What are the Benefits of Strategic Management? Strategic management essentially means the implementation and formulation of various strategies to achieve the goals of the company. This is the detailed initiative that is taken by the top management; these strategic decisions are taken based on available resources; they also take into consideration the effects of the external and internal environment on their decisions.
Here explains read and learn; Benefits of Strategic Management with its advantages and disadvantages:
There are many benefits of strategic management and they include identification, prioritization, and exploration of opportunities. For instance, newer products, newer markets, and newer forays into business lines are only possible if firms indulge in strategic planning. Next, strategic management allows firms to take an objective view of the activities being done by it; and, do a cost-benefit analysis as to whether the firm is profitable.
Just to differentiate, by this, we do not mean the financial benefits alone (which would be discussed below); but, also the assessment of profitability that has to do with evaluating whether the business is strategically aligned to its goals and priorities.
The key point to note here is that strategic management allows a firm to orient itself to its market and consumers; and, ensure that it is actualizing the right strategy.
1] Financial Benefits;
It has been shown in many studies that firms that engage in strategic management are more profitable; and, successful than those that do not have the benefit of strategic planning and strategic management.
When firms engage in forwarding looking planning and careful evaluation of their priorities, they have control over the future; which is necessary for the fast-changing business landscape of the 21st century.
It has been estimated that more than 100,000 businesses fail in the US every year and most of these failures are to do with a lack of strategic focus and strategic direction. Further, high performing firms tend to make more informed decisions; because they have considered both the short-term and long-term consequences and hence, have oriented their strategies accordingly. In contrast, firms that do not engage themselves in meaningful strategic planning are often bogged down by internal problems and lack of focus that leads to failure.
2] Non-Financial Benefits:
The section above discussed some of the tangible benefits of strategic management. Apart from these benefits, firms that engage in strategic management are more aware of external threats; an improved understanding of competitor strengths and weaknesses and increased employee productivity. They also have a lesser resistance to change and a clear understanding of the link between performance and rewards.
The key aspect of strategic management is that the problem solving and problem preventing capabilities of the firms enhance through strategic management. Strategic management is essential as it helps firms to rationalize change and actualize change; and, communicate the need to change better to their employees. Finally, strategic management helps in bringing order and discipline to the activities of the firm in both internal processes and external activities.
3] Closing Thoughts;
In recent years, virtually all firms have realized the importance of strategic management. However, the key difference between those who succeed and those who fail is how strategic management is done and strategic planning is carried out makes the difference between success and failure. Of course, there are still firms that do not engage in strategic planning or where the planners do not receive support from management. As well as, These firms ought to realize the benefits of strategic management and ensure their longer-term viability and success in the marketplace.
The Advantages of Strategic Management;
The following advantages below are;
1] Discharges Board Responsibility;
The first reason that most organizations state for having a strategic management process is that it discharges the responsibility of the Board of Directors.
2] Forces An Objective Assessment;
Strategic management provides a discipline that enables the board; and, senior management to take a step back from the day-to-day business to think about the future of the organization. Without this discipline, the organization can become solely consumed with working through the next issue or problem without consideration of the larger picture.
3] Provides a Framework For Decision-Making;
The strategy provides a framework within which all staff can make day-to-day operational decisions; and, understand that those decisions are all moving the organization in a single direction. It is not possible (nor realistic or appropriate) for the board to know all the decisions the executive director will have to make, nor is it possible (nor realistic or practical) for the executive director to know all the decisions the staff will make.
The strategy provides a vision of the future, confirms the purpose and values of an organization, sets objectives, clarifies threats and opportunities, determines methods to leverage strengths, and mitigate weaknesses (at a minimum). As such, it sets a framework and clear boundaries within which decisions can be made. Also, the cumulative effect of these decisions (which can add up to thousands over the year) can have a significant impact on the success of the organization. Providing a framework within which the executive director and staff can make these decisions helps them better focus their efforts on those things that will best support the organization’s success.
4] Supports Understanding & Buy-In;
Allowing the board and staff participation in the strategic discussion enables them to better understand the direction; why that direction was chosen, and the associated benefits. For some people simply knowing is enough; for many people, to gain their full support requires them to understand.
5] Enables Measurement of Progress;
A strategic management process forces an organization to set objectives and measures of success. Also, the set of measures of success requires that the organization first determine; what is critical to its ongoing success and then force the establishment of objectives and keeps; these critical measures in front of the board and senior management.
6] Provides an Organizational Perspective;
Addressing operational issues rarely looks at the whole organization and the interrelatedness of its varying components. Strategic management takes an organizational perspective and looks at all the components and the interrelationship between those components to develop a strategy that is optimal for the whole organization and not a single component.
The Disadvantages of Strategic Management;
The following disadvantages below are;
1] The Future Doesn’t Unfold As Anticipated;
One of the major criticisms of strategic management is that it requires the organization to anticipate the future environment to develop plans, and as we all know, predicting the future is not an easy undertaking. The belief is that if the future does not unfold as anticipated then it may invalidate the strategy taken. Recent research conducted in the private sector has demonstrated that organizations that use the planning process achieve better performance than those organizations that don’t plan; regardless of whether they achieved their intended objective. Also, there are a variety of approaches to strategic planning that are not as dependent upon the prediction of the future.
2] It Can Be Expensive;
There is no doubt that in the not-for-profit sector there are many organizations that cannot afford to hire an external consultant to help them develop their strategy. As well as, Today many volunteers can help smaller organizations; and, also funding agencies that will support the cost of hiring external consultants in developing a strategy. Regardless, it is important to ensure that the implementation of a strategic management process is consistent with the needs of the organization; and, that appropriate controls are implemented to allow the cost/benefit discussion to be undertaken, before the implementation of a strategic management process.
3] Long Term Benefit vs. Immediate Results;
Strategic management processes design to provide an organization with long-term benefits. If you are looking at the strategic management process to address an immediate crisis within your organization, it won’t. It always makes sense to address the immediate crises before allocating resources (time, money, people, opportunity, cost) to the strategic management process.
4] Impedes Flexibility;
When you undertake a strategic management process; it will result in the organization saying “no” to some of the opportunities that may be available. This inability to choose all of the opportunities presented to an organization is sometimes frustrating. Also, some organizations develop a strategic management process that becomes excessively formal. Processes that become this “established” lack innovation and creativity and can stifle the ability of the organization to develop creative strategies. In this scenario, the strategic management process has become the very tool that now inhibits the organization’s ability to change and adapt.
A third way that flexibility can be impeded is through a well-executed alignment and integration of the strategy within the organization. An organization that is well-aligned with its strategy has addressed its structure, board, staffing, and performance and reward systems. This alignment ensures that the whole organization is pulling in the right direction, but can inhibit the organization’s adaptability. Again, there are a variety of newer approaches to strategy development used in the private sector (they haven’t been widely accepted in the not-for-profit sector yet); that build strategy and address the issues of organizational adaptability.