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Five Tasks of Strategy
The strategy-making or strategy-implementing process consists of five interrelated managerial tasks:

1. Forming a strategic vision of where he organization is headed so as to provide long-term direction, delineate what kind of enterprise the company is trying to become, and infuse the organization with a sense of purposeful action.

2. Setting objectives or converting the strategic vision into specific performance outcomes for the company to achieve.

3. Crafting a strategy to achieve the desired outcomes.

4. Implementing and executing the chosen strategy efficiently and effectively.

5. Evaluating performance and initiating corrective adjustments in vision, long-term direction, objectives, strategy, or execution in light of actual experience, changing conditions, new ideas, and new opportunities.

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Developing a Strategic Vision

Management's views and conclusions about what the organization's long-term direction should be, the technology-product-customer focus it intends to pursue, and its future business scope constitute a strategic vision for the company. A strategic vision thus reflects management's aspirations for the organization and its business, providing a panoramic view of "where we are going" and giving specifics about its future business plans. It spells out long-term business purpose and molds organizational identity. A strategic vision points an organization in a particular direction and charts a strategic path for it to follow.

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Setting Objectives

The purpose of setting objectives is to convert managerial statements of strategic vision and business mission into specific performance targets, results and outcomes the organization wants to achieve. Setting objectives and then measuring whether they are achieved or not help managers track an organization's progress.

Objective setting is required of all managers. Every unit in a company needs concrete, measurable performance targets that contribute meaningfully toward achieving company objectives. When company-wide objectives are broken down into specific targets for each organizational unit and lower-level managers are held accountable for achieving them, a results-oriented climate builds throughout the enterprise.

Crafting a Strategy

A company's strategy represents management's answers to such fundamental business questions as whether to concentrate on a single business or build a diversified group of businesses, whether to cater to a broad range of customers or focus on a particular market niche, whether to develop a wide or narrow product line, whether to pursue a competitive advantage based on low cost or product superiority or unique organizational capabilities, how to respond to changing buyer preferences, how big a geographic market to try to cover, how to react to newly emerging market and competitive conditions, and how to grow the enterprise over the long term.

A strategy thus reflects managerial choices among alternatives and signals organizational commitment to particular products, markets, competitive approaches, and ways of operating the enterprise. Strategy making brings into play the critical managerial issue of how to achieve the targeted results in light of the organization's situation and prospects. Objectives are the "ends," and strategy is the "means" of achieving them.


Good strategy execution involves creating a strong "fit" between the way things are done internally and what it will take for the strategy to succeed. The stronger the methods of implementation fit the strategy's requirements, the better the odds that performance targets will be achieved. The most important fits are between strategy and organizational capabilities, between strategy and the reward structure, between strategy and internal support systems, and between strategy and the organization's culture. Fitting the organization's internal practices to what is needed for strategic success helps unite the organization behind the accomplishment of strategy.

Evaluating Performance, Monitoring New Developments, and Initiating Corrective Adjustments

It is always incumbent on management to evaluate the organization's performance and progress. It is management's duty to stay on top of the company's situation, deciding whether things are going well internally, and monitoring outside developments closely. Marginal performance or too little progress, as well as important new external circumstances, will require corrective actions and adjustments in a company's long term direction, objectives, business model, and strategy.

Source of Reference:
Arthur Thompson and Strickland, Strategic Management: Concepts and Cases, McGraw Hill. You can obtain this excellent book here

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