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Discussion – Week 1

Comparison of Strategic Planning Across Organizations

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How does strategic planning vary from one organization to another? What similarities cut across the type and size of organizations as well as the fields in which they operate? For this Discussion, you will compare multiple organizations to gain a deeper understanding of the issues that surround strategic planning efforts.

Prepare for this Discussion as follows:

  • Select two organizations of interest to you: one in the health care field and the other in a different field (e.g., technology, education, entertainment). You may use the suggestions listed under Optional Resources as well as other credible resources to conduct initial research and identify one or both of the organizations for this Discussion. For one of the two, you may focus on an organization in which you are currently working if you would like.
  • Gather information about each organization, noting key characteristics such as the following:
    • What type of organization is it?
    • What size is the organization? How is size measured?
    • Where is it located?
      What can you tell about its financial performance?
    • What can you tell about its human resources?
    • What is happening within the organization or in the external environment that might inform strategic planning?
    • What circumstances do you think influence the pace or time lines of strategic planning?

      If possible, gather actual information about strategic planning in this organization.

  • From the Learning Resources, identify success factors for strategic planning. What are some of the planning pitfalls? Which of these do you think might influence strategic planning and management in each of the organizations you have selected? How so?

    Based on your research and the information presented in the Learning Resources, what issues or concerns do you think might draw attention and resources away from strategic planning in these organizations?

  • What do you think the major benefits of strategic planning could be for each organization? How would you argue for a focus on strategic planning, relative to other functions?
  • Post by Day 4 a response to the following:

    Identify each of the organizations you have selected (one in health care and one in another field). Briefly summarize the characteristics of each organization.

  • Describe similarities and differences that you might expect to see with regard to strategic planning in these organizations. Include your analysis of the success factors, planning pitfalls, benefits, and other relevant factors. Taking into account competing resource needs, argue for a focus on strategic planning relative to other functions.
    Read a selection of your colleagues’ postings.

    Respond by Day 6 to at least one of your colleagues’ postings as follows:

  • Expand on the comparison by adding insights from your analysis of the two organizations you selected. Note how this expanded comparison affects your views on strategic planning. You may also ask a probing question or offer polite disagreement or critique, supported with evidence.
    Return to this Discussion in a few days to read the responses to your initial posting. Note what you have learned and/or any insights you have gained as a result of the comments your colleagues made. No posting is required.

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