AMA Business Boot Camp

Management and Leadership Fundamentals That Will See You Successfully Through Your Career

 AMA Business Boot Camp

Author: Edward Reilly
Pub Date: December 2012
Print Edition: $25.00
Print ISBN: 9780814420010
Page Count: 240
Format: Hardback
e-Book ISBN: 9780814431658

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Strategic Thinking for Managers

How to Develop a Strategic Mindset and Frame of Reference

As organizations continue to flatten and the business environment continues to change, managers at all levels are being asked to participate in the process of planning for continued success. To do this, managers need to understand the direction of the organization, foresee potential problems, and offer solutions for an uncertain future. They also need to consider factors along dual tracks—short- and long-term, systems and people, innovation and imitation—that often appear to be in conflict with one another. Today’s managers must become strategic thinkers.

From the American Management Association, world-renowned provider of business education, AMA BUSINESS BOOT CAMP presents a framework to help strategic thinkers/managers carry out operational initiatives (the “what is”) while envisioning the future (the “what if”). Here are the elements of the Strategic Frame of Reference:

Vision describes where you want the work group or company to be in the foreseeable future.

o Ask: What if we were to become...? The answer should reflect the values of your group, describe what is possible, and be stated in future terms.

Mission describes why the work group or company exists.

o Ask: What is the purpose of our business? The answer should cover what the company does and whom it serves. Stated in present terms, it should reflect an existing purpose.

Goals are what will get you to your vision.

o Ask: What if there are changes to...? Look to the future for initiatives that enable you to fulfill the mission. Goals are subjective means of measuring progress toward the vision.

Objectives are the major steps you will take to achieve the goals.

o Ask: How will we measure our success? The answer should specify intended results for each goal that are specific, measurable, and objective.

Strategies describe how you will go about taking the steps.

o Ask: What if you...? Articulate the options available. Strategies address the how-to of meeting objectives.

Tactics describe who will do what, and by when.

o Ask: What specifically will you and others do? State your near-term and specific actions in support of the strategy.

Roles describe the range of tasks each function must assume.

o Ask: What will each function be responsible for in the operational plan? Identify the ownership of tasks. Roles provide a clear idea of who supports your strategies and objectives.

Relationships describe how people work with others to be successful in achieving a common goal.

o Ask: What functions will be affected? Describe the alliances among company members, peers, directors, consultants, customers, clients, vendors, and regulators. These relationships are the key interactions that occur among people seeking shared results.

Adapted from AMA BUSINESS BOOT CAMP: Management and Leadership Fundamentals That Will See You Successfully Through Your Career edited by Edward T. Reilly.

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