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Strategic Planning compared to Long Range Planning / Change

Ideas for a summary paper with references, APA style

1. Define what is meant by strategic planning.
2. Distinguish this from long range planning and other forms of planning.
3. Planning can lead to organizational change: What are the issues that face a manager who plans to bring about organizational change?
4. How should a planner go about the process of identifying strengths, weaknesses, and distinctive competencies in an organization? What is the impact of the findings on planning?
5. Discuss the relationship between mission statements, planned change, and unplanned change.

Solution Preview

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Strategic Planning in business management is used to define an organizations path forward. It can be focused on a specific area of the organization such as people, process, or quality or it can be an entire initiative for the organization as a whole (Christenson, 2006). In general, strategic planning occurs as a result of a business need or a necessary change that needs to take place in order to meet a specific customer or financial demand. As markets consistently change and the global landscape of business expands, organizations have to maintain a competitive strategic plan that focuses them on the best path forward to stay ahead of their competition (Christenson, 2006). Strategic planning typically has several steps in the process assigned to numerous people or groups that are best suited to meet the demands of the plan (Christenson, 2006).

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In traditional or long term planning, the methods, expectations, and goals are widely different than that of a strategic plan. Traditional planning involves taking excessive amounts of time and resources to go out and collect excessive amounts of data and research that will then be applied to traditional management models to make long term predictions based on accumulated data (Sims, 2002). This data is useful. However, the time required accumulating the data and then the long term plan based on the data (typically a 5 year plan) is not realistic or very competitive. In today's rapidly changing markets and globalized economy, the traditional 5 year long term plan is becoming extinct. The new model will be reflective of the "vision and mission" of the company and where it sees itself in the next 5 years with some benchmarks, however, the real strategy that has to occur to make that happen will be specific, time bound, and implemented quickly, i.e. the "strategic plan" ( Christenson, 2006).

The obvious necessity for and advantages of using a good strategic plan, far outweigh the ideas of a company who is using the traditional models of planning. To be successful takes a management team that has the ability to accurately gauge what its ...

Solution Summary

Strategic Planning in business management is used to define an organizations path forward. It can be focused on a specific area of the organization such as people, process, or quality or it can be an entire initiative for the organization as a whole (Christenson, 2006). In general, strategic planning occurs as a result of a business need or a necessary change that needs to take place in order to meet a specific customer or financial demand. As markets consistently change and the global landscape of business expands, organizations have to maintain a competitive strategic plan that focuses them on the best path forward to stay ahead of their competition.

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