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Strategic management for alumni associations

  2. A Paper Presented at a Two-Day Workshop on Strategic Management and Organisational Performance Organised by the Alumni Association of the Kaduna Polytechnic in Association with the Tsangaya Human Resource, March 17-18, 2020
  3. PREAMBLE  SMP is a blend of ‘strategy’ or astute thinking and ‘management’ or action driving process.  It is a veritable instrument for vision and mission delivery.  It is all about putting thinking into action to attain set goals.  This paper discusses ‘strategic management process for Alumni Associations’ with particular attention to the Kaduna Polytechnic Alumni Association (KPAA).
  4. TYPICAL STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT SCENARIOS  In a typical strategic management scenario, Generals in command of Theatres of War drive the momentum, as well as, feel the heat of raging battles by sheer will power and thought connectivity built and sustained on an active orbital feedback system.  The same scenarios occur among leaders in the conduct of business, industry, events, administration or governance, and Alumni Associations at all levels.  These scenarios demand efforts by leadership in SMP for achieving sets goals or objectives
  5. Thought Lines Leaders establish the vision for the future and set the strategy for getting there - S. P. Kotter Strategy without process is little more than a wish list. – Robert Filek
  7. Background  SMP is “… not only a process to form a strategy overlaying the management system, but also a form of management based on strategy …” (Nanes, 2003:47).  Its components include environmental scanning, strategy formulation, strategy implementation and evaluation in a circular domain connecting thinking and action, determined by environmental stimulus.
  8. Literature and Theorem Literature survey on the subject reveals emphasis on ways to simplify and understand the multifarious nature of strategic management. The complex and contingency nature of strategic management blends an agenda resource-based, structure-conduct- performance, agency and other theories.
  9. Components of smp Environmental scanning; Strategy formulation; Strategy implementation, and; Strategy review or evaluation They operate in a circular domain connecting thinking and action, determined by environmental stimulus. This is seen as the Strategic Management Process.
  11. Strategic Management  SMP is an objective, logical, systematic and continuous approach for making major decisions and taking actions in an organization  It is defined as a dynamic process of strategy formulation, implementation, evaluation and control  SMP is synonymous to strategic planning in exploiting and creating new opportunities for the future based on present trends or conditions
  12. Strategy Formulation  Strategy formulation is the task of analyzing the organization’s internal and external environments, and selecting or devising appropriate plans or strategies in setting goals or objectives and ways of achieving them.  The baseline task of SMP involves the establishment of mission and vision statements, environmental analysis or scanning, setting goals or objectives, and the ways and means for attainment.
  13. Data Synthesis Data Synthesis combines outcomes from different assumptions on overall effects of particular intervention to arrive at clear pattern for decision and action
  14. Environmental Scanning Environmental Scanning is the systematic process of close monitoring or detecting for environmental signals for use in tactical and strategic decision making, action or formulation of tasks by Commanding Officers
  15. SWOT Analysis  SWOT or strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats Analysis is a veritable instrument or method of strategic planning used in strategy formulation.  It evaluates strengths or advantages over others; weaknesses or disadvantages relative to others; opportunities or chances for progress; and threats or causes for concern.  SWOT analysis is the work room of strategy formulation in SMP where results of data synthesis and environmental scanning are put together for evaluation.  It is used to identify strategies and align them to available resources and capabilities to realities of the environment.
  16. Strategy Implementation  Strategy implementation is the second stage task after strategy formulation, involving the application or execution of plans through series of decisions and actions in pursue of set goals or objectives.  This task rests on the shoulders of Commanders for communication of mission, allocation of tasks and resources and coordination of cross-functional relationships.  Strategy implementation has resource management as pivotal challenge where planning assumptions faces situational realities of operations.
  17. Strategy Evaluation And Control  Strategy evaluation and control constitutes the final tier completing the tasks of the strategic management cycle.  Strategy evaluation and control revolve on principles of monitoring and evaluation which completes the cycle or process of strategic management – and starts all over again - and again.
  19. Responsibilities for Strategic Management  Responsibilities for strategy rests on the shoulders of executives, like the members of the KPAA ExCo who handle inputs and outputs of decision making components and processes of organizations.  The strategic management therefore reflects the application of day-to-day activities aimed at achieving the overall goals and objectives of organizations. It is all about getting the job done or ‘job must be do’ as seen in the Nigerian Military ethos
  20. SMP and Leadership Cadre The KPAA ExCo provide general management; relate strategy and operations; re-orient performance to set objectives; and establish long- term directions and results. By implications the ExCo Members represent the leadership cadre or core group charged with the Strategic Management Process of the Association
  22. Strategy And Management  A good blend of ‘strategy’ and ‘management’ in SMP would produce ‘astute thinking’ and ‘action drive’ by use of ‘will power’ on an effective ‘feedback system’  In the hands of abled leadership with well-articulated plan of action and sound strategy, SMP is a veritable instrument for vision and mission delivery.
  23. Benefits Of SMP  The principal benefit of SMP has been to help organizations formulate better strategies through the use of a more systematic, logical, and rational approach to strategic choice.  Communication as key to successful SMP helps to achieve understanding and commitment throughout the organization.  The SMP empowers more and more organizations as they decentralize their activities for efficiency and effectiveness.
  24. The Use Of Will Power  Will power is the ability to resist deviation in pursuit of mindset on goals or objectives often associated strength of character in decision making and implementation (APA, 2017).  Political or Unit Will power is the collective will power of both commanders and the rank and file in an operation.  A strong willpower would relentlessly pursue set goals and objectives in decision making and implementation.
  25. Feedback System  Feedback is the return of output to the input as it affects performance; it is a response, reaction or pointer to the next step of affairs.  A feedback loop is a cycle of mutual reinforcement which enables the sensing and measurement of activities for necessary response.  It is an instrument of Command and leadership in SMP.  An effective feedback system allows for two-way free communication which encourages dialogues in a top-down and bottom-up combination rhythm (Verma, 2017).
  27. Weakness Of The Will  The lack of willpower is the most significant hindrance to converting the threshold of thought, intent or policy into goal, result or objective through strategy as embedded in the strategic management process.  Weakness of the will not only hinders implementation of decisions and responsibilities, but also responsible for culminated high rate of policy summersault, reversal or abandonment (Egwu, 2017).  Leaders and followers alike are often held to ransom in a culture of powerlessness and situation of progress trap.
  28. Ineffective Feedback System  The absence of an effective feedback loop leads to stagnation in activities and weakens the necessary inaction among function components of an organization.  It is also a sign of weak leadership and lack of direction, especial when situations are devoid of the commitment of key players in affairs of governance (Egwu, 2017; Galadima, 2017).  This is likened to the ‘Tomato Effect’ when you spend time, energy and materials planting and taking care of tomato only to let it rot; what was the point of doing it in the first place.
  30. Intent And Action  To avoid the ‘Tomato Effect’ in action plans and implementation, SMP must be conducted for effective operations.  Strategy implementation therefore requires active drive to move ideas in thinking, to results of action.  To be able to this, Officials at all levels need to possess audacious minds capable of job delivery without weakness of will power.
  31. Inculcating Audacity  Audacity is boldness, daring, or willingness to challenge assumptions or conventions against all odds to tackle something difficult or dangerous.  For example, President Obama is described as audacious in outstanding performances and achievements against all odds in his tenure at the White House (Chait, 2017).  Inculcating and promoting audacity among Officials would trigger and sustain SMP for effective service delivery.
  32. Always Audacity
  34. Summary  Action plans bear specific objectives and guidelines on implementation;  SMP produces way and means for attaining set goals objectives; and  If there is Will and Effective SMP action plans are deliverable.
  35. Conclusion This paper concludes that the challenge and burden of SMP rests on the shoulders of KPAA ExCo charged with decisions and actions; and that a strong willpower and efficient feedback system are needed for effective SMP.
  36. AN ENDING NOTE “A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decision, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others … by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent” – Douglas MacArthur
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