Today's marketplace is changing at a rapid pace with new technologies, economy change, and increased competition. To face these challenges, companies rely on top management to plan and formulate methods to overcome these obstacles. The primary task of top management is implement a strategic plan. Strategic planning is the process of identifying the business of the firm today and the business it wants for the future, and the course of action or strategy it will pursue. To be effective and successful, managers must possess skills in strategic thinking. Strategic thinking is a process in which a manager can make the business vision a reality. This is accomplished by developing abilities in teamwork, problem solving, and critical thinking. Strategic thinking should also be a tool to help confront change, plan for and make transitions, and envision new possibilities and opportunities.
As top management develops a strategic plan for their organization, there are five different criteria that must be focused on.
These five criteria will help define the ideal outcome. In addition, it will help set up and develop the steps necessary to make the business vision a reality.
The first criterion that top management must consider is the organization itself. The organization of the business involves the subordinates, the organizational structure of the business, and the resources necessary to make it all work. Top management determines what the organization will look like and decides what type of structure will support the business vision. Top management must also combine people, resources, and structure together to achieve an ideal outcome.
Observation is the second criterion. When looking down at the world from an airplane, a person can see much more than when on the ground. Strategic thinking is much the same in that it allows management to see things from "higher up".