We explain what strategic direction is and the stages that its process presents. Also, what are its characteristics and importance?
What is the strategic direction?
Strategic management is the decision-making process and actions that an organization implements for the management of its activities, in order to meet its objectives. The companies are constantly facing new challenges due to changes in the market, and the emergence of new technologies or new legislation. Strategic management allows the organization to adapt to changes in the environment and to be able to maintain itself over time.
The role of strategic management is to coordinate three main stages: defining your goals, planning (what resources do you need to meet your goals), and implementation (putting your goals into action). This task process is key for an organization to achieve success and to maintain a defined course, beyond moments of crisis or unexpected problems that may arise.
Strategic management process
The strategic management process consists of three main stages:
- Definition of the objectives. The first thing a company must do to organize itself is to define its objectives clearly. These are achievable goals that will guide the activities of the company and can be short, medium, and long term. In this way, the company will be able to establish its mission (what is its activity), the vision (aspirations of the organization), and values (principles and virtues that characterize it and that differentiate it from other companies in its category).
- Planning of the objectives. Once the objectives have been established, it is necessary to identify what resources the organization needs to meet them (both material and human resources). In addition, the company must analyze the market situation to know its position and its competitors, in order to detect strengths (competitive advantages) and weaknesses (aspects to improve).
- Implementation of the objectives. The implementation of the objectives is a written document, which functions as a guide, and which details the different plans for each sector of the organization, that is, it assigns different tasks, determines the required inputs, establishes work times, among others, for order the work of the entire company.
Characteristics of the strategic direction
Strategic management is characterized by having a visible leader, such as the CEO of a company, who is responsible for transmitting to all areas of the organization both the different strategic guidelines and reporting on the achievements. For this, it is important that you maintain fluid communication with those responsible for each area, whom you must keep motivated and advised so that they transmit the same message to the rest of the members of the organization.
The actions of the strategic direction have a global impact on the entire company, that is, it exerts influence both internally (in all areas of the organization) and externally (regarding its image in the market). It is essential that, after completing the three stages of the strategic management process, it is evaluated to what extent the plans have been successful, in order to make changes or improvements, when the expected results are not produced.
Importance of strategic direction
Strategic direction is important to optimally manage the organization, allowing it to achieve its objectives, which can be both financial and non-financial benefits, and to guarantee its long-term permanence in the market. Lack of internal communication, a negative corporate culture, ignorance of the market or competitors, lack of adaptation to crisis situations, among others, can harm the strategic management plan.
One of the tools most used by corporations to develop and test their strategies is the SWOT analysis (Analysis of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats), which helps to determine if the resources and skills of the organization will be effective to carry it out. competitive way. This tool makes it possible to analyze the operation of the company at a global level, that is, from its internal functioning to the context in which it operates (which covers cultural, socio-political, and economic issues).
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