Trends in Organizational Strategies

Published September 19, 2014 by Mayr Berry

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In today’s market, organizations face many changes that create both opportunities and challenges as well. In his book, Organizational Project Management, Hossenlopp (2011) reminds us that some of the challenges organizations face today stem from the pressures of globalization, their need to increase revenue while decreasing costs, and regulation changes in banking policies (Hossenlopp, 2011). Company leaders that are able to observe and anticipate industry trends, however, are better equipped to act quickly with strategies that will help them maintain their competitive edge.

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In her book, Strategic Management, Mary Coulter (2010) explained that situation analysis strategies are meant to help leaders identify their strengths and weaknesses and the impact they have on organizational outcomes. In other words, if business leaders are unable to evaluate components like the flow of the economy or identify demographics that can effect trends in their market, it can have an negative impact on their ability to achieve successful goals (Coulter, 2010).

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Michael Porter (2011), the leading authority on competitive business strategy, purports that savvy leaders are also cognizant of what actions to refrain from as well in running their businesses (Porter, 2011). Plus, due to the globalization of information and advances in technology the business landscape continues to evolve. This means leaders must also consider developing and implementing strategies with systems to help them evaluate the external environment to keep up with industry changes.

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In my ebook, The Value of Corporate Strategic Management (2013), my research work outlines how the evaluation of these and other components help industry leaders develop more efficient strategies while avoiding an economic crisis in the process (Berry, 2013). In the entertainment industry, for example, to maintain a competitive edge, artists devise strategies with the intent on setting new trends, like Lady Gaga, or keeping their theatrical productions fresh and entertaining. For instance, I was part of a production team hired to create special effects for Jim Stafford’s Show in Branson, Missouri. His show had been playing successfully for many years there. Headline performers like Jim, run the same show on a regular schedule. Because of this, they implement a variety of business strategies to keep the show thrilling and contemporary.

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One method they incorporate is to hire a production team like ours, to add visual effects, pyrotechnics, and illusions to enhance a show. Stafford, a seasoned and consummate guitar player, was also working a new song into the show that highlighted his genius as an experienced musician. He wanted to make the performance more exciting by adding fog and smoke effects with pyrotechnics to the segment. Stafford’s show also features guest artists that perform short skits or musical numbers that showcase talented singers. Another business strategy the producers incorporate, for example, is a periodic change to these guest segments by introducing a new dance routine or working a new song into the show from a current hit movie.

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These are some of the tactics that are used in this industry to help headliners maintain a competitive edge. It also serves to keep the production fresh and more appealing to modern audiences. Plus, this addresses another important component that can be detrimental to any live show. Headliners that perform the same show over an extended period of time, tend to become complacent which can result in stagnating performances. There is nothing worse for a theater goer who pays premium price to see a top caliber show only to experience entertainers that are bored and not committed to the performance process. The inclusion of a strategic plan that adds new elements to a live stage production also keeps the entertainers excited and more engaged. In conclusion, because changes in today’s business arena can occur at lightning speed, leaders with well researched and developed strategic plans will most  likely achieve higher outcomes over the long term because they are able to cope better with uncertainty in an ever changing landscape.

Well, that wraps things up on organizational strategies for this week. Have a great weekend everyone and stay organized. Ciao for now!

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Sound strategy starts with having the right goal. – Michael Porter

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For more information on Media Magic, our digital publications, or to purchase any of our accelerated learning Business Life titles, please visit our website at:

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References:

Berry, M. A. (2014). The Value of Strategic Management. USA: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.

Coulter, M. (2010). Strategic management in action (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.

Hossenlopp, R. (2011). Organizational project management: Linking strategy and projects. Vienna, VA: Management Concepts.

Porter, M. (2011). HBR’s 10 must reads on strategy. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Review Press.

Strategies For Successful Outcomes

Published September 17, 2014 by Mayr Berry

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In my strategic management course at Ashford University, our professor, Dr. Thomas Steinhagen (2014) stated that there are a number of reasons why businesses fail. He purports that all too often businesses fail because entrepreneurs believe that simply because they are passionate about a hobby they can translate that hobby into a gainful venture. While as is too often case, they eventually learn that substantial business skills, a driven entrepreneurial spirit, financial issues, and a host of other challenges will plague companies that are started without a solid business plan and a focus on a product or service that meets their target market (Steinhagen, 2014).

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Steinhagen also suggested that successful entrepreneurs acknowledge that even though they bring their knowledge to the business arena, successful outcomes require delegating the reins of the company to those who are more qualified to operate the management and supervisory components as well as navigate the strategic planning and execution process while implementing those strategic plans effectively. In other words, ineffective management is a common failure among small businesses and entrepreneurs.

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To drive this point home, Steinhagen also shared a story with us about a new restaurant that had opened in the town where he lived. It was 50’s theme establishment called Studebaker’s. His observation was that the establishment was under managed and under financed in terms of capital. For example, only a few vinyl 45 records were sparsely displayed on the wall. In addition, he noticed that the youthful management did not seem to comprehend clearly, what it meant to have a 50’s themed environment. According to our instructor, it took approximately two months after they opened, until they had to close their doors. He had the impression it was someone’s dream, because it was apparent they amassed the capital required to open the business, however they had not secured the long-term capital necessary to continue their operations for the long term. He speculated that perhaps they relied on unrealistic expectations of the business, or failed to factor in projections and expectations from incoming revenue in the strategic planning process.

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Finally, he asked us to consider that while many people talk about and focus their energy on location, location, location, in terms of the real estate factor, Dr. Steinhagen expounded on that concept by adding that although the location of a business is critical in terms of customer flow, business owners must also consider in addition to customer patterns, the demographics that relate to successful business operations in any given target market. In other words, businesses are more likely to achieve successful outcomes, when leaders put their focus on the consumer and include marketing strategies at the top of their list in terms of understanding the demographics of those customers and the locations. On Friday I will take a closer look at how resources can be used as a strategy. Until then … stay organized!

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The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do. – Michael Porter

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For more information on Media Magic, our digital publications, or to purchase any of our accelerated learning Business Life titles, please visit our website at:

Media Magic Publishing.

References:

Steinhagen, D. T. (2014, February). What it takes to run a successful business. San Diego, CA.

Breaching Communication Barriers Accelerated Learning

Published September 16, 2014 by Mayr Berry

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In this title, Mayr’s graduate research work from Ashford University will help the listener understand the value of effective communication. She takes a closer look at why it is an important tool for leaders in organizational management and how it can also help establish more meaningful relationships in our personal lives.

Effective Leadership

Mayr has worked with some of the most respected leaders in a variety of industries, including motivational author, Anthony Robbins,  legendary Music Producer and rock icon, Alan Parsons and Branson Missouri headliner Jim Stafford. To help illustrate some of these significant concepts, she has included in her research work examples from her own experiences working with some of these prestigious leaders, as well as offers a few insights from her corporate adventures as an insider and alumnus at Capitol-EMI Records where she was respected as a trusted staff member and worked directly with upper management including the company’s CEOs, Presidents, and divisional Vice Presidents. Mayr’s research work is focused on how important communication skills are for engaging in active listening and comprehending verbal and nonverbal communication tactics, while avoiding criticizing or offending others. These are a few of the important components this title touches on for anyone interested in achieving more successful outcomes in leadership roles.

For more information on Media Magic, our digital publications, or to purchase any of our accelerated learning Business Life titles, please visit our website at:

Media Magic Publishing.

Times They Are A-Changin’

Published September 15, 2014 by Mayr Berry

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In today’s business world, organizations face many changes that create both opportunities and challenges as well. In my eBook, The Value of Corporate Strategic Management (2014), my research revealed a study conducted for the U.S. Department of Labor by the Rand Corporation, suggested that the nation’s work force is becoming smaller, more diverse, more mobile, and more vulnerable to global competition (Berry, 2014). This trend presents both positive and negative implications for business leaders when it comes to the development of organizational strategies. For example, Hossenlopp (2011) reported that some of the specific challenges organizations are facing include: (a) the pressure of globalization, (b) the need to increase profits while decreasing costs, (c) chaos from mergers and acquisitions, (d) an ongoing need to increase efficiency, (e) downsizing and outsourcing, (f) keeping up with the accelerated rate in technological advances, and (g) policies and legislative changes in banking and financial reporting (Hossenlopp, 2011). These are some of the significant components that have changed the world’s work force, transforming it into an arena with smaller more diverse staff support. As a result of these radical changes companies are creating environments that are virtual and mobile. This is because of their vulnerability to the effects of globalization.

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Conditions in the music industry, for instance, are highly competitive and unpredictable. Wilkstrom  (2013) suggests that in order to make a profit in the former economy of this industry, the record  company’s top goal was to maximize revenue and minimize unauthorized use (Wikstrom,  2013). In addition, they continued to face risks from their dependency to identify, sign and  retain artists with long term potential as well as the continued success of their current roster. Furthermore, the growth from digital and online music markets forever changed the music industry as they continued to experience a rapid decline of the physical market.

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Success driven companies, however, are able to see trends and anticipate industry changes that will affect them and devise plans quickly to adapt to them to help maintain a competitive advantage.  Michael Porter (2011) suggests that it is just as important to identify what actions not to take as well (Porter, 2011).  Leaders therefore, must develop efficient methods to adjust to industry changes without creating a new set of challenges. For instance, by evaluating some of these components, managers can develop strategies to adjust to a smaller workforce without creating an economic crisis. This can occur by devising systems to anticipate changes rather than simply create strategies as a response to a crisis or other urgent issues and pressing situations. Because of the rapid changes in the business environment, organizations that are able to cope with uncertainty are more likely to deliver higher performances. On Wednesday we will continue our discussion on effective strategies to cope with industry changes. Until then … stay organized!

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Strategy is about making choices, trade-offs; it’s about deliberately choosing to be different. – Michael Porter

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Lippincott Room at Princeton University Press
 
For more information on Media Magic, our digital publications, or to purchase any of our accelerated learning Business Life titles, please visit our website at: Media Magic Publishing.
 
References:

Coulter, M. (2010). Strategic management in action (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.
Hossenlopp, R. (2011). Organiztional project management: Linking strategy and projects. Vienna, VA: Management Concepts.
Porter, M. (2011). HBR’s 10 must reads on strategy. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Review Press.

Wikstrom, P. (2013). The music industry: Digital media and society series. Malden, MA: Polity Press.

Rothaermel, F. (2013). Strategic management. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Strategizing With Organizational Knowledge

Published September 12, 2014 by Mayr Berry

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On Wednesday’s post we discussed a few ways that organizational knowledge is captured and used. Today’s post takes a look at how leaders use this knowledge to help them in the strategic planning process. For example, in my eBook, The Value of Corporate Strategic Management (2014), my research work revealed that organizational knowledge can be effective in the development of management strategy plans because it helps leaders formulate actions and activities that are focused on reaching a company’s goals (Berry, 2014). One strategy, for instance, a firm can implement to achieve the best chance of success, is to develop tactics that will help them embrace change.

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In her book, Strategic Management in Action, Mary Coulter (2010) asserts that when a firm has a weak standing in their industry, it is likely it will be reflected by lower profits.  This includes the implementation of creativity to encourage innovative ideas that will help them provide quality products and services (Coulter, 2010). This strategy is effective for the development of a firm whose intent is to stand way above the others and doing so by avoiding insular or isolated tactics. Leaders that cultivate organizations in an isolated environment, for example, face creating barriers which can prevent them from receiving important information that can affect their industry. It can also cause issues in acquiring resources and support. Plus it keeps them from missing out on trends that may result in their falling behind on what is considered new and innovative. These are important components for keeping in touch with consumer demands and needs.

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Finally, and equally important, is an organization’s ability to keep it fresh. Implementing strategies like situation analysis is imperative for keeping a company in check. Many managers, for instance, have a tendency to find out and establish what works, then become complacent by staying the course. This “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” tactic tends to create a lethargic and stagnant working environment; one where workers lose focus and are prone to making more errors. This can occur because of lower performance levels which result from the automatic pilot method of operation they have become accustomed to. To prevent this, the most effective leaders incorporate systems and programs to keep staff members motivated and inspired.

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In conclusion, companies that develop strategies meant to keep employees enthusiastic about their work, at entry and upper management levels, can help cultivate a staff that: (a) is proud of the firm, (b) are motivated to achieve more successful outcomes, and (c) are happy to offer their loyalty. In short, by applying organizational knowledge as part of a firm’s strategic management plans leaders are in a better position to navigate a firm through the fertile paths of success.

Well that wraps things up for this week. Have a great weekend everyone …  and stay organized!

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“You may never have proof of your importance but you are more important than you think. There are always those who couldn’t do without you. The rub is that you don’t always know who.”  – Robert Fulghum

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For more information on Media Magic, our digital publications, or to purchase any of our accelerated learning Business Life titles, please visit our website at: Media Magic Publishing.

References:
Berry, M. A. (2014). The Value of Strategic Management. USA: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.

Coulter, M. (2010). Strategic management in action (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.

Accelerated Learning Business Tools

Published September 11, 2014 by Mayr Berry

Media Magic Publishing Presents:

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For more information on Media Magic, our digital publications, or to purchase any of our accelerated learning Business Life titles, please visit our website at: Media Magic Publishing.

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