For many years, business skills revolved almost exclusively around operational processes and procedures. Little attention was paid to strategy or to developing strategic skills. In the latter part of the twentieth century, this began to change. As business grew as a field of study at colleges and universities, the field of strategic management was born.
Strategic management was a collaboration between business theorists and practitioners. It had the seemingly contradictory values of creativity and functionality. This fusion of the practical and the prophetic would come to dominate the world of business.
Strategic management cannot be applied sporadically. Companies that have been unsuccessful in adopting strategic management
- have an incomplete understanding of the concepts of strategic thinking
- fail to analyze their situation
- fail to properly plan the strategic process
An understanding of the importance of strategic management will help an organization
- systematically seek out, and reach growth products and growth markets
- organize programs to seek and promote new business opportunities
- establish formal systems of discovering opportunities and offsetting risks by planning for the future
- recognize managers who are driven by the zeal to lead rather than to follow
The pursuit of business opportunities is a creative endeavor. There is no formula or guarantee for success. Strategic management is important for seeking out and promoting new business opportunities. A forward-thinking and flexible business strategy takes advantage of opportunities that help to better serve customer needs and requirements.
Since strategic management is forward-thinking, it is also useful for systematically seeking out, and developing growth products and growth markets. In essence, strategic management enables companies to identify where they are now, where they want to go, and how they are going to get there.
Strategic management requires managers who have the creativity and tenacity to deal with practical details as they implement a vision for the future. Strategic organizations recognize that innovation is important, and seek managers who are driven by the zeal to lead rather than to follow.
As well, strategic management helps establish formal systems of discovering opportunities and offsetting risks by planning for the unexpected, either by taking advantage of opportunities, or by mitigating risk.