Strategic Planning in a Post-Pandemic Era – Economic Analysis

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The impact of the coronavirus (Covid19) outbreak is unprecedented and is considered to be one of the biggest economic downturns in recent history. The business sector worldwide has been among the hardest hit by Covid19, which has been crippled and many organizations have been forced to shut down and even more are struggling to survive. The effects of Covid19 will not fade so easily, which is why service providers and businesses are called upon to articulate and develop effective strategies to retain their customer base and at the same time achieve their goals.

The purpose of every company’s existence is to differentiate itself and gain an edge over the competition, which will ultimately lead to a greater market share. Competitive advantage can be achieved through strategic planning, the most crucial step of which is to identify and develop mission and vision statements which, in turn, will add to an organization’s identity and distinguish it from other organizations by emphasizing its own unique characteristics (Ozdem , 2011). Through strategic planning, an organization will formulate its mission and vision statements, put in place its strategy in order to achieve and facilitate these statements in practice and, if successful, this will lead to the achievement of its goals and objectives.

According to Whitton et al. (2020), the purpose of a company must go beyond mere profits and to define its purpose, companies use mission and vision statements, statements of values ​​and corporate objectives. For mission and vision statements to be articulate, effective, and realistic, they must be formed through discussion, meetings, and research. Although Kaplan and Norton (2008) claim that their formulation is a decision for the few (i.e. executives and CEOs), the author is of the opinion that when developing a mission and vision statement for an organization, the interaction and involvement of everyone in the organization is vital. Taiwo et al. (2016) argue that such a formulation must have broad participation. After all, if employees feel they are part of such decision-making, they will end up practically sharing the mission and vision of the organization, which will inspire and motivate them towards a higher level of productivity and performance.

Cochran et al. (2008) define mission as a statement of an organization’s activities or the reason why such an enterprise exists in the first place. This is the reason for the existence of an organization and such a statement must be consistent and consistent. Whittington et al. (2020) argued that a mission statement provides employees and stakeholders with a clear picture of what the organization is here to do. A vision statement describes the future and desired long-term goals of the organization. Joachim (2010) stated that a vision statement is a mechanism that determines the future of an organization and demonstrates the belief and expectations regarding the contingencies related to the desired future. To put it simply, an organization’s mission is its purpose for existence, and its vision is its ambition for future results.

For an organization, having such statements is of parallel importance. Clarity and consistency of unambiguous vision and mission statements form the foundation of an organization’s strategy that will help it implement and achieve its goals and objectives and ultimately grow. Such statements provide an important channel for communicating core values ​​and standards not only to consumers but also to shareholders and employees (Leuthesser and Kohli, 1997). Additionally, mission and vision statements are important management tools that can impact employee behavior and attitude, expressing desirable attitudes, work ethics, values ​​and culture on which employees can operationalize in their choice of actions and inactions (Taiwo, 2016).

Thus, having a correct mission and vision statement ensures that employees will serve the organization with a common purpose and direction, thereby maximizing productivity, efficiency, and actualizing the primary reason for the organization’s existence. They can even give meaning to the assignment and allocation of tasks to employees, target the right customers, as well as express the public image of the organization to target groups (Germain and Cooper, 2001). However, some issues may arise when formulating mission and vision statements, such as they may not be clearly put into words, or they may simply not be realistically achievable, or may be similar or even the same statements from other companies (Ingenhoff and Fuhrer, 2010). Thus, the declarations of a company must differentiate themselves from their competitors, address the right stakeholders and manage to be well known as to the uniqueness of their products or services. Only then will a company have leverage over its competitors.

Strategic planning is essentially a matter of choice, that is, what the organization will and will not do to achieve its goals and objectives (Morris, undated). One of the main and fundamental formulas for setting up a strategy and evaluating the competitive position of an organization is to gather information and conduct an analysis on the internal characteristics of the organization and the conditions of the external market. Organizations often use a SWOT analysis to assess different aspects of their business, related to their strengths (S) and weaknesses (W), as well as the opportunities (O) and threats (T) of the business environment. company.

Strengths include available resources, such as human resources, skills, expertise, know-how, and machinery, while weaknesses include weak strategy, lack of motivation, and financial difficulties. A strengths analysis will enable an organization to achieve its goals while a weakness analysis will help the organization discover the elements that interfere with its success (Benzaghta et al. 2021). Such an analysis of internal characteristics will help the organization understand which of its resources and capabilities are likely or not to be sources of competitive advantage (Gurel and Tat, 2017).

Opportunities include forecasting the need for a specific service or product in the market and potential actions to meet those needs. Threats include situations that exist or could occur in the future that will prevent an organization from achieving its objectives. Opportunities and threats arise from the change of the environment, for example the modification of the legislation which can affect the conduct of the business of the organization. An analysis of opportunities and threats will examine how the competition is likely to evolve and what implications this evolution will have on the organization (Gurel and Tat, 2017). It will also help an organization identify potential opportunities in the market, establish action plans and take a series of actions in order to take advantage of these opportunities while tackling and avoiding any threats that may harm its business. activity.

A SWOT analysis is usually formed in a PowerPoint presentation that includes a four-quadrant box (2X2 matrix). Each box will include one of the initial letters from SWOT and list all the key points for each one. For an objective and comprehensive review of the SWOT analysis, all key leaders and decision makers in an organization should be involved in meetings, workshops, and discussions. It is very important that when an organization conducts such a review, all departments of the organization are represented. To ensure unbiased and independent results, larger organizations may appoint outside firms to perform such analytical review and help weigh the various proposals. It is important to note that supporting documents must be presented in order to convince of the need to add each element in the matrix. These may include questionnaires and statistical analyses.

SWOT analysis is an essential tool for an organization’s management team to identify and assess internal and external factors, focus on strengths, address weaknesses, to exploit opportunities and avoid threats. The strengths and weaknesses of an organization will depend on various internal factors that can be controlled internally, such as managerial skills, marketing campaigns, research and development, while opportunities and threats arise from factors external factors that may not be internally controlled, such as economic, political conditions. , health, environment.

Despite the benefits that a SWOT analysis has to offer, there are some drawbacks and limitations. Although it does not require a computer system or software (Beeho and Prentice, 1997), such an analysis will nevertheless require extensive research and an investment of time and manpower. Additionally, the traditional 2×2 matrix encourages users to be extremely brief and not in-depth, which can lead to shortcuts in thinking (Minsky & Aron, 2021). SWOT analyzes are often covertly political (Allio, 2006), which often leads to important issues being overlooked.

The direct negative impact of Covid19 in the corporate sector has been significant, but it appears that organizations are adopting many measures in order to mitigate their losses and attract business. Revising its mission and vision statements and adopting a SWOT analysis is of parallel importance and contributes to the survival and competitiveness of the organization.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide on the subject. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your particular situation.

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