetors to fuel injected engines. This resulted in added cost to them and added loss. All of this may have been prevented if they had thought strategically, recognized the trends and utilized this recognition in the process of formulating a strategic plan in line with the trends and possible futures. Harley-Davidson had a strategic plan that would have prospered in the past but not in the direction in which the automotive industry was headed.
Mary Class’ plans included ways to increase productivity by implementing new methods and processes which included assembly lines, machinery, less elf (staff) breaks, an IT department as well as the introduction of Productivity Reports. Indeed she received the productivity reports of which the final one stated that productivity was up by 1 million percent. By the end of the movie, she learned from the head elf that he did not know the meaning of the word productivity and had been giving her increased productivity reports per her request not basing it on actual figures.
In fact less and less toys were being made thus her strategic plans had failed. I submit to you that if Mary had taken the time to strategically think before she implemented her strategic plans, then she would have been able to ensure that the elves knew what productivity was and how to use the machines to increase said productivity.
However she suffered from what too many in the world of business appear to suffer from, doing without thinking, implementing strategic plans without first strategically thinking. How much money could be saved if one knew what the future would hold?
When one strategically thinks before one implements strategic plans, one realizes that plans for a big city would not automatically adapt to a small and intimate town’s location and culture. One would realize what it would mean to those who had never before used machinery and had previously done everything by hand. One would have realized they would need to be taught in the ways of machinery and assembly lines and their lack of experience with productivity reports would have to be addressed especially if like Mary one had been using those reports to measure their level of productivity.
Being inundated by a big city life which is fast-paced can lead one to do away with tradition replacing it with new ideas and plans. Like Mary, having been hired to turn around the profits of a big city department store that had been in existence for more than fifty years, one may be tempted to recommend plans that completely and quickly change the entire environment. However this sort of thinking may not be the order of the day for an intimate location.
When we as entrepreneurs and others in the world of business do not take the time to look at the trends around us we run the risk of implementing strategic plans that ultimately would have worked better elsewhere or at another time.
Mary had an entire strategic plan that could be implemented within the culture of New York City. She used trends past and present to develop possible futures hence the strategic thinking. She understood what to implement and how to implement it. She had shown strategic thinking in that she was creative in making strategic plans for a traditional department store to become a modern profit-making establishment.
However Mary took those same strategic thoughts and attempted to implant them into Polaris. What was strategic thinking in one location was not in the other. Strategic thinking is creative and innovative thinking yes but one must look at past trends as well as present trends as well as consider the location and culture of one’s business to determine possible futures. Mary did not do that for her father’s workshop.
She took her ideas and plans though creative and strategic for other locations and subtracted strategic thinking from the equation then implemented her plans into Santa’s workshop. Not surprisingly her plans bore no profits in this second location. Mary had not been sensitive to the past and present trends of Polaris and Santa’s workshop in creating a possible future for them.
I hereby submit that the benefits from combining strategic thought with strategic planning outweigh the disadvantages. When strategic thinking and strategic planning are combined they have the ability to produce much profit for those involved because those involved use trends to determine possible futures then strategically plan according to those trends. In so doing much benefit is accrued to those who combine both concepts. It is really as though one knew the future and planned accordingly.
Arlette L-M Jeet
Arlette L-M Jeet-Falone with her Team
“WORKING TOGETHER TO BUILD SUCCESSFUL NATIONS”
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