Summary of Unit 9 - Strategy Implementation

Every company´s corporate strategy is a complex combination of measures and activities aiming to achieve the goals outlined. The implementation of a company strategy is a combination of interrelated activities undertaken according to standards and schedule and which are coordinated in advance. This is the final and most important stage, following the identification of goals and outlining of measures and activities to achieve them. Very often the best strategies fail if adequate measures and actions for their execution are not taken. The successful implementation of every strategy is based on the management skills and team work.
This unit discusses the importance of the functional rules/policies as a system of standardized processes, procedures and guidelines for the employees; and the practical steps for functional rules development.
SMEs managers will learn more about business process management and how to apply it in various fields. Business processes consist of specific, measurable tasks executed in such a way as to achieve specific results. They always have internal and external users; take place within an organization or between different organizations and are based on how work is done. Business process management is applicable on all management levels and all fields and is a solid basis for the SMEs competitiveness. It reduces costs, increases performance and saves time. The success of process management depends on the methodology to be applied, the experience, skills and creativeness of the managers and the team support.
In the current dynamic environment the capacity to deal with the continuous progress of technologies, with markets and organizational issues is extremely important for the successful implementation of the SME?s strategic priorities. This unit discusses also the key skills necessary for the successful management of risks, crises and changes.
Risk management helps the company avoid predictable risks, protects from bad investment decisions and reduces losses and damages from unpredictable events. Enterprise risk management (ERM) is the process of planning, organizing, and controlling the activities of an organization to minimize the effects of all kinds of risk: starting from those associated with accidental losses, financial, strategic, operational and other related types of risks. The elements making up this process and the practical steps to prepare and implement a risk management plan are explained. The main techniques for dealing with risk are listed: risk transfer, avoidance, loss control, retention, insurance).
The notion of crisis in a social and business context is explained as well as the role of crisis management to overcome all critical situations which every business experiences. The 3 stages of crisis management are explained: programming, proactive management and post crisis, and the basic principles of company behaviour in a crisis.
Change management as part of the strategy implementation management is a process in which controlled changes are carried out in a system according to established frameworks or models. While project management deals with the "technical" and "business" side of change, change management focuses on the human element. Team motivation and skills are of great importance and bring market advantages in a changing environment. The process is long and not easy; it causes stress and arouses resistance in people. The phases of adaptation during a transition are presented and the way skilled managers could help employees accept and support the changes which are beneficial for the company. The enclosed check lists for managers will help company managers and owners to assess their readiness to successfully manage changes in their organizations.
During the last decade strategic thinking and planning of intellectual, information and human resource potential have become increasingly important for company development and this makes innovation policy and management crucial for the successful strategy implementation. Innovation is a process of utilization of knowledge or certain information to create and introduce something new and useful. The company innovation policy goals are to achieve progress and competitive advantage in the market through the introduction of innovation: i.e. new products; production, supply and distribution technologies and equipment; changes in organizations, management and working conditions. The company innovation strategy consists of physical and technical, labour and financial components and depends on the internal and external environment. Many small and medium enterprises have neither human nor technical resources to carry out their own research and the best way to benefit from innovations is to cooperate with outside organizations, universities, etc. Even then the company should allocate adequate human and financial resources to implement its innovation strategy.