Please recap all of the following in 4 paragraphs and write about what you learned from the perspective of a marketing agency:
The role of a strategic leader can come in many different types of management forms. The CEO to mid-level managers are required to provide strategic direction on the company and projects. “Strategic Leadership is the task of managing an overall enterprise and influencing key organizational outcomes such as company performance, competitive superiority, innovation, strategic change, and survival” (Carpenter & Sanders, 2008, p. 31). Strategic leaders are business leaders who are able to articulate the short-term and long-term vision of the organization while maintaining strong relationships with internal and external people. Strategic leaders and even managers fill multiple roles during different periods in time such as interpersonal roles, informational roles, and decision roles. I consider myself a strategic leader within my organization. During day-to-day operations I find myself balancing between all of these roles as I am working with internal and external individuals to finalize strategy or campaigns. For example, we are currently launching a new brand with many challenges. I’ve had to play the interpersonal role where I was the liaison and leader between our external partner and our internal staff. The major issues included the website not being able to properly integrate with the fulfillment center. During this process, I’ve lead a dozen or more calls and hosted both the fulfillment center and our client in order to figure out the issues. I’ve played the leader and even a spokesperson/disseminator during our meetings and email correspondence. Over the course of many years I’ve realized that strategic leadership can take many forms and can be done throughout a company hierarchy.
The CEO of my organization (Gigasavvy) plays a unique role as he plays a combination of “The Entrepreneur” and “The Disturbance Handler” within the company. The entrepreneur designs the high-level firm strategy and the disturbance handler deals with unforeseen situations or fire drills (Carpenter & Sanders, 2008). As a disturbance occurs our CEO will insert himself into the problem. The problems that arise are usually a billing or invoicing issue with either or client or third party system. His role is focused on providing leadership and strategic direction for the future of the organization as well as keeping the company on the right track. Professional modesty is another key feature that my CEO possess. “Collins’ research suggests that companies that improve from average profitability and then beat the market over the long haul tend to be led by people who prefer to share credit rather than hog it” (Carpenter & Sanders, 2008). As the company has grown throughout the years, he has focused on the internal staff and congratulating them rather than taking credit for it.
Strategic leadership is the vehicle by which strategy formulation and implementation are able to become a reality. Without a strategic leader, the future of an organization could be risky.
As we know, a successful strategy is reliant on both formulation and implementation. A firm’s vision and mission are not a substitute for strategy, but they make up the core from which the strategy stems. The vision and mission delineate the fundamental purpose of the firm, the values, and the views of the future. Once a vision and mission are identified, and a firm knows what they want to accomplish, they can begin to determine how they can go about doing so through the identification of specific targets and measurable outcomes. The specific targets and measurable outcomes are striven for by refining the five elements of the business strategy diamond: economic logic, staging, arenas, vehicles, and differentiators. Once a strategy is formulated, firms can engage in activities that are in concert with it in hopes of ending up where they had envisioned.
In hopes of achieving strategic coherence, a firm must have a process to monitor their actions relative to their strategy. Strategies can be fairly straightforward conceptually, but in practice, it is difficult to maintain coherence (Carpenter & Sanders, 2008). Checklists can be implemented in order to benchmark progress and monitor coherence, but Carpenter and Sanders (2008) support that an overall “commitment to, and widespread communication of, well-understood and shared organizational vision and values” is how to really achieve strategic coherence (p.49). In my current group within the cohort, we are in the process of identifying our vision and mission. I feel that once defined, if we act according to our vision and mission, we will be in coherence with our strategy. We can have benchmarks along the way to ensure we are remaining consistent in our efforts, but if we always rely on our vision a mission we are sure to remain consistent.
Defining vision and mission is important because it serves different purposes to an organization. Defining mission helps establish purpose for which a business entity is established and what it is accomplishing now. On part of vision, it establishes what a business wants to be known as representing (Grant, 2016). Vision sets out milestones that an institution seeks to achieve in a specified period. For example, the vision of an organization can be to double amount of sales of projectors by 2017. In the case of a mission, the organization can seek to improve quality of life by introducing new technology in a given social setting.
A vision is specific on the duration of time to be taken to complete an anticipated accomplishment while mission is broad and does not necessarily include timelines. Defining the mission of an organization therefore serves to highlight what it is all about while definition of the vision serves to highlight what the company seeks to achieve within a given period. Vision should therefore include statement of milestones that an organization seeks to attain in a specific period. On the other end, mission includes a broad description of what an organization stands for and what it is all about (Eden & Ackermann, 2013).
Vision and mission statements are not substitutes for strategy because they only offer what the company seeks to achieve and what it is all about. Strategy entails the means to be adopted in attainment of the goals and objectives of an organization. In other words, strategy offers means to be explored by an organization in the achievement of its vision and mission (Eden & Ackermann, 2013).
Goals and objectives are important because they help plan for the future of an organization. What then organization is set out to achieve in the future is captured in form of goals and objectives. The time spans through which respective achievements are to be engaged are also captured in this section. Organization of tasks and resources to be used depend on these factors. Time plans used in this case helps set out priorities with which different tasks in an organization attract. Planning is an important aspect of organizations that seeks to attain goals and objectives through available resources (Grant, 2016).
Mission and vision of an organization sets out what needs to be achieved by an organization. In so doing, they facilitate organization of institutions by managers to align with the mission and vision. It is therefore clear that mission and vision set the basis upon which an organization modify strategies to be used in day-to-day operations. All the activities of an organization are therefore geared towards achievement of mission and vision of the organization (Grant, 2016).
Strategic purpose refers to anticipated impact that an organization seeks to have in day-to-day activities. It therefore refers to value that an organization seeks to add to the society in operates in with the different projects it undertakes. For example, strategic purpose of an organization can be reduction of illness cases through provision of services that enhance level of health care in the region. An organization achieves strategic coherence by ensuring that missions and visions form the basis for all its operations. Availability of common goals and objectives for an organization helps to align all efforts towards achievement of these specific goals. An organization can achieve strategic coherence by splitting its goals into small objectives that complement one another (Eden & Ackermann, 2013).
As for strategic purpose in our team, I know that if we continue to stay true to our goals and vision that our strategy will thoroughly play out step by step. We have taken our faults and turned them into learning lessons for all future decisions. Just as in my current Marketing Agency, our biggest task is making sure every marketing plan is written with a mission and vision in mind. Creating a brand and strategy guideline is crucial to the success of my company and having a similar style of guidelines and rules.
When it comes to stakeholders, they are affected by the decisions that a company makes and that suffer the bad decisions as well as the good that come from management. Unfortunately, as a company continues to grow there are many decisions that are made and the company will reap the direct rewards. There are many people such as employees and customers that are also affected by the fall out of when a company decides that it is not going to follow a correct ethical path.
There are times when a stakeholder in a company will be faced with the need to make an extreme decision. Some of these decisions may be ethical and others may be unethical. It is up to management to install a system of values that will outline the way that people are supposed to act in conjunction with one another and a system that will ensure that there is correction when an unethical decision is made. Whether a decision is made by an employee or by a member of management, there must be policies in place that are able to correct these issues as soon as they happen.
When it comes to making an unethical decision sometimes this is affected by the very incentives that are put in place to drive production. A perfect example is the recent case with Wells Fargo, a previous company I used to work for, in which fraudulent accounts were opened up to allow sales people to meet their quota. Management had suggested that they were able to have a larger bonus if they were to hit their quota number. The problem however was that the demand needs were only so large and for that reason they decided that it was time to start splitting customers’ accounts into two. The direct result was that the salespeople were able to meet their quota, however the fallout is that many customers will now have blemishes on their credit. In addition to blemishes on their credit, there is also a very large issue with the fact that all of the employees turned a blind eye to what was happening as did upper management.
While the CEO of Wells Fargo has apologized for the actions of his employees many times, he has yet to really take any kind of action to make amends. All of the people who created the unethical issue are still in leadership. A few days ago he mentioned he will retire early but that still does not make whole all of the people who were affected by the issue.
When there is a person who has bias it can affect the decisions that are made by the person who is making them. That means that there are direct relationship problems with a person having bias and making a poor decision. This leads to an ongoing problem that will haunt the company as there can be issues with the choices that are made in the same example as Wells Fargo. It is very important that there is a clear ethics policy for the company as well as an outline on what should be expected in each situation.
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