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Strategic planning can be described as focusing for the big picture within the organization. It needs to be both practical and flexible, in order to have clear and well-determined directions included for the non-profit organization. In order to successfully implement a strategy, organizations need to explore their own environment (national or global) and assess the trends and factors. The theoretical framework for implementation includes planned changes. Nutt (1986) discusses different methods, including process reconstruction and pattern identification. A strategic approach needs to be oriented to the future, assure a good fit between the organization and the environment and implement the strategies through a 5- or 10 step process.
Impact on strategic approaches
As the strategic plan implementation needs to focus on the future, the organization examined (American Red Cross) needs to look at not only present threats and opportunities, but the ones likely to appear in the future. (Bryson, 2004.)For example: the lack of water is likely to become an even more serious problem in many countries, therefore, a strategy needs to be implemented fast. The fit between the organization and the environment can be created by assessing the needs of various charities and creating surveys of the areas needing the most support, to be able to meet the needs of the public. (Poister and Streib, 2005.) The strategy implementation process needs to involve improving performance, and building teamwork, as well as increasing the level or expertise. (Bryson, 1988.)
The final implementation of strategies at American Red Cross
The American Red Cross can benefit from the three strategies and guidelines detailed below, in the following way: Focusing on the future is important, and this aspect of strategic planning is likely to change the plan and processes. (Scribner, 2002.) Process improvement would involve case study analysis, and bringing the processes and priorities in line with the public need would also require research, which would only be possible if an advanced internal training strategy existed.