This guide has been written primarily for Professionals Australia professionals who are moving into, or aspire to move into, roles with responsibility for determining the direction in which their organisation or work group will move; that is, they are required to develop a strategic orientation.

Guidance is intended also for specialists without line or staff management responsibility who are interested in better understanding how the strategic framework within which they work is determined and the potential to contribute to its development.

Whilst the tools and techniques which enable a strategic course to be charted, communicated and adjusted are central to the Guide’s focus, it also highlights the importance of aligning people’s efforts with strategic direction though effective leadership, engagement and communication. These are critical success factors both in the development and in the implementation of strategy.

Guidance is included about the personal professional development implications for people with strategic leadership responsibilities or aspirations. The sections which follow will provide you with:

  • Straightforward definitions of key elements of strategy formulation;
  • Short explanations of workable techniques for shaping strategy;
  • Pointers about using strategy to shape operations;
  • Insights into the importance of leadership, communication and staff engagement for optimal outcomes; and
  • Reasons to ensure adequate attention to developing strategic direction.

Since the long term future of most organisations depends on learning to survive and thrive in environments characterised by flux and uncertainty, the emphasis is on dynamic approaches to strategy development and implementation.

This is not to say that traditional strategic planning philosophy has been ignored; rather, its continuing significance and adaptation to the needs of twenty-first century organisations is explained.

The remainder of this guide is organised into three sections covering: 1. Strategic effort deconstructed; 2. Optimising outcomes from strategic effort; and 3. Tips for developing a more strategically-oriented personal, professional style.

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