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Careers in Strategic Planning
Facts and Trends

Risk Control / Joint Ventures Increasing in Popularity.
Firms are looking at new ways to become more competitive by reducing the risks. They are choosing joint ventures and alliances with both domestic and foreign competition to increase global competitiveness.

Asian Market Strategy is a Huge Focus
Asian countries are upgrading their technology and reducing dependence on foreign technology by: expanding research and development, luring home expatriate engineers and scientists, improving education, and encouraging direct foreign investment. Simultaneously, Western companies have dramatically increased their focus on gaining market presence in China, India and Japan. Companies like Estee Lauder, Motorola and GE have all made expansion in Asia a centerpiece of their strategy.

Game Theory Becoming Widely Used
Game theory is helping firms make money. Rita Koselka wrote about the PCS license auction in Forbes: "But this was to be more than a simple auction with sealed bids & the contract to the highest bidder. All sides brought experts on game theory. Stanford professor...P.Milgrom pointed out that the auction would be more efficient if the govt. discarded standard bidding procedures & used game theory instead.

Out-Tasking of Non-Strategic Functions Increasing
Managers are looking for ways to free up staff so that they can spend more time with strategic issues. They are embracing a concept known as out-tasking. Specific network planning, operations, or management functions are loaded-off to a contractor. This is different than outsourcing where the entire function is turned over to a vendor.

Yet Outsourcing of Strategy Work Decreasing
Due to tough economic times, many large companies are cutting back on their use of external consultants. There is ever more focus on having a strong, vital internal strategic planning function in large corporations.

Organizational Redesign De-emphasizing Functional Control
Many large corporations have had a traditional hierarchical structure built around the classic functions described by Alfred Sloan in his book My Years at General Motors. Most corporations today have gone through at least one major structural change in the past 5 years and most expect future organizational changes to be even more significant in the next 5 years. Redesigned organizations have decentralized decision making and flattened the organization. More and more companies have reorganized along customer lines rather than functional areas.

"You have to understand what it is that you are better at than anybody else and mercilessly focus your efforts on it."

Andrew Grove, CEO, Intel

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On Perception

"Perception is strong and sight weak. In strategy it is important to see distant things as if they were close and to take a distanced view of close things"

Miyamoto Musashi 1584-1645, legendary Japanese swordsman

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