Kenichi Ohmae described as “Mr. Strategy” worldwide stated “Analysis is the critical starting point of strategic thinking”. You need to know where you are before you can decide on where you are going, and how you are going to get there.

CIMA’s official terminology for a strategy is “A course of action, including specifications of resources required, to achieve a specific objective” – this is all very well if you know exactly where you want to go and what your objectives are. However not all organizations have a cemented objective, but would rather freewheel through their environment reacting to opportunities and threats as they present themselves. Their very strategy and therefore strength is that they are flexible enough to change their direction quickly.

Either way, whichever course a company takes whether it is a formal or informal approach to their strategy at some point they must undertake some form of corporate appraisal – It is this imperative analysis looking at both internal and external factors that provides information on the current position of the organization so that informed decisions can be made.

What are the barriers to starting analysis for strategic thinking?

There are many different barriers to getting the analysis ball rolling – The main factor is ‘what has gone before’ If there is no corporate history of undertaking formal analysis then it can be a steep learning curve for all involved, not only in understanding the reasoning behind undertaking the analysis but in having the right skill set to undertake the required analysis.

Other key factors are that key individuals own objectives may not lie with that of the organisation, there may be personal worries that information created and formalised by the analysis may paint the individual, department or associated product line in an adverse light to company objectives.

There are distinct difficulties in preparing certain types of analysis,...

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