Strategic management is not a clean, step by step process. It is not linear, but a "messy," iterative process that requires hard work and dedication from most people in the organization to move it toward the future. It represents a new focus for the organization; a focus on a compelling vision of the future. This handbook is designed to help organizational leaders take steps to begin a strategic management process.
This handbook has been organized in three
main sections. Section I provides guidance on the processes which
comprise strategic management. These are: preplanning, strategic
planning, deployment, implementation, and measurement and
evaluation. A model is presented in An Introduction to Strategic
Management and this model is repeated in each chapter, highlighting the process being addressed.
The Keys to Success and Facts of Failure provide an overview of each chapter. These Keys are determinants of successful strategic management and while they apply to the entire system of strategic management, they are best addressed in the chapter in which they are presented. Questions following the Keys are those frequently asked of strategic planners. Their answers are intended to help the reader understand who, what, when, why, and how to be successful. The first Key in every chapter is "Assign roles and responsibilities," because roles and responsibilities change as the organization moves through the various phases of strategic management.
Facts of Failure are not addressed directly in the handbook because they are simply the Keys to Success stated
conversely. Failure to adequately consider and act upon the Keys
generally in the process in which they are presented can diminish successful implementation of the strategic direction.
Both the Keys to Success and the Facts of Failure have been gleaned from the management research literature combined with and validated by the experiences of the participating organizations and of the author. Words of Advice and Caution are interspersed to highlight main points. The decisions made at these junctures can lead to success or failure.
Section II presents case studies from four of the organizations interviewed as part of the research effort for development of this handbook. The case studies follow the key processes of strategic management. Each one contains a summation of the organization's vision, mission, and guiding principles, and an overview of its strategic management process. The case studies illustrate four different approaches to strategic management and how these organizations handled the various hases of their strategic management effort.
Section III contains a glossary of terms used in this handbook, a bibliography of the books, articles, reports, and papers reviewed to provide background for the handbook, and a short biography about the author.