The business world is competitive, ever-growing, and moving at a breakneck speed. To stay competitive in the market and capture market share, business needs to come up with innovative strategies and tactics. To do so, companies rely on strategic management professionals who provide the business with market insights, competition analysis, craft marketing strategies, and valuable customer insights.
In a nutshell, strategic management means utilizing an organization’s resources effectively to achieve corporate goals. This requires an understanding of the market, competitors, and economic factors. Additionally, a strategic management professional is required to be well-versed in risk assessment, decision making, change management, and ways to leverage trends in technology and innovation.
How to get started in strategic management?
An MBA specialized in strategic management is the go-to choice to start preparing yourself for a career in strategic management. An MBA in strategic management will equip with solid decision-making skills, critical analysis, and analytical thinking that are required to make a business decision. Once you have earned your degree, you will have a plethora of employments opportunities with lucrative salaries.
Additionally, you can go for strategic management certifications offer another way to learn strategic management. Compared to an MBA in strategic management, these certifications are short term and provide the same skills as the MBA, except these certifications offer flexibility for working professionals. It can be incorporated in the daily working routine without the hassle to attend on-campus regular classes.
What you will learn as part of strategic management programs?
Strategic management programs are focused on helping candidates develop a strategic mindset capable of dissecting business to scalable, manageable, and growth-oriented processes. As part of the curriculum, you will learn how to assess a business critically and develop strategies after thorough market research and competitor analysis.
Evolved from this definition, the world of strategic management has two schools of thoughts that define strategic management as —
- Risk-taking and rapid growth
- Sustainable growth and reputation building
However, the end result of both thoughts leads to growth. With the advancement of technology and innovation, new thoughts of school are emerging in the field of strategic management.
Guided by these thoughts, a few strategic frameworks have been developed. These frameworks are used by business leaders to implement strategic management principles and enable growth at their organization.
Some popular models in the field of strategic management are —
- Porters’ Five Forces – This model provides multiple perspectives to understand competition.
- Elton Mayo’s Human Relations Theory – This model proposes a way to improve productivity by building stronger relationships with employees.
Further, strategic management offers two ways to achieve growth —
- Prescriptive management – This part lays out how strategies should be developed to achieve corporate goals. Essentially, this is an analytic process to assess risk and opportunity and develop a sound strategy.
- Descriptive management – This part involves getting into the finer details of how to develop a process to achieve organizational goals.
Typically, past experience with strategies, strategic management theory and principals, and information from current market conditions guide the strategic management course of an organization. The strategy is often guided by the CEO, employees with extensive experience in the lower rung of the organization, or a group of strategic management professionals.
What do strategic managers do?
A strategic management professional does a host of tasks including —
- Understand organizational culture – The organizational culture plays an important part in the development of the business strategy. Strategic managers take culture into account before crafting a strategy.
- Benchmark processes – A business has several processes and functions; strategy professionals benchmark each process for further improvement.
- Resource assessment – Limited resources, such as staff, technology, and machines are assessed to allocate according to strategy.
- Assign managers – Employees tend to slack and require oversight of managers. Strategy managers assess the capabilities of managers and assign a role.
- Regular feedback – Check routinely to keep track of the progress toward the goal and communicate the findings to higher management.
- Tweak strategy – Make changes to strategy as and when required to keep moving toward the goal.
What skills do strategic managers need?
Strategic managers have a gamut of skills to the table. They bring their expertise in developing and managing business plans. They are good planners and executioners. A strategic management professional has the following skills —
- Analytical thinking – Developing a strategy requires market analysis and analyzing competitors. A strategic manager must be able to clearly analyze risk and opportunities for the organization, filter out issues that are a roadblock in the success, and assess long and short term benefits of different strategies.
- Problem-solving – Problem-solving is an essential skill for strategic managers. You are expected to solve problems that are hindering the progress of the business. For instance, working with limited resources, responding to new regulations, or change a business culture.
- Leadership skills – As a strategic management professional, you work with managers to get the strategy rolling or put new reforms in place. This requires authority and communication skills. You must know how to speak to subordinates and junior employees and get work done.
- Flexibility – You are expected to be flexible in your approaches and be ready to change their approach if required.