The External Environment

Published October 24, 2014 by Mayrbear's Lair

evolution

As many contemporary corporate leaders will contend, operating a business in today’s global marketplace has become more difficult to manage on many levels, due to the continual evolution of technology and industry changes that occur. In their book, The External Environment of Business: Political, Economic, Social and Regulatory, Pagano and Verdin (1997) assert that even the most efficient leaders run into substantial obstacles because of circumstances that are beyond their control (Pagano & Verdin, 1997). For instance, 30 years ago, most people purchased their favorite music on a vinyl disc, cassette, or compact disc format. Today, however, most people are accustomed to downloading their favorite tunes for playback on an MP3 device. Those who were not able to foresee or adjust to industry changes, were forced to leave the market.


music

In the ebook, The Strategy Behind an External Analysis (soon to be released on audiobook), my research work revealed that the significant elements which affect a company’s external environment include the regulatory, technological, economic, social, and political factors (Berry, 2014). That’s because these components can have a profound effect on the products a company produces; the costs involved to manufacture, produce, and market them; and the profit margins that can affect their commerce and growth. For example, forces like oil cartels, automation, deregulation, environmental protection policies, equal opportunity legislation, and changes in social mores, influence the external arena. In fact, these changes are occurring so rapidly, that leaders are scrambling diligently to keep afloat, let alone maintain a competitive edge. Not only have innovative technological advances like smartphones and tablets changed the kinds of products being manufactured, but these inventive devices continue to help pave the way business is conducted.

technology

Another significant reason for including an external analysis as part of a company’s strategic planning process, is that it can also serve to help increase awareness on how an organization relates to the rest of society. This is an excellent way a company can assess more clearly, how they conduct themselves in a socially responsive manner. In the book, Developing Business Strategies, David Aaker (2001) suggests that an evaluation of the external environment also helps companies identify such proponents as: (a) consumer demographics and segmentation, (b) what factors motivate buyers, and (c) what the consumers needs are.

corporate citizenship

External analyses also include a look at competitor strategies so they can ascertain more clearly what they are up against such as performance, image, objectives, culture, and cost structures. Plus an external analysis also helps clarify what environment factors play a role in how the firm achieves successful outcomes including technological, government, economic, cultural, and demographic (Aaker, 2001). In conclusion, by implementing external analyses that ask the right questions, leaders are in a better position to create the kind of strategies that will lead their firms to achieve the most successful outcomes.

PAC Web

Well, that’s it for this week folks! Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your continued support! In the meantime, I am happy to announce I have just accepted a full time position as the Publications Writer for the Performing Arts Center at the College of Southern Nevada. To get ready for this exciting new position, I will be taking some time off. However, I will return with new posts again in November so stay tuned! Until then … keep organized and have a very Happy Halloween celebration!

Halloween

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A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all. – Michael LeBoeuf

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If you are interested in more tips and information on effective strategic planning or want to find out how to purchase any of our accelerated learning Business Life titles, please visit our website at:

Media Magic Publishing.

References:

Aaker, D. (2001). Developing business strategies (6th ed.). New York, NY: John Wileyand Sons, Inc.

Berry, M. A. (2014). Organizational management: The strategy behind an external analysis. Las Vegas: Kindle Direct Publishing.

Pagano, A., & Verdin, J. (1997). The external environment of business: Political, economic, social and regulatory (2nd ed.). Chicago, IL: Stipes Pub. LLC.

External Analyses Strategies

Published October 22, 2014 by Mayrbear's Lair

dazed

In a business arena,  managers that are unable to assess the environment they are up against, will most likely have a hard time navigating a course that will help them achieve their goals. Highly successful company leaders on the other hand, are able to see trends, anticipate how industry changes will affect them, and act quickly to adapt to them by devising strategies that will maintain their competitive edge. Business strategist expert, Michael Porter (2011) suggests that strategies should also include the identification of what actions not to take as much as deciding which actions to move forward on, especially because of the limited supply of resources that are available (Porter, 2011). For example, many companies implement strategies to keep costs down and may contemplate outsourcing certain tasks. Without conducting an external analysis to assess all the components and consequences involved in making this change, they risk not being fully prepared to weather any obstacles that may occur from this decision.

downsizing

The positive implications of this strategy, for example, will no doubt reduce the company’s resources in employment costs. The downside of this strategy, however, is that the company is looking to reduce the local work force. This will leave many well qualified individuals out of a job and seeking employment elsewhere. In other words, the outsourcing strategy implemented by the organization, will create a situation that helps contribute to the economic downturn of that community where the business operates. The organization, therefore, must also include in their external analyses strategies, how this change will affect the community and in turn effect their industry.

By including an external analyses in the developmental stages, leaders are in a better position to support more efficient methods and adjust to industry changes without creating a new set of challenges. In short, by laying-off local employees, the organization must address how this strategy will affect the consumers who because of their unemployment status, are no longer in a strong financial position to feel confident purchasing more goods and services. The implications, therefore, of downsizing and outsourcing, can be severe if the corporation does not also include in their analyses, how the changes may affect the economy of the populace that supports their business.

backgrounds button on a touch screen interface with icons

In the ebook, The Strategy Behind an External Analysis (soon to be released on audio book) my research work revealed that the brightest leaders developed the best strategic plans because they included external analyses to help them in the decision making process (Berry, 2014). To help them get a better idea of the significant threats and opportunities the firm may face, they ask some of the following questions:

·        What events are happening in the world arena?
·        What does this mean?
·        What changes need to occur for positive results?
·        What is the next step?

In conclusion, by addressing these and other important components about the external environment an organization is up against, leaders are in a better position to assess their weaknesses and strengths which in turn, can help them plot out the best navigational course for achieving their goals.

Well, that wraps up today’s post! Thanks again for stopping by! We will conclude the discussion on the importance of external analyses on Friday. Until then … stay organized my friends!

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However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results. – Winston Churchill

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If you are interested in more tips and information on effective strategic planning or want to find out how to purchase any of our accelerated learning Business Life titles, please visit our website at:

Media Magic Publishing.

References:

Berry, M. A. (2014). Organizational management: The strategy behind an external analysis. Las Vegas: Kindle Direct Publishing.

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

Challenges or Opportunities?

Published October 20, 2014 by Mayrbear's Lair

challenges or opportunites

In today’s economy, companies are bombarded with changes that are constantly presenting new challenges. These changes are forcing company leaders to adapt and develop new organizational strategies to maintain a competitive edge in the marketplace. The smartest leaders, however, perceive these challenges as opportunities for growth and expansion. For example, the U.S. Department of Labor indicates a trend that the nation’s work force has become smaller and mobile. A perceptive leader understands that this means companies are more vulnerable to the effects of global competition. In her book, Organizational Project Management: Linking Strategy and Projects, Rosemary Hossenlopp (2011) reveals some of the reasons these changes have occurred like: (a) the need to increase revenue and decrease costs, (b) restructuring events from mergers and acquisitions, (c) a continual need to increase efficiency, (d) the downsizing and outsourcing of services, (e) technological advances, and (f) legislative changes in banking and financial reporting policies (Hossenlopp, 2011). These significant components continue to change the world’s work force, leaving the arena with smaller more diverse staff members that operate from work environments that are now more virtual and mobile.

 virtual workforce

In addition, new challenges have occurred from the changes in technology that have contributed to an information revolution. These challenges are forcing leaders to develop more opportunities for efficiency. In the eBook, The Strategy Behind an External Analysis (soon to be released as an audio book) my research work reveals in more detail, how advances in technology are urging managers to make adjustments in how they run their organizations so that they can still achieve their goals (Berry, 2014). In the meantime, because of the shift in how commerce is conducted, it is even more imperative that leaders devise effective systems to evaluate their external environment to help ensure stakeholders that the firm will continue to reach successful outcomes.

 situation analysis

In her book, Strategic Management in Action, Mary Coulter (2010) explained that the external analysis process should include conducting a situation analysis strategy. This helps managers identify strengths, weaknesses, competitor strategies, and other critical issues the firm is facing. Coulter further suggests that leaders identify, consider, and evaluate some of these following components as well: (a) what is happening with the current economy; (b) how demographics for trends and population changes are affecting them; (c) what influence do the cultural values, behaviors, attitudes, and other social patterns have on the company; (d) how do the local laws, policies and regulations that are applicable affect them; and (e) what innovations and changes in technology are affecting their industry (Coulter, 2010). By analyzing these components leaders are better equipped to devise more effective strategies to achieve their goals. In short, because of the ongoing changes in the business arena, organizations that include an external analysis in their planning strategies become more capable of coping with uncertainty, and are therefore more likely to deliver higher performances.

Well, that’s it for today! Thanks for stopping by! Until Wednesday … 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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If you are interested in more tips and information on effective strategic planning or want to find out how to purchase any of our accelerated learning Business Life titles, please visit our website at:

Media Magic Publishing.

References:

Berry, M. A. (2014). Organizational management: The strategy behind an external analysis. Las Vegas: Kindle Direct Publishing.

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.

Persuasive Messages with Successful Outcomes

Published October 17, 2014 by Mayrbear's Lair
IAgreeIDisagree

On Wednesday we talked about transmitting a persuasive message. Today’s post takes a closer look at how to do so with successful outcomes. To begin the process, the individual must understand that to create a transmission with the intent of having a successful outcome, it must contain two elements: content and process. In his book, Management Communication, Donald Baack (2012) explains that the content of the message should include the following three components: (a) it should state the point of the message clearly; (b) it should stay focused on a maximum of three main points; and (c) each point must be presented separately and clearly for maximum effect.  In addition, when making a persuasive argument, the key points should also include a careful balance of emotion and logic. This helps create a flow that leads to the intended outcome (Baack, 2012). Equally important when delivering a persuasive message is to make sure the transmission includes credible evidence and that it states the case, proves it, and provides methods for solutions.

To create successful outcomes from the flow the messenger desires, for example, one strategy most often utilized, is known as the AIDA model. It was developed by American advertising and sales pioneer Elias St. Elmo Lewis who also coined the phrase (Suggett, 2013). The AIDA method involves four processes:

  • Attention: Capture attention and draw the audience into the idea;
  • Interest: Maintain interest by making sure members of the audience see the benefit to them;
  • Desire: Help audience members understand how change is beneficial and respond to questions and concerns;
  • Action: Lead the audience to the desired response or behavior.
excited
According to Baack, another form of persuasive message transmission that is often used with success, is called the psychological progressive pattern approach. This method involves a series of structured steps developed specifically to help individuals navigate towards changing their views. The steps in this strategy include: (a) arousal to capture attention, (b) tactics to dissatisfy the receiver to demonstrate a concern or bring attention to the issue, (c) gratification in showing how the solution will resolve the dissatisfying factor, (d) visualization to help the recipient of the transmission see the potential outcome; and (e) include actions that can be taken to support the position.
Explaining mortgage conditions

Other tactics of successful persuasive message transmission involve simpler problem-solving methods that merely require the messenger to: (a) define the problem, (b) explain the problem, including causes and effects, (c) outline and evaluate potential solutions, and (d) provide the most ideal solution. Regardless of which method is employed, the key in achieving successful outcomes when transmitting persuasive messages, is balancing emotion and logic so that the message is delivered as it was intended without causing the recipient to receive it in a way that will merit a defensive or negative response.

Well, that’s a wrap for this week everyone! Thanks for tuning in! Until next time … stay organized!
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Ninety percent of selling is conviction and ten percent is persuasion. – Shiv Khera
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If you are interested in more tips and information on effective communication, pick up a copy of Media Magic’s digital publication Breaching Communication Barriers. To find out more about our other digital publications, or to purchase any of our accelerated learning Business Life titles, please visit our website at:

References:
Baack, D. (2012). Management Communication. San Diego, CA, USA: Bridgepoint Education.
Suggett, P. (2013). Get to know and use AIDA. Retrieved October 14, 2014, from aboutmoney.com: http://advertising.about.com/od/successstrategies/a/Get-To-Know-And-Use-Aida.htm

Media Magic Digital Publishing

Published October 16, 2014 by Mayrbear's Lair

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If you are interested in getting more tips and information on building leadership skills or want to inquire further about our digital publications or purchase any of our accelerated learning Business Life titles, please visit:

Media Magic Publishing.

Tomorrow’s post will take a closer look at transmitting persuasive communication with successful outcomes. Until then … stay organized!

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To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.  – Tony Robbins

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Transmitting Persuasive Messages

Published October 15, 2014 by Mayrbear's Lair

arguing

The main objective of a persuasive argument is a successful outcome. In his book, Organizational Behavior, Donald Baack suggests that persuasion is used to urge, influence, or convince an individual(s) thoughts or actions.  In order for a persuasive transmission to be effective and positive however, the transmitter should have knowledge of the receiving audience, identify the messenger’s objectives as well as the objectives of the recipient, present persuasive evidence, keep the argument simple, listen carefully to objectives and responses, and keep personal emotions under control (Baack, 2012). That is a lot of information to absorb, but very effective for individuals that find themselves in a situation that requires the implementation of communicating a persuasive message.

boss employee

Communication, whether persuasive or not, and how one communicates that message to a manager, peer, or subordinate, highly depends on the situation and the relationship between each individual. Obviously communicating with your boss requires different communication skills than transmitting a message to a head strong teenager. Throughout my career, the times I was typically placed in a situation that required the delivery of a persuasive message was when I was seeking out help or additional resources for a project. In this environment I was required to present a credible reason to justify my needs. For the most part, I have been fortunate that I had very approachable managers or was part of a team where we were able to authentically discuss our problems together and worked hand in hand to achieve our goals. Although the deliverance of communication will vary between an individual and their manager or peers, the key component is establishing a level of trust, ease, and comfort.

Hard transmissions

Typically, all aspects of an organization’s structure flows from the top-down. Each level is represented by individuals with varying roles and responsibilities and may require different levels of communication strategies, especially when sending a persuasive message. This requires the individual delivering the transmission to engage critical thinking in the decision making process as well as comprehend the differences in communicating a message to a supervisor or an associate. In the eBook, Breaking Communication Barriers, my research work takes a closer look at how communication in all directions effects decision making in business organizations including ideas, suggestions, and complaints that flow from lower-ranking to higher-level managers (Berry, 2013). In short, knowing how to prepare a persuasive transmission for a top level manager, which includes the deliberation of the length of the message, would take a different form than communicating to that of a lower ranked staff member, especially about events which affect the company. A sort transmission, for instance, may omit key components that can help support the persuasive position. A message that is too long, on the other hand, can put the audience to sleep.

On Friday we will take a closer look at what it takes to deliver a persuasive transmission with successful results. Until then … stay organized!

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For good ideas and true innovation, you need human interaction, conflict, argument, debate. – Margaret Heffernan

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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:

Baack, D. (2012). Management Communication. San Diego, CA, USA: Bridgepoint Education.

Berry, M. A. (2013). Breaching Communication Barriers (Vol. 2). (C. Angela, Ed.) USA: Kindle Direct Publishing.

Arriving Soon …

Published October 14, 2014 by Mayrbear's Lair

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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.

Tomorrow’s post will take a closer look at persuasive communication. Until then … stay organized!

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The best CEOs I know are teachers, and at the core of what they teach is strategy. – Michael Porter

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