1. 1. What was the logic of acquiring several companies over a short period of time?
2. The industry is being changed by dozens of smaller companies. Knowing the company's current goals gives managers a basis for deciding whether those goals need to be changed. How do we see the future?
Strategic planning is the answer to at least four questions: How Do Our Customers/Clients See Us? How Do We See Ourselves and the Business Environment?, How Do We See the Future?, and What Are We Going to Do About It?
We can't predict the future, but we can imagine it. One way of looking down the road is to ask, what are the driving forces that will shape our industry in the future? What elements move our industry? Examples of driving forces include the aging of the buying public, new technology, a demand for "mass customization", etc. Acquiring several companies over a short period of time brings you more customers, products or services, markets, technology, concern for survival, growth, and profitability, philosophy, self-concept, concern for public image, and concern for employees.
Trade association journals, newspapers and business magazines are full of examples of the driving forces in our industry. Now, fit these driving forces into three future scenarios: a "Dog Eat Dog" environment in our industry where competition will be fiercer than ever, an industry that is "Fundamentally Changed in Some Significant Way", and an industry atmosphere that is "The Same as Now, Only Better". How could these driving forces contribute to the future of our industry looking either extraordinarily cutthroat, dramatically different and changed, or bigger and better?
Next, think about what our firm would have to look like and be like in order to compete in any of these three scenarios. What technology would we have...