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Strategic planning is an organizational process in which an organization defines its strategy (direction) and makes decisions on ways to allocate available resources to pursue the selected strategy. Also, strategic planning may stretch to comprise control approaches for guiding implementation of organizational strategy (Booth, 2016). This paper will cover five leadership tasks involved in strategic planning explaining what each task means and what it involves. The paper will highlight why a leader involved with strategic planning process should understand each task of the selected leadership tasks. The selected tasks include: sponsoring, championing, facilitating, fostering collective leadership and pulling it all together in strategic planning process.
Sponsoring of a strategic planning process involves articulating the objectives and importance of the strategic planning effort, committing necessary resources and exercising power and authority to ensure the process is on track (Bryson, 2012). A leader involved with strategic planning should understand that sponsoring of the strategic planning process is one of his roles. Understanding sponsorship of the process is important since it is the leader who will commit an organization to undertake strategic planning. Also, the leader will hold people accountable for doing strategic planning within an organization and to better exercise this role, the leader will need a solid understanding of what sponsoring a strategic planning process involves (Bryson, 2012).
Championing a strategic planning process is managing the adoption, implementation, and success of strategic planning (Booth, 2016). The process involves keeping strategic planning high on people’s agenda, attending to the process without encouraging specific solutions and thinking elements that will come together at or before major decision points (Booth, 2016). Other activities undertaken during championing of a strategic planning process include organizing resources needed for the process to succeed and to rally strategic planning participants to ensure the process proceeds as planned (Kenny, 2012). A strategic planning leader should understand what championing of the strategic planning process involves to either manage or select people with necessary skills to manage strategic planning.
Facilitating strategic planning process is making the process easy or easier for implementation to ensure it becomes successful (Kenny, 2012). Facilitation of strategic planning involves knowing strategic planning and explaining how it works to participants. This should be done at the start and at many points along the implementation of a strategic plan (Kenny, 2012). Also, facilitation involves tailoring strategic planning process to the organization and groups involved, conveying a sense of enthusiasm for the process and helping groups to proceed well, pressing groups towards action and giving credit where it is due (Kenny, 2012). A leader involved in strategic planning should understand the process of facilitation to move strategic planning along. By understanding the essence of facilitation, he could appoint a facilitator who consequently will ensure champions can be free to take part in substantive discussions without affecting the management of a strategic planning process (Kenny, 2012).
Fostering collective leadership means encouraging or promoting a state where everyone takes responsibility to ensure an organization succeeds as a whole and not just for their own jobs (Sharma, 2015). Fostering of collective leadership can be achieved by using teams and focusing on network and coalition development. Alternatively, an organization may establish specific approaches for distributing power, responsibility, and accountability (Sharma, 2015). Strategic planning is a wide process which requires more than one person or leader who will contribute to the success of strategic planning (Sharma, 2015). Therefore, a leader involved in strategic planning should understand the importance of fostering collective leadership to assign tasks to groups involved to make planning successful.
Pulling it all together means working together to achieve the set goals. In strategic planning, pulling together involves assigning different tasks to groups upon which completion of such tasks marks a particular step in strategic planning process (Booth, 2016). As mentioned above, many people contribute to strategic planning, and one person cannot do the whole process. A strategic planning leader should understand the role of pulling it all together to divide the whole process of strategic planning to be done by most qualified people which could ultimately make the process successful (Booth, 2016).
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