Free Essay On Strategic Thinking
This paper will provide a vivid critical strategic platforms to address marketing in the modern competitive market and logical issues that involve creative and critical strategic thinking. I conducted reviews and research of strategic management materials and other relevant studies to provide a crystal clear strategies for marketing a product. These strategies are applicable to all organizations in any market niche and time.
Strategic thinking is a process of critical examination of how things are at present moments and how could they be done effectively or unique methods of handling future predicaments. In a nutshell, strategic thinking is an innovative, operational and strategic planning processes that provide greater insights into more significant achievements or success. Creative strategies often provide a way forward for appropriate developmental planning. With this regard, marketers are consistently venturing into new markets while innovating new strategies to attract more consumers so as to increase market share and profitability. For example, a school can improvise a strategic plan for a given period to enable it performs efficient day to day activities. For instance, a timetable provides timelines for lessons and breaks in between as well as games time. These activities are completed within a given time frame. Further, the same school will provide a written program on how its programs will run throughout the academic year. Such written document is often referred to as a strategic plan. Strategic plans contain strategies that are spelt out clearly in for of a written document. Useful policies should critically entail realistic objectives (Gran, 2010).
A good strategic thinking should be innovative and creative to analyse all values and voices of those who intend or communicated to. For example in marketing effective strategies should enable the implementer understand what the customer says, his or her values and voice as well as best principles to guide in achieving the objective of the strategy being addressed. Strategic thinking is, therefore, an innovative and creative planning that indicated what should be done at a given period, how it should be done and why it should done that way. The aim of this paper is to analyse strategic planning process critically that involving the attainment of goals sin marketing environment.
The studies of strategic planning literatures affirmed that strategic planning process involve different process stages (Grant, 2010). According to Grant (2010), the first stage will always comprise of planning the available finance while focusing on preparation and each of the targeted goal and its timeline. For instance in marketing, the strategy one may be advertising followed by free samples or consumer clinics. Such plans are given their schedules and allocated enough resources. Budgeting will, therefore, play a vital role in initial marketing plan (Bonn, 2001). For a marketing strategy to succeed, the marketing team and the entire organization should participate inclusively. For instance, Coca Cola has been able to outcompete Pepsi and Softa through intensive marketing strategies such as advertising and consumer clinics (Zand, 2010). Grant (2010) further affirmed that market planning should be forecasted on the budgeted projections.
O’Shannassy (2003) argues that strategic thinking should creatively involve Analysing strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats of a particular organization before implementing the carefully thought strategy. Michael Porter (1982) affirmed that a good marketing strategy should incorporate an intensive examination of the organisations from which the products being marketed comes from and the market niche it is being supplied to. This will enable clear understanding of consumers and movement strategies of close competitors. Concerning this, a good plan will be creatively implemented according to the market and customer needs. A god market should have sufficient knowledge of creative thinking (Amir et al., 2010).
Marketing strategies should also analyse the nature of competition and response mechanism. The reviews from competition analysis indicated that strategic thinking is a fundamental element in evaluating the needs of consumers and popularizing the products being marketed (Iran den et al., 200, Grant, 2010, Zand 2010, Bonn, 2001). Creative strategic thinking provides a clear experience and empirical understanding of the market in relation to its competitors so as it can realize a definite competitive advantage (Abraham, 2005). Strategic thinking will, therefore, facilitate strategic decision making processes. Decisions involving market capture, customer needs and values are well understood if one thinks strategically and allocate enough resources to aid in conducting the market itself (Porter, 1982).
Bonn (2001) argues strategic thinking is paramount in grasping customer information where the competition is stiff. The profitability of an organization will be realised if such organizations have critical strategic thinkers or outsource strategic planning experts who help them to lay out clear marketing strategies and strategic planning processes. Strategic thinking will aid in diversification of strategies if properly reasoned in the context of marketing and the way consumers perceive the products (Abraham, 2005, Zand, 2010, O’Shannassy, 2003, Amir et al., 2010).Strategic thinking helps in improving strategic management and marketing strategy implementation. The use of practicability in strategic thinking and analytical techniques provide clear frameworks to creative strategic thinking (Bonn, 2001). Strategic thinking enables an implementer of a planner to change into feasible decisions, formulate new ideas and analyse with new tools of strategy towards marketing (Grand, 2010).
Process of strategic thinking
Strategic thinking process involves the careful examination of the status quo and the future events to come up with desirable outcomes that consist of vital that shall be put on the paper. The strategies are often referred to as milestones. First a person should conduct thorough reviews of the current situation and critically master it and note vital issues to be addressed in the strategic thinking. Secondly using the issues noted and other assumptions, creative think for various methods to address the issues in hand, the time frame and who should be involved in discussing the same. In marketing, strategic thinking is first commenced with market analysis followed by competitor analysis and then collecting customer’s views while noting their values and need.
With this regard, a market gap is spotted and immediately appropriate methods of filling the gaps are strategized. To strategize for this methods, one will be required to think strategically borrowing some useful elements from the previous market researchers (O’Shannassy, 2003). After thinking strategically one should interpret his or her critical thinking in written form and encourage other members to do so. Finally, one should decide on appropriate actions towards the strategy he or she has thought of and align those strategies that seem to be similar and achievable.
Elements of strategic thinking
Individual attributes influence strategic thinking processes.one of the elements that significantly influence strategic thinking and planning process is perception and perspective of the thinker. Strategic thinking usually is a mental involving process. Therefore clear understanding of the whole situation will lead to proper thinking. Systems perspectives always facilitate and individual behaviour towards thinking. Strategic thinkers can produce useful outcomes if the can link a variety of perspectives. Opportunities are yet another element of strategic thinking. For example, a good marketer will first spot the market and creative provide powerful strategies to fill this in the market where it was spotted. Further, duration is another element that influences creativity in strategizing for actions to be taken given certain market information. Some strategies require short time while others will require more time to be formulated. For example to increase market share for automobile products, one will require more time to improvised clear strategies that are understood than food processing products. In addition, a strategic thinking process is affected by hypothesis. A hypothesis should be reorganized first before starting to think creatively. One must write a theory he or she wants to test and then continue with the strategic planning processes.
Determinants of strategic thinking
Various determinants often determine strategic thinking. These determinants provide a suitable way for strategic thinkers in different environments. Analytical and systematic thinking will provide an explicit framework towards the formulation of strategies that are paramount to the organization. For example, Bonn (2001) elaborated various determinants that are responsible for logical strategizing and decision-making processes. For instance, a marketer will first I identify the market, analyse what the customer requires and appropriate methods of thinking. The resultants of this will result in a better marketing strategy. As a marketer, one should conduct an intensive market research, identify, gaps, opportunities to be filled, weaknesses of the existing products in the market and strategize on how to fill the gaps identified. Taking an example of Google, we can strategize on various marketing strategies through critically, thinking (Gran, 2010).
According to Zand (2010), a strategic thinker to some extent encounters a variety of problems while implementing particular strategies. Such predicaments can be eliminated by intellectual analysis and stepwise arrangement of logical ideas that result into formulating plans. For instance in marketing cultural differences, resistance and negativity can be a problem while conducting an advertisement for a product. In such a case, free samples and advice will be helpful. In other words, creativity is the best policy. Planners who think critically can achieve their goals more quickly than those who implement without involving strategic thinkers (Abraham, 2005).
A situation or surrounding environment will also determine the strategic thinking process. Some conditions facilitate linear strategic thinking while other influence non-linear strategic thinking processes. The methods of thought will be attributed to the creativity of a strategic thinker. Conflicting issues also affect creativity in thinking. In real life situation, different creative strategic thinkers are influenced by the surrounding environment. Skilful strategic thinker structures his or her ideas logically providing a framework of strategies to be attained. For instance in the marketing field, a good marketer should be able to think strategically and able to change different strategies as dictated by the environment. For example on conducting promotion, a marketer can strategize from, free sample to giving technical adverse on the use of the product in question or giving trade discounts on sales(Zand,2010).
On the other hand, existing strategies can determine further strategies for thinking. Since planning focuses on strategic thinking, creative analysis and vivid formalizations of present or existing strategies will provide a platform for creativity in strategic thinking prior to strategic planning processes. Strategic thinking will help a planner or an implementer to strategic position himself or herself in market segmentation, and maximizing shareholders’ values, as well as understanding needs of potential consumers. Further, strategic thinking will initiate, high retention power of old consumers and provide means to welcome new customers (Amir et al., 2010).
Strategic thinking levels
There are several levels in which strategic thinking is elaborated. Despite these several levels of strategic thinking, there are two primary strategic levels that are commonly known by the marketers or marketing agencies. These include individual and organizational strategic thinking levels. In own strategic thinking, the critical reasoning ids un-behaviour as one person is involved in critical thinking. An individual can be termed as holistic thinker when the surrounding environment determines his or her creativity he or she is in at the time of logical reasoning. An individual who is creatively always thinking strategies for the future and possess a vision in which he or she aims to achieve. On the other hand, strategic thinking is said to be involved at the organizational level when it provides a clear framework of strategic thinking which occur at the organizational level. For example, administrators of a hospital will hold meetings together to improvise something that is vital and include it in their strategic plan to create the systematic way of attain their desired goals. Such strategic thinking will robust crystal clear frameworks on which some events will be considered viable and at what time they will be achieved (Bonn, 2001). Another aim of organization strategic thinking is to increase awareness of employee on the attainable goals and procedures to be considered in order to achieve them (Grant, 2010).
One of the advantages of strategic thinking is that it initiates, entrepreneurial skills, equipping the thinkers to venture into business and create employment opportunities. Strategic thinking will also help in problem-solving and decision making in the organization. For instance, a market can be able to make a decision through good strategy implementation. Creative and critical thinking enables an individual to critically, think and be a future-oriented hence strategizing for future analysing and marketing scenarios. In addition, strategic thinking influences education and information sharing (Abraham, 2005).one can often analysis his or other’s opinions through strategic thinking. Strategic thinking has positive impacts on development and organizational achievements. Strategic thinking will also help to create a clear perspective for the future and serves as an action plan through which various goals can be attained (Abraham, 2005).
In conclusion, strategic thinking involves clear and precise as well as creative thinking in which vital information is logically or sequentially designed to enable proper planning and functioning processes. Strategic thinking provides a firm promise formulating feasible strategies and abilities that enable the planner to understand better the needs of customers and venture into future markets. Strategic thinking also provides skills requires to develop a critical process and other processes in the industry or help society to be stable through the integration of useful elements and institutions. Leaders of various organizations strategically think to initiate powerful planning processes. Intensive thinking process will enable thinker to manoeuvre through had havoc and solve different solutions relating to decision making and planning processes. In addition, strategic thinking will facilitate the employee engagements, benchmarking of issues, understand customer needs, and understand values of planning and innovative behaviours of various individuals (Grant, 2010).
Abraham, S. (2005),”Stretching strategic thinking”. Strategy & leadership, VOL. 33 NO. 5 2005, pp 5-12,
Amiri, M., Khosravib, A. &Mokhtari, A. A. (2010), Job satisfaction and its influential factors. Journal of Research in Health Science, 10(1), 42–46
Bonn, I. (2001), "Developing strategic thinking as a core competency", Management Decision, Vol. 39, No. 1, pp 63-70.
Grant, R. M. (2010), Contemporary Strategy Analysis, Wiely.
O'Shannassy, T. (2003), "Modern strategic management: balancing strategic thinking and strategic planning for internal and external stakeholders", Singapore Management Review, Vol. 25, No. 1, pp 53-67
Zand,D.E. (2010),”Drucker’s strategic thinking process: three key techniques”, Strategy & leadership, 38, 3, pp 23-28.