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In turbulent environment requires outstanding professional skills and intuition of a manager able to foreshadow threats and dangers of modern life. By strategic thinking managers mean the intuitive ability to understand the dynamics of market structures, competition, customer needs, timing, synergies, and the like. It is an ability to proceed with tentative, incomplete information, always leaving one's options as open as possible, waiting for the right moment. For a good manager, strategic thinking is a craft skill that is honed by repeated use and hands-on experimentation. Strategic thinking plays an extremely important role in opportunity identification, because it enables companies and persons to understand the dynamic nature of an evolving opportunity and when it can best be exploited. The importance of strategic thinking can lead one to expect that strategic planning was found to be extremely important in the opportunity identification process.
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For a good manager, planning is very useful, but only in the evaluation and implementation stages of opportunity pursuit, especially before and after an opportunity had been identified. Formal planning (with its emphasis on analysis) is only used in two of the case companies and only in the later stages in the life cycle as a matter of setting priorities and securing coordination. Formal strategic planning has been strongly criticized in the literature. As such traditional managerial functions (planning, organizing, controlling, directing) lead to "paralysis induced by analysis." Similarly formal strategies are useful in the evaluation of opportunities, setting priorities, and implementation, but not at the creative stage of identifying opportunities (Bazerman 43). Effective managerial behavior in itself will not be enough, that is, behaving entrepreneurially in the way we have described is not a universal formula for identifying opportunities. Rather we found that it is only when an environmental change is combined with the presence of profound knowledge, entrepreneurial behavior, and strategic thinking, that opportunities become identified. Opportunity identification is still a little understood process. The marketing and management fields need a better understanding of opportunity identification to make useful prescriptions for practitioners and students for what to do in order to increase the chance of identifying opportunities.
In order to become a good manager, a professional should master a set of skills and be flexible in decision-making. A number of specific marketing research techniques can be used in concept testing, including multi-dimensional scaling, factor analysis, and conjoint analysis. The first two of these can be used to produce a perceptual map comparing the new product idea with existing brands, whereas conjoint analysis can be used to identify the product attributes that consumers consider most important The "more realistic market potential" arrived at should further be modified to reflect the effectiveness of the marketing plan. With a near perfect marketing plan, it may be possible for the new venture to achieve 80 to 90 percent of the "more realistic market potential" (Bazerman 87). With a weak marketing plan, the new venture might achieve no more than 10 percent of the market potential. Such forecasts cannot be very precise, but they can be realistic. If a marketing plan is expected to result in the new venture's product/service being distributed in only 60 percent of the outlets serving the target market, then only 60 percent of the "more realistic market potential" is likely to be available to the new venture. Because we know so little about current practices, managers can only speculate that the concepts associated with those steps are not being widely used by good managers. Good managers should be familiar with screening and evaluating concepts, and the concepts underlying the various aspects of marketing analysis. It will also be important to learn from entrepreneurs' successes to determine if large, mature firms can benefit from the experiences of early stage ventures that often bring the most beneficial, major breakthroughs to society.
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