In Which Direction To Go… Strategy Choice

Strategy choice is a complex job for various reasons. Past data, current data and forecasted data should be examined carefully. Quantitative tools and analytical models must be employed keeping the firm’s strengths, industry attractiveness etc. in the background. Every attempt should be made to examine  issues of importance  from various angles. Factors such as internal political compulsions government policies, competitive reactions complicate the process further. The process often, produces multifarious alternatives. Identifying a clearly superior strategy, under the circumstances proves to be a tough job. The decision makers are, often compelled to use discretion, judgement and experience while striking a happy balance between competing , equally appealing strategic choices. Each issue needs to be tackled with a lot of care and caution.

Past strategy strongly influences current strategy choice. Current strategists, who have built past strategies through painstaking efforts, do not completely break away from familiar  routes. Since they have  invested lot of time resources, and energies in developing these strategies, they tend  to make a choice that closely parallels or involves incremental alterations to the current strategy. Embarking on a totally new ground would render existing resources and personnel somewhat redundant. If the old strategy proves to be successful one, it becomes emotionally very difficult to embrace a totally new path since it may upset organizational momentum. People are used to do things this way. This kind of mental rigidity comes in the way of moving away from established, familiar routes. Strategists find it very difficult to come out of the mental trap created by themselves even when past strategies fail to deliver the goods. It is therefore, not totally surprising to find changes at the top level whenever the firm fails to retain its market leadership. Replacing top executives often lessens the influences of unsuccessful  past strategy on future choice. Strategic change  is less likely if new executives are promoted  from within and it is least likely if the existing management group remains in power.

Managerial attitudes towards risk is another factor that has a significant bearing  on strategic choice. Risk averse managers prefer to go by past trends and strategies. Where attitudes favour risk, the range of the strategic choice expands. Managers tend to assume aggressive postures and are open to high risk strategies. Likewise managers operating in highly volatile industries absorb and tolerate greater amount of risk  than do their counterparts operating in stable industries. Industry evolution is another important determinant of managerial propensity towards risk. A firm, in the early  stages  of the product market cycle likewise, has to bear with greater amounts of risk and uncertainty than a firm in the later stages of that cycle.

When environmental conditions change, managers are forced to assume aggressive postures at least temporarily to ward off competitive threats. When Amul  started playing the role of market leader in the Pizza industry by pricing its product at Rs 20 other players were also forced to reduce the price and absorb the shocks inflicted by the competitor. One thing to be observed here is that risk prone decision makers often limit the amount of information they consider and tend to take decisions quickly.

Multinational companies in India acknowledge that their strategic alternatives are often dictated by national, industrial and economic policies   framed by government. In short, the nature of a firm’s decision making process is likely to change in tune with its dependence on certain external factors.

Internal Political Considerations: Internal political  forces influences  strategic choice on many occasions. Dominant coalitions within a company exert lot of pressure when a particular choice affects their functioning in a significant way. Thus, public sector bank unions have opposed the introduction of computerization process in early 1990s quite vehemently. In most public sector units bureaucrats, administrative staff and  politicians often form opportunistic alliances with a view to stop the government in power from divesting unviable units or departments. The alarming situation in State Electricity Boards, Transport Corporations should have forced any government to stop funding or subsidizing their operations – but   for the strong protests from noisy unions. Coalitions do work for their own self interests for fairly obvious reasons. A strong CEO can always cleanse the system (as HLL did in the case of Modern Food Industries Ltd., Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) did in the case of CMC at an amazing speed) and turn the tables on coalitions howsoever well connected, politically influential they might be. Sometimes, lower level managers too may limit the strategic options considered by top management. Thus, Power, in this study of strategic decisions in a large corporation found that lower level executives  suggested strategic choices that were likely to be accepted and withheld suggestions which were  not likely to be approved.

  • Chelseafc63

    Strategy is a challenge, people make it complicated, you get templates for everything these days, how about strategy, is there a set of questions that one can use?

  • Laxmivenurao

    strategy  is always important in doing good,
    for all living beings,
    we shall conserve our resources,
    for one & all.

    Nature balances !

  • Nair Indu

    nice article…..

  • Hklrao

     It is important   to to know in which direction the Organization should move and how the staff  to be trained and directed. This is vital for corporate strategy formulation. This article from Rao has very lucidly brought out  for the benefit of HR Executrices. It is also important to develop programs for better allocation of jobs/ placements; read and act: It is free for network members!

    Dr.H.K.Lakshman Rao Ph.D(Mgmt.),M.Phil (Statistics)

    M.Sc(Stat), M.A(D.Ed.),M.A(Pub.Adm),M.A(R.D) M.Sc(Psy,),
    M.A(Econ,) , M.A. English,

    OR & SQC (ISI.),AMP (IIMA), DDE. SAS Cert.

    (Former Gen.
    Manager MFL & Prof. & Head Dept. Management CEC)

    Management, Corporate ,
    Statistical, Hospital , Academic  &
    Placement/six sigma Consultant

    “ANUGRAHA”, 33, Krishnapuri, R.A.Puram, Chennai – 600 028

    Ph: 044-24616184,  M: 09381036989, e-mail: hklrao@gmail.com

                                                                                                                                                                              

     Programs for better placements

     

     

    A-BETTER QUALITY ENGLISH
    FOR BETTER PLACEMENTS

    Learning better English would open
    new  opportunities and bring  greater self confidence and
    Esteem,besides enhancing other skills such as :leadership ,negotiation, IPR.
    It  can make one smarter and builds courage and risk taking ability.Why
    should  one block opportunities !. Learn Better English and open new
    Windows for you . Empower yourself  and tap your inner potential!- Speak
    better Write better, Read better-English, Express yourself better with
    confidence.This is an Art and skill to be learnt and nurtured

    Spoken English

    English is the only language that links the global village today. English
    has become the key instrument of globalization. Today, English has become the
    chosen language of communication and your success is based on your grip on
    spoken English. What is paramount today is, knowing how to use the English
    language rather than just knowing it. Spoken English has become an indicator of
    a family’s social status. Often a child is judged by how well the parents can
    converse in English. Many schools interview parents along with the ward when
    approached for admission. Often there is extreme peer pressure on kids and they
    too are accepted depending on the way they converse in English. It is mostly
    the deciding factor for acceptance in a group.

    Spoken English modules are based on the candidates’ existing level of
    understanding and comfort with English.

     

    In the current  emerged competitive, challenging, dynamic  and global
    environment, developing  Better English  & Analytical skills and
    capabilities have  indeed become vital  for greater placements and
    employability .
    According to a recent report in the Hindu  over 85% of the MBA, PG 
    and Engineering students  are not employable as they lack communication
    and analytical capability’ and Soft-Skills/Etiquette ,as  per corporate
    recruiters. These skills  have to be developed and practiced for career
    growth/path and to get sustained self confidence. Ability to clearly express is
    the key to success in any field of endeavor . In response  to this urgent
    need , for the benefit of Students  seeking placements and 
    also  for staff working in Corporate environment & Public systems ,
    a  three- day , highly participative, application oriented program”How to Read, Speak  & Write ,better English and
    develop Analytical Skills” has
    been  designed & developed  by Dr. H.K.LakshmanRao, Management
    & Placement Consultant  based on his vast  Academic and Industry
    experience.These modular Workshops    would be conducted
    as in house, in – Institution  programs  at their locations during
    week ends by a team of highly qualified and experienced professors and
    consultants.
       The key to success is  developing  ability to
    communicate and think &  act Analytically,be-Smart!

    The program package  would broadly  cover:

    General EnglishEffective communicationsBusiness EnglishSpoken  EnglishLetter WritingDeveloping speeches for occasions/EventsEssentials of GrammarConstruction of sentences, Paraphrasing, SummarizingReading  for self and PublicListening SkillsPublic Speaking in EnglishReporting – Oral and verbalQuizGroup discussionsTranslations- Methods and stylesPresentationsAnalytical Methods- Data Collection, Analysis, Interpretation
    Reporting using Statistical techniques/Computer applications

    B-Schools, Engineering
    Colleges,Corporate organizations Pharmaceutical and other Marketing &
    Services   organizations would benefit by training their students and
    staff

    The core faculty would
    include : Dr. H.K.LakshmanRao , Management & Placement Consultant &
    Prof. V. Ramachandran,Management Consultant and Corporate trainer

    Course certificate would be issued
    to successful candidates after a test

     For details Institutions and Corporate organizations can Contact Dr.
    H.K.LakshmanRao  through email:hklrao@gmail.com,
    Mob:09381036989

    Dr.H.K.LakshmanRao
    Management, Statistical & Corporate Consultant, Chennai

    B-

    BUSINESS
    ANALYTICS, STATISTICS & Six- Sigma

    In the recent times,  understanding, developing and
    adopting Business analytics, Six- Sigma Principles   and statistical
    skills  have become vital and Corporate executives/ Managers  and
    Researchers are developing these skills in a big way for better resources
    management, quality, higher  customer satisfaction and waste control. in
    manufacturing, services sectors besides public systems-Rao

     

    ,Descriptive statistics are used to
    examine or explore one variable at a time. However, the relationship between
    two variables can also be described as with correlation and regression.
    Inferential statistics test hypotheses about differences or
    relationships in populations on the basis of measurements made on samples.
    Inferential statistics can help us decide us if a difference or relationship
    can be considered real or just a chance fluctuation.

     In innumerable ways the data stored/ maintained in  Hospitals,
    Health Care systems, retailing  can be analyzed, and the environment can
    be Analytuically understood for operational and strategic decisions  The
    computer facilities can be maximized for better managment, forecasting,
    estimating and evaluating etc.

    Why don’t we use and benefit from the tools and techniques?

    For
    more details and for a intensive two day Modular program contact:

     Dr.
    H.K.LakshmanRao -hklrao@gmail.com, Mob- 9381036989

    Dr.H.K.LakshmanRao
    Management, Statistical & Corporate Consultant, Chennai

    Dr.H.K.LakshmanRao
    Management, Statistical & Corporate Consultant, Chennai

    Reply

    Forward

  • Valan

    It good article for where I am and which direction I have to go with my professional.Good article.The organisation like NGO working for people for development purpose They do know which direction they are going .Each director take the charge change the direction how we can stop.

  • Manoj

    One of my friend is looking for job in HR . If anyone is having vacancy in  Mumbai, plz let me know. She has done her MBA in finance.

    Rgds,
    Manoj Shah
    9867888219

  • Sbaruah

    in an organization mission and vision dictates the planning and execution of various steps at unit level as well as shop floor level. But most important is the direction and strategy to achieve  the goal has to be well defined. Multi direction and internal pulling, improper communication and above all individual ego leads to failure of an organisation. a strong leader can direct the team to march towards the goal.  

  • Claire

    Its a very good article especially for those of us in HR. As HR experts we need to be visible in the boardrooms and understanding corporate strategy is the begining.

  • Gbrain05

    Its an interesting article on undersanding the corporate strateies