Benefits of combining Strategic Thinking with Strategic Planning
by Arlette Jeet Falone
How many losses could be prevented
if one knew what the future would hold? How much money could one make if one
knew what the future would be and how to incorporate one’s ideas profitably
into that future? These were the prevailing thoughts I had as I viewed the
Santa Baby starring Jenny McCarthy yesterday evening. Jenny played the
daughter of Santa Claus, Mary. Mary had moved away from her native Polaris
and was living the big city life as a consultant working under the name Mary
Class of Class Consulting. She specialized in advising people on how to run
their businesses in an effort to increase profitability. She had to face the
facts though that strategic thinking and strategic planning in one location
cannot automatically be transferred to another.
has got to look at past trends along with present trends to predict possible
futures. One also has to formulate strategic plans in a manner suitable to the
culture of an area. Mary learned that although trends and plans for one
location and culture may work in that location and culture, this does not
necessarily mean that it will work just as successfully in another location and
When one combines strategic thinking with
strategic planning, one has the ability to reap the benefits of so doing. By
using such a combination, one is able to look at how things were and how they
presently are then foresee how things may be in the future. In essence this is
strategic thinking in action. When one has this information at hand then one is
able to formulate strategic plans with the elements of SMART plans with a view
to accruing the benefits of the possible future derived from the trends.
strategically has the ability to guide one as to when to buy, when to sell,
when to invest, when to liquidate and the like. When one follows such patterns
one is actually in a position to anticipate the next best thing to do. One is
in the position as to what to produce, what to purchase, when to produce, when
to purchase, what to sell and when to sell it. Being in such a position has the
ability to lead to profit which is ultimately why I am writing this article, to
assist you to profit.
The reason I advise that strategic thinking
must be combined with strategic planning is simply that without a strategic
plan, strategic thoughts may never become a reality. It should also be noted
that strategic planning may also fail without strategic thinking. Take a look
at the Harley-Davidson story from which it is plain to conclude that strategic
planning failed because it was not combined with strategic thinking.
they continued to produce state of the art carburetors with their great plans
for its manufacture, they failed to realize the trends were shifting and moving
away from use of carburetors to fuel injected engines. This resulted in added
cost to them and added loss. All of this may have been prevented if they had
thought strategically, recognized the trends and utilized this recognition in
the process of formulating a strategic plan in line with the trends and
possible futures. Harley-Davidson had a strategic plan that would have
prospered in the past but not in the direction in which the automotive industry
Class’ plans included ways to increase productivity by implementing new methods
and processes which included assembly lines, machinery, less elf (staff)
breaks, an IT department as well as the introduction of Productivity Reports.
Indeed she received the productivity reports of which the final one stated that
productivity was up by 1 million percent. By the end of the movie, she learned
from the head elf that he did not know the meaning of the word productivity and
had been giving her increased productivity reports per her request not basing
it on actual figures.
fact less and less toys were being made thus her strategic plans had failed. I
submit to you that if Mary had taken the time to strategically think before she
implemented her strategic plans, then she would have been able to ensure that
the elves knew what productivity was and how to use the machines to increase
she suffered from what too many in the world of business appear to suffer from,
doing without thinking, implementing strategic plans without first
strategically thinking. How much money could be saved if one knew what the
future would hold?
When one strategically thinks before one
implements strategic plans, one realizes that plans for a big city would not
automatically adapt to a small and intimate town’s location and culture. One
would realize what it would mean to those who had never before used machinery
and had previously done everything by hand. One would have realized they would
need to be taught in the ways of machinery and assembly lines and their lack of
experience with productivity reports would have to be addressed especially if
like Mary one had been using those reports to measure their level of
inundated by a big city life which is fast-paced can lead one to do away with
tradition replacing it with new ideas and plans. Like Mary, having been hired
to turn around the profits of a big city department store that had been in
existence for more than fifty years, one may be tempted to recommend plans that
completely and quickly change the entire environment. However this sort of
thinking may not be the order of the day for an intimate location.
we as entrepreneurs and others in the world of business do not take the time to
look at the trends around us we run the risk of implementing strategic plans
that ultimately would have worked better elsewhere or at another time.
Mary had an entire strategic plan that could be
implemented within the culture of New York City. She used trends past and
present to develop possible futures hence the strategic thinking. She
understood what to implement and how to implement it. She had shown strategic
thinking in that she was creative in making strategic plans for a traditional
department store to become a modern profit-making establishment.
Mary took those same strategic thoughts and attempted to implant them into
Polaris. What was strategic thinking in one location was not in the other.
Strategic thinking is creative and innovative thinking yes but one must look at
past trends as well as present trends as well as consider the location and
culture of one’s business to determine possible futures. Mary did not do that
for her father’s workshop.
She took her ideas and plans though creative and
strategic for other locations and subtracted strategic thinking from the
equation then implemented her plans into Santa’s workshop. Not surprisingly her
plans bore no profits in this second location. Mary had not been
sensitive to the past and present trends of Polaris and Santa’s workshop in
creating a possible future for them.
hereby submit that the benefits from combining strategic thought with strategic
planning outweigh the disadvantages. When strategic thinking and strategic
planning are combined they have the ability to produce much profit for those
involved because those involved use trends to determine possible futures then
strategically plan according to those trends. In so doing much benefit is
accrued to those who combine both concepts. It is really as though one knew the
future and planned accordingly.
Arlette L-M Jeet
L-M Jeet-Falone with her Team
“WORKING TOGETHER TO BUILD