Strategic management is the activity that managers undertake for one purpose only – to create tomorrow’s organisation out of today’s. It contrasts with operational management whose purpose is – to execute the actions required to ensure that the process of achieving organisational change is executed as effectively as possible. In strategic management we answer the question “What are the right things to do?”; in operational management we answer the question “How do we do the right things as well as possible?”
Organisations that grow and change are those that know how to build robust strategies that secure and sustain competitive advantage. The concepts of strategy and competitive advantage are at the very heart of business success. This has always been the case. The big challenge in the 21st Century is that almost all businesses are becoming more complex, more competitive and more international.
This highly interactive course focuses on these two central and vital dimensions – strategy building and sustaining competitive advantage. The course is relevant to managers in every part of the organisation because nowadays all managers need to understand how their specialist activities contribute to the above two important dimensions of business.
The main issues that should be addressed in building a strategy are as follows:
- What are the requirements of strategic and operational management?
Strategic management involves the preparation and implementation of a set of programmes and projects that focus and concentrate resources to secure best performance. This requires a detailed understanding of the ways of achieving profitable growth in our business. Operational management requires effective implementation of the detail of a robust strategic plan.
- How do I build an effective strategy?
Building an effective strategic plan requires detailed analysis of the potential of the business in which we choose to operate. We start with an understanding of business dynamics, the direction for change, and a customer-oriented view of the present and future requirements for success against increasingly effective global competitors.
- What is best practice in strategic planning?
Many strategic plans have no effect on the way in which organisations develop. Plans are often too long and consist of lists of actions that lack focus and direction and are unrealistic in terms of our resources and capabilities. Best practice in strategic planning involves choice and concentration. We study an example of a successful strategic plan that can be used in your own organisation.
The main issues that should be addressed in sustaining competitive advantage are as follows.
We first look at the nature of competitiveness. Are we going to be a cost leader or a differentiator? Where are our main strengths and weaknesses? We need to understand how a customer evaluates alternative potential suppliers and consequently how we position our products and services to meet changing customer requirements.
Increasingly competitive global markets compel us to find new ways of serving existing and emerging customers. However, innovation in product, service and business model is very risky. We look in detail at techniques for identifying and minimising risk in our development plans.
Finally, we address the issue of alignment. Is our business model sustainable – from our vision, mission and values through our organisational structure and culture and right to our own approach to managing our team. We will look at the changing significance of collaboration throughout an increasingly integrated supply-demand chain.
What is the next step?
Join the next group on this course in Dubai or one of our other international course centres. We look forward to welcoming you, sharing ideas with you, giving you the opportunity to interact with other managers and developing your approach to the two most important issues in contemporary business.
The course will change the way you think about your role and actions as a manager and you will give you new ideas and guidelines on how to contribute effectively to the development of your team and yourself in creating tomorrow’s organisation out of today’s.
The course is led by Dr Daniel Park, one of our most experienced instructor, who has been involved in global business development as a manager and consultant for many years. He has undertaken work in 64 countries worldwide.