As highlighted in the chapter, one of the most significant challenges facing a firm’s leadership is setting strategic direction. This was quite evident when I joined my current organization. When I joined the organization in 2003, there was no formalized strategic plan, no one ever articulated the organization’s mission or vision statements to me, nor were there any core values. However, management did espouse and advance the ideology that our scientific acumen set us apart from our competitors, other trade associations focused on the cleaning products industry. To clarify, my organization is a nonprofit trade association that represents companies engaged in all aspects of soap and detergent formulation and distribution. Because of the specialized area of the organization’s engagement, these missing elements didn’t seem important because there always seemed to be a myriad of other complex and urgent matters that needed addressing.
However over time, I realized that we were always in crisis mode because of the l...
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...nization veers off course due to internal or external obstacles (Barney & Hesterly, 2015).
A firm must have a measurable means of determining if it is reaching its goals. Although management devised a strategy and a mission, without informing staff of the strategy it is impossible for staff to set measurable objectives because there is nothing to measure. Consequently, staff continues to engage in the same reactive circle. Another aspect of the strategic management process is to conduct environmental scanning both internal and external. Management does a great job of external scanning and knowing who our competitors are but lack the expertise to determine weakness internally. In order for organizations to succeed, there must be strategic direction and vision. Lord (2011) argues that one of the main reasons organizations fail is because of a lack of vision.
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