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Good strategic management is essential for long-term business success. Strategic management of a company or business unit involves defining a business strategy with clear objectives, creating clear plans as to how these objectives will be achieved, aligning business activities to support the objectives, and allocating the resources needed to achieve the objectives.
Beyond improving business results, good strategic management also contributes to a company's social license to operate - an increasingly important business aspect in today's ever-more informed multi-stakeholder environment. Consumers are now more aware and more interested not only in a company's products, but also in the way it conducts its business from an ethical and environmental point of view. These elements should be included at the heart of strategic management to help ensure the long-term survival of the business.
Strategic management clearly requires a number of business and leadership skills. To start with, strategic management requires highly developed analytical skills. Business leaders involved in strategy development need a wide, interconnected view of their company - including the business environment in which it operates, global trends, the competitive landscape, customer needs and stakeholder expectations. Strategic management can only be successful if it starts with a clear and honest understanding of the internal and external factors that will determine the company's success - today and in the future.
Strategic management also requires strategy skills to go from business analysis to business strategy - that is, identifying opportunities from the business analysis, choosing which ones to follow, and then developing a strategy that defines how the company will leverage the chosen opportunities.
Finally, strategic management requires strong leadership skills for implementing the business strategy. Business leaders need to engage with stakeholders both inside their organization and out, be aware of challenges to strategy implementation, and have the personal leadership skills to overcome these.
While it's possible master the various strategic management skills through on-the-job experience, strategic management training is a good way to fast-track your abilities under expert guidance - and without the risk of an on-the-job failure or set-back.
Various institutions offer a variety of business development and management courses. Look for practical courses that take you from analysis to action. Good strategic management training will help you:
The best strategic management training will allow you to work directly on your own issues - for example, by assisting you in analyzing your own business challenges and providing support to develop your business strategy. It will also provide leadership skills training in strategy execution. Ideally, you will leave with an action plan to implement on your return to the office - and receive post-training support to help you successfully follow through with this plan.
With the right strategic management training, you'll have what it takes to play a key role in keeping your company ahead. You'll gain the thought process, skills and tools for unlocking further future value for your company - and be ready to meet critical business challenges even in today's constantly changing business environment. And that, after all, is the whole point of effective strategic management.