Overview: Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurial Leadership and Strategic Thinking

Strategic Thinking is a disciplined effort to produce fundamental decisions and actions that shape and guide what an organization is and what is does, with a focus on a predetermined future.
Strategic Thinking is the process of determining and envisioning the future to which you aspire and the growth you will have to realize to achieve that future state. It is a management tools which will help an organization do a better job or focusing the energy of its employees, and ensuring that they are all working toward the same goals. It is also a tool used to assess and clarify the organization’s direction and response to changing environments.
As an entrepreneur, you will need to concern yourself with visionary activities, planning, and leading people. As the leader for your business, people will look to you for direction. People will also look to you for coaching, leadership, guidance, support, decisions, and leadership stability. You now must decide what needs to be done to succeed, and then you must do it, and you must do it the right way.
Succeeding in business requires a vision combined with the passion and commitment to pursue that vision. It also requires a willingness to change, to learn, to become, and to take calculate risks…. It requires entrepreneurial leadership.
Business owners and leaders today have found that developing a strategy and an implementation plan is far more effective than leaving the future to chance. Furthermore, developing a strategy, a vision, a mission, and a specific plan or action contributes to long-term, sustainable success. It implemented correctly, it will create higher levels of motivation and commitment, and fuel continuously higher levels of achievement from everyone within the organization.

Steps for Planning an Effective Process

  • Basic Foundation
  • Vision and Values
  • Values and Principles
  • External Assessment
  • Internal Appraisal
  • Mission Statement
  • Critical Goal Categories
  • Market and Sales Plan
  • Implementation

The Results Are Measurable

  • Increased Revenue
  • Strengthened Focus on Attracting, Servicing, and Keeping Customers
  • Greater Employee Contributions to Results Realized
  • Defined Strategic Direction
  • Developed and Sustained Values
  • Motivated Employees
  • Measurable Growth
  • Sustainable Results

Developing the Plan
The Strategic Planning process provides a format for developing specific strategies, converting those strategies into a business planning process, and establishing measurable and attainable organizational goal. It is a process that Involves not only determining where an organization wants and needs to go, but also, how it is going to get there. Determining where you want to take your organization is key. This process also includes personal leadership components all entrepreneurs need to take that key and unlock the door to personal and organizational success!

“It is a management tool which will help an organization do a better job focusing the energy of its  employees, and ensuring that they are all working toward the same goals.”

Strategic and Business Planning Process

Strategic and Business Planning Process flowchart

Key Outputs from Entrepreneurial leadership and Strategic Thinking

The very process of gathering key people around the table and discussing the future is beneficial to your client organization, as long as the facilitator keeps it focused and productive, and creates a positive climate where everyone contributes significantly. The higher level of teamwork and commitment are byproducts of the plan. The main written deliverables or outputs from the process are as follows:

  1. Vision and Values—Big picture and “rules for the road” that create the umbrella and the culture for the organization.
  2. Mission Statement—Accomplishments for the next planning period to draw closer to the Vision.
  3. Critical Goal Categories—3-4 factors that are individually necessary, and together sufficient, to virtually assure the achievement of the Mission.
  4. Business Plan—Initiatives to pursue during the next 12-18 months (S.M.A.R.T. goals under the Critical Goal Categories). As the plan is shared throughout the organization, individuals might develop their own goals to support these large initiatives or other ones to support Critical Goal Categories.

Your full-group planning process might end with #4 above and delegate the remainder of the plan to departments. Depending upon the organization’s situation you might want to proceed to the specialized plans with the entire planning group:

  1. The Market Plan—Getting the word out.
  2. The Sales Plan—Strategy on contacting prospective and current clients.
  3. Follow-Up Tools (Financial Projections)—Budget that FOLLOWS the plan rather than DRIVING the plan.
  4. Dashboard will be created as a mechanism to easily track progress.

The creation of an outstanding plan is not what will make it successful—it’s the IMPLEMENTATION of the plan that counts. So, although you’re finished with the writing of the plan another key deliverable is:

  1. Follow-Up Plan and Implementation Process—You, in conjunction with your client determine what the follow-up schedule is. Suggest whether this is monthly or quarterly meetings, or perhaps a series of RAC Executive Leadership, Management, and staff development processes to continue focus on the behaviors, attitudes, and goal achievement that will get the plan done.