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It is important for organization in the world today to plan and strategize how they are going to achieve the objectives of the organization. Thus, strategic planning is not only important but vital. A strategy planning process of should clearly define the objectives of the organization and assess the internal and external ways of formulating the strategy; its implementation and evaluation process and make adjustments where necessary. The diagram below shows a strategic planning process ('quickMBA', n.d).
Mission and objectives: the mission of Barnes and Nobles, Inc. is to "operate the best specialty retail business in America, regardless of the product we sell. Because the product we sell is books, our aspirations must be consistent with the promise and the ideals of the volumes which line our shelves. To say that our mission exists independent of the product we sell is to demean the importance and the distinction of being booksellers" (Barnes & Nobles, Inc. 2010). The mission describes the vision of the organization. Using the mission of the company, the company is in a position to define measurable financial and strategic objectives. The financial objectives of the company involve measures that target increasing sales and revenue of the company (Rodrigues, Stank & Lynch, 2004).
Formulation of strategy: the company is expected to match its strengths and the opportunities that it has identified while outlining the weaknesses and external threats. The effective performance of the company will depend on how the company develops its competitive advantage basing on differentiation (Thompson, & Thompson, 2009).
Strategy implementation: the chosen strategy of the company is implemented using program, budgets and procedures. The implementation process involves the ability of the organization to involve itself in motivating staff and using other resources to achieve the objectives of the company. How the strategy of the company is implemented can either impact positively or negatively on the organization.
Leadership: The people to implement the strategy should be those managers who formulated the strategy. Therefore, care should always be taken to communicate the chosen strategy and the reasons to its choice. The corporation chose to communicate its strategic initiative at its annual report. The strategic initiative of the organization discussed at the annual report included the awareness of the management of the company of certain risks that could affect the company in future. The corporation therefore planned to strategically analyze the possible risks and their mitigation measures.
Some of the strategic plans discussed in the annual report included the general economic environment and consumer spending patterns, decreased consumer demand for Barnes & Noble's products, low growth or declining sales and net income. The company plans to hire competent employees who are capable of performing their duties diligently. This is because the organization does not want to undertake any obligation for mistakes of employees (Business Wire, 2010).
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Evaluation and control: after the implementation of the strategy, the company should evaluate its success and where applicable, changes should be made. The evaluation process consists of the definition of the parameters to be measured, definition of target values, carrying out performance measures, comparing the measured results and the expected standard results and making the necessary changes.
Innovation and entrepreneurship; this is part of the strategy that should be highly considered by the company. Innovation and entrepreneurship should form one of the competitive advantages of the company. Barnes and Nobles, Inc. Company ha always involved itself with innovative skills and it has always unveiled new products that are better than those of their rivals thus creating a competitive advantage ('quickMBA' n.d).
Effect of the strategic plan on the organization
The strategic plan affects all sector of the organization. To begin with, the plan affects the financial planning. Strategic planning requires that the organization utilize its strengths to exploit the available opportunities in the business environment while overcoming its weakness and threats. The financial planning will have to be increased in order to strengthen the organization's capability to compete effectively in its industry. This means that the costs to be incurred by the organization will increase. The costs will increase since the company will invest more in new competent employees that will increase the organization's performance. Increased costs for Barnes and Nobles, Inc means that the financial budget of the company will increase.
According to Thompson & Thompson (2009), strategic plan enables an organization to come up with new strategies that enable it to meet its objectives. This means that the company will invest more in research and development of new or differentiated products that fit into the customer needs regarding sale of books. Satisfaction f customer needs will increase the brand of the company leading to more customers hence more sales revenue for the company. Therefore, the use of a strategic plan for Barnes and Nobles, Inc. would result in better performance of the organization.
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