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What would Bryson say is the most important attribute of a modern effective public sector leader? Why?
A modern effective public sector leader should be willing to act as process sponsors to endorse and legitimate the effort. In this context they are required as important decision makers and managers to give the effort a good try. Bryson (2004) indicated that a public sector leader should be committed to making the processes to work. They should be able to develop a fairly clear understanding and agreement among key decision making about what strategic planning intends to achieve in the long run. In his studies Bryson (2004) also says that “a public sector leader should be part of the advisory body and at the same time oversee the processes in their areas of office” (p. 38). These leaders should be capable of engaging in serious strategic dialogue and take part in the public sector strategic plan drafting. Public sector leaders should be able to capitalize on important opportunities. Bryson (2004) also noted that “such leaders should be able to develop strategies that will in turn create public value and that they are politically acceptable, technically workable, administratively feasible and ethically responsible” (p. 39).
Public sector leaders should have the ability to think, act and learn strategically. Bryson (2004) indicated that such leaders should be able to resolve the most important issues they face. It is also important that public sector leaders be able to realize in practice an organization’s mission, goals, and strategies and the meeting of its mandates. Bryson (2004) says that this implies that these leaders should develop a useful strategic management system, include linking budgeting, performance measurement, and allowing desirable changes in ends and means to emerge over time. The leaders in public sector should use strategic planning as a deliberative educational and learning tool to help them figure out what is really important and what should be done about it (Bryson, 2004).
Moore makes it clear that “a great deal rides on how well public managers perform as political managers.” Would Bryson agree? Would Hamel and Prahalad agree that private sector leaders need to learn more about leading in what seems to be an increasing political environment for private corporations? Why? Give an example
Bryson will agree that a great deal rides on how well public managers perform as political managers. Bryson (2004) indicated that managers in particular are frequently and justifiably tired of buzzword and feel they are the victims of some sort of perverse management hazing or status degradation ritual. Many management techniques have failed because they ignore, try to circumvent, or even try to counter the political nature of life in private and public sector organizations. Bryson (2004) also says that managers do not understand that such a quest is almost guaranteed to be quixotic. He further says that politics is the method that we humans use to answer the analytically irresolvable questions of what should be done for collective purposes, how and why. Bryson (2004) learned that public sector managers embody a political intelligence and rationality, and any technique that is likely to work well in such sector must accept and build on the nature of political rationality.
Hamel and Prahalad would agree that private sector leaders need to learn more about leading in what seems to be an increasing political environment for private corporations. Hameland & Prahalad (1994) says that this is because organizational transformation challenge faced by so many companies today is, in many cases the direct result of their failure to reinvent their industries and regenerate their core strategies. The increasing political environment in private organizations requires that skills, systems, and behaviours for a radically transformed information technology. Private sectors need to learn because it is not enough for a company to get smaller and better and faster than, as important as these tasks may be; hence they must be capable of fundamentally preconceiving itself, of regenerating its core strategies and of reinventing its industry to match the increasing political environment (Hameland & Prahalad, 1994). Private sector leaders need to learn more about leading in what seems to be an increasing political environment for private corporations because the capacity to invent new industries and reinvent old ones is a prerequisite for getting to the future first and a precondition for staying out in front (Hameland & Prahalad, 1994). For example, Hameland & Prahalad (1994) says that, it was its point of view about the potential direction of the industry that encouraged Apple Computer to establish a division responsible for personal interactive electronics (Hameland & Prahalad, 1994). Another example is that British Airways understanding the future of the airline business provided the impetus for a series of equity investments and joint ventures with airlines in the USA and Asia all aimed at making British Airways truly global (Hameland & Prahalad, 1994).
State governments (and many organizations for that matter) experience significant leadership changes on a frequent basis. How would strategic planning help keep an organization “on track” with such volatile changes in leadership?
Strategic planning helps keep an organization on track because the plans are easily conceptualized as a single program or policy. Moore (1995) says that strategic plans have a capital value rooted in their ability to adapt and meet new tasks and challenges. In addition Bryson (2011) says that strategic planning keeps an organization on track because there is an available set of concepts, procedures, tools, and practical guidance designed to help leaders, managers and planners think act and learn strategically. In volatile leadership changes, Bryson (2011) says that strategic planning is not a substitute for leadership broadly conceived. This is on the basis that there is simply no substitute for leadership when it comes to engaging in strategic planning effectively.
In volatile leadership changes, Bryson (2011) also advises that at least some key decision makers and process champions must be committed to the process. Also it is important to have a planning team besides skilled facilitators to oversee the entire strategic planning process (Bryson, 2011). Moreover, volatile changes in leadership should not affect strategic planning when it is focused on a function because almost all of the key decision makers will be outsiders. In this context, strategic planning attends to the design and use of the settings within which constructive deliberation is most likely to occur. Volatile changes in leadership should not affect strategic planning because it involves the effort to realize in practice an organization’s mission, goals, and strategies, the meeting of its mandate, continued organizational learning and the ongoing creation of public value (Bryson, 2011).
How did this class change your perception of the role of, and the need for, strategic planning?
This class helped me to realize that there are different ways to approach strategic planning practice in a public sector organization. I gained the perception that we need strategic planning in organizations for them to deal with their changed situations. This implies that strategic planning is intended to enhance an organization’s ability to think, act, and learn strategically. As we all know that no company can escape the need to re-skill its people, reshape its product portfolio, redesign its processes, and redirect its resources the class helped me to realize the role of strategic planning in all these processes (Hameland & Prahalad, 1994). Strategic planning is the key to organizational transformation. The class helped me to note that strategic planning agenda is set by more prescient competitors and that it drives from one’s own point of view about the future.
I have also articulated that the role of and the need for strategic planning is to develop a continuing commitment to the mission and vision of the organization both internally and in the authorizing environment (Bryson, 2011). From the studies and research conducted in this class it can be realized that strategic planning is applicable to public and non-profit organizations, collaborations of various sorts and communities. Looking from the bigger picture perspective of this class, the important activities in strategic planning are strategic thinking, acting and learning. Finally, through the class I also learned that strategic planning is an intelligent practice that is here to stay because of its capacity and its capability to incorporate both substantive and political rationality.