In today’s economic environment, which of the five steps in the strategic planning process do you think is the most important? Give an example of an industry where this would be the most important step. Do you think that a different industry might place more emphasis on another step in the strategic planning process? Why? one page please NOTES The strategic planning process has five steps. These steps are: review return of investment and probability, analyze performance of management and board with an alignment, review the external environments and scans, review internal environment and scans, and select strategic factors (Clayton, n.d.). There are a number of different ways to incorporate the steps into the planning process. Currently, the most commonmethod is the use of the planning mode. The planning mode is popular because it uses a systematic gathering of appropriate information for situation analysis. This is helpful because it allows the strategic planning committee to employ the information it has carefully gathered into something that is approachable and useful for its disparate members. This enables alternative strategies and the rational selection of the most important strategy (Clayton, n.d.). The selection of strategy is influenced and determined by the members of the process, so selection is very important. In the first of these five steps, the firm carefully scrutinizes its performance in the form of return on investment and profitability. In doingso, it carefully reviews if these results are still properly aligned with the firm’s current mission, objectives, strategies, and policies. This performance can be in the form of quarterly and annual reports, tax filings, stock and bond data, and surveys. The second step analyzes the performance of the firm’s board of directors and top management. This ensures the company will still be able to take advantage of opportunities that are consistent with its mission and objectives. If, for any reason, there is found to be a lack of alignment between the current performance and the current mission, objectives, strategies, and policies, this is the opportunity for the firm to establish alignment again. Alignment can be established by creating or modifying the company mission, its board of directors, its topmanagement, or any other of the elements reviewed in the first two steps. This is a difficult step because top management and board members may be entrenched in their positions, and it is difficult to remove those making the decisions. Meeting room (Argerich, 2008). In step three, the firm is ready to review the results of the external environment scan and assessment process. The three areas within the external environment are natural, societal, and task. During this third process step, the firm will determine the strategic factors that pose opportunities and threats. This could come in the form of a SWOT analysis. Concurrently, In step four, the firm will be looking inward to review its internal environment scan and assessment. The three areas within the internal environment are structure, culture, and resources. The firm will determine the strategic factors that are strengths (especially core competencies) and weaknesses. Finally, in step five, the firm will be ready to select strategic factors in light of their current situation. In doing so, they will pinpoint the problem areas and review and revise the corporate mission and objectives as necessary. This is an important phase in developing a plan of action. By utilizing the five-step strategic decision process, the firm enables continued adherence to its mission, objectives, strategies, and policies. At the same time, leadership is using the planning mode process, systematically gathering and processing the appropriate information to make any necessary changes to best prepare it to remain a strong competitor in its industry segment. This process gives the firm the flexibility to adapt to changes in the marketplace while still ensuring the value of its internal strengths and core competencies (Clayton, n.d.).
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