Saturday, June 6, 2015

Do you Think Strategy as a Profession

Business strategy professionals have to continuously set up standards of competence and ability to enforce professional responsibility.

For the success of any organization in today's business world, there is a need for leaders to think strategically and possess a knowing HOW of what strategic management is. Many organizations have also adopted a department of strategic planning to aid for the formulation and implementation of the same. So do you see a strategist as a profession?

The strategy is both art and science. Strategic design is basically driven and fuelled by shareholders and C-levels’ visions, sometimes inspired by market surveys. Professional support is surely required to ensure that the said strategy is determined with all requested ‘dimensions’: financial results, market mix, performance, investments master plan, risks, competitiveness...and to design and build the 'management cockpit.' There is a definite science about the analysis of the situation and the environment scan (whether you call it a SWOT analysis, PEST, Internal Environment, External Environment, Five Forces, etc). However, the crafting of the strategies and the synthesis of the data developed in those previous analyses is definitely more art than science. It requires the ability to get outside of the box and be creative and innovative.

Strategic management requires specialized knowledge of multifaceted analysis: Strategic Analysis: SWOT, Strategic design, vision, mission, values, KSF, strategic objectives, goals, plan. Strategic Implementation: Building the organization, operational management, leadership, balanced scorecards, feedbacks, surveys, interviews, meetings, KPIs, leading indicators, lagging indicators, benchmarking, etc. The strategy requires some specialized knowledge but is lacking the standards of competence and ability to enforce professional responsibility. Some think until standards and enforcement become organic to the discipline, strategic management will not be recognized as a profession.

Whether the strategy is the profession or not, strategists need to be high-professionals: If one defines a "profession" as a paid occupation, especially one that involves prolonged training and a formal qualification, many of business professionals in the strategic management arena may not satisfy the criteria because there’s lack a formal qualification. There is also a school of thought that a "profession" stipulates a unique code of conduct. One should not get hung up on whether strategic management is a profession, but whether those of us in the arena are professional. Nonetheless, to answer the question, strategic management needs to develop a widely accepted standard and a code of conduct before you can seriously consider the strategy field of work a "profession."

A profession calls a set of skills, knowledge, and competencies gained through training. Should strategy change to evolve from being a management practice to being a recognized professional discipline? There is no doubt that strategy becomes more important, not less in organizations large or small today, because of the fierce competition, rapid change, and hyper uncertainty. Business strategy professionals have to continuously set up standards of competence and ability to enforce professional responsibility, with good intentions, not to gain a new title, but to groom more highly professional strategists with capabilities to make good strategies.


Post a Comment