Discussion Post

Read chapters 10 and 11 then answer the following questions:

1. How does organizational structure influence the strategies an organization develops?
2. Why is there no optimal structure?
3. Could the three levels of an organization—corporate, business unit, and functional unit—each have a different organizational structure? Why or why not?
4. What are the corporate office’s key concerns in creating and implementing strategy? Why?

Chapter 10
Strategic plans guide organizations from their existing state to their ideal state (vision). Environmental analyses inform an organization about its existing position and reveal the gap between its existing and ideal positions. Accurate information and effective communication are critical to formulating and maintaining strategic direction. Organizations that fail to appropriately engage their key stakeholders and align perceptions may find that their strategic efforts derail, resulting in conflict and wasted effort.

Strategic priorities are key initiatives that drive achievement of the mission and vision. From these priorities, goals and objectives are formed. Goals and objectives need to be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant to the strategic direction, and tied to time frames.

To facilitate the development of goals and objectives, many organizations institute project charters. These documents elaborate on the scope, outcomes, resource needs, participants, and processes involved. They are especially useful when an organization has many complex, interactive projects to manage.

While strategic planning can be organized in various ways, most organizations assign responsibility for coordinating the strategic planning process to an individual or a department. The duties of this person (unit) can be expanded in smaller organizations to include public relations, communications, and business development. Organizations with boards may designate strategy oversight to a strategic planning subcommittee and use task forces and advisory groups to obtain information from key stakeholders and constituencies.

The strategic planning process generally occurs annually. Organizations commonly set specific time frames for the main components of planning, including the environmental analyses, strategy formulation, goal formation, and implementation. Effective boards spend a significant amount of their time discussing strategic issues.

Marketing plans are derived from strategic plans. The mission, vision, environmental analyses, and strategic goals inform the content of marketing plans. Marketing plans segment the market, target desired customer groups, and position the organization’s products and services as distinct from competitors’ products and services. Marketing plans should be monitored and updated periodically.

Chapter 11
Business plans are tools that support and organize strategic thinking. They differ from strategic plans in that they typically focus on a specific proposal, a line of business, or an innovative concept. Organizations may create multiple business plans to carry out a strategic plan’s goals and objectives. Business plans can be used to ascertain the feasibility of a proposal, obtain funding, or establish monitoring metrics to manage projects better.

The components of a business plan vary according to the issues it addresses and the context. Generally, business plans contain an executive summary; a market analysis; a description of the organization, including its management and governance; marketing and sales strategies; an explanation of the proposed service or product line; funding requests; company financials; and other related documentation. Business plans encourage disciplined thought and provide a mechanism for carrying out strategic decisions.

Make the presentation of your business plan professional. Create a plan that is concise, realistic, and meaningful. Use good visuals that help tell your story and better inform the reader. Ensure that your business plan is creative and stands out.

Walston, S. (2018). Strategic healthcare management: Planning and execution (2nd ed.). Health Administration Press.