Strategic management is not a clean, step by step process. It is not linear,
but a messy, iterative process that requires hard work and dedication
from most people in the organization to move it toward the future. It
represents a new focus for the organization; a focus on a compelling
vision of the future. This handbook is designed to help organizational
leaders take steps to begin a strategic management process.
This handbook has been organized in three main sections. Section I
provides guidance on the processes which comprise strategic management.
These are: pre-planning, strategic planning, deployment, implementation,
and measurement and evaluation. A model is presented in An
Introduction to Strategic Management and this model is repeated in each
chapter, highlighting the process being addressed.
The Keys to Success and Facts of Failure provide an overview of each
chapter. These Keys are determinants of successful strategic management
and while they apply to the entire system of strategic management, they
are best addressed in the chapter in which they are presented. Questions
following the Keys are those frequently asked of strategic planners. Their
answers are intended to help the reader understand who, what, when,
why, and how to be successful. The first Key in every chapter is Assign
roles and responsibilities, because roles and responsibilities change as
the organization moves through the various phases of strategic management.
How is this
xii Strategic Management for Senior Leaders: A Handbook for Implementation
Facts of Failure are not addressed directly in the handbook because they
are simply the Keys to Success stated conversely. Failure to adequately
consider and act upon the Keys generally in the process in which they
are presented can diminish successful implementation of the strategic
Both the Keys to Success and the Facts of Failure have been gleaned from
the management research literature combined with and validated by the
experiences of the participating organizations and of the author. Words
of Advice and Caution are interspersed to highlight main points. The
decisions made at these junctures can lead to success or failure.
Section II presents case studies from four of the organizations interviewed
as part of the research effort for development of this handbook. The case
studies follow the key processes of strategic management. Each one
contains a summation of the organizations vision, mission, and guiding
principles, and an overview of its strategic management process. The
case studies illustrate four different approaches to strategic management
and how these organizations handled the various phases of their strategic
Section III contains a glossary of terms used in this handbook, a bibliography
of the books, articles, reports, and papers reviewed to provide
background for the handbook, and a short biography about the author.
As you begin your strategic planning process, use this handbook as a
source guide to become familiar with the overall concept of strategic
management. Then, as each aspect of strategic management is introduced
into the organization, refer back to the relevant chapters in Section
I for additional guidance . This handbook was designed as a companion
to A Handbook for Strategic Planning; it picks up where the
previous handbook left off. Therefore, you may want to familiarize
themselves with this earlier handbook. However, a brief overview of the
DON strategic planning process is provided in the first chapter of Section
I, An Introduction to Strategic Management.
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