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The Effects of a Change in Business Environment on Strategic Planning
by Leigh Richards
[Positive Impacts] What Are Positive Impacts of Change in Business? http://smallbusiness.chron.com/positive-impacts-ch…
[Change Important] Why Is Change Important in an Organization? http://smallbusiness.chron.com/change-important-or…
[External Environmental Factors] What Are Internal & External Environmental Factors That Affect Business? http://smallbusiness.chron.com/internal-external-e…
[May Cause Change] Factors That May Cause Change in an Organization http://smallbusiness.chron.com/factors-may-cause-c…
[Business Environmental Factors Influence Strategy] How Business Environmental Factors Influence Strategy http://smallbusiness.chron.com/business-environmen…
Strategic plans are important for any business, and they are never really complete. Business owners should consider strategic plans living documents that direct the work of the organization but that are flexible enough to be modified as changes in the environment require shifts in direction for the organization. It is important to have a process to monitor changes and incorporate them into a company’s planning efforts.
External Impacts
Strategic planning can be affected by various changes in the external environment in which a business operates. New competitors move into the market. Existing competitors leave the market. Population shifts result in increases or decreases in population. The economy may change either positively or negatively. No environment is stable over time, so organizations must be alert to external impacts that can affect their planning. This means businesses must view planning as an ongoing, not one-time, event, says Linda Pophal, a strategic planning consultant with Strategic Communications, LLC. Companies should have a process in place for continually monitoring the environment that represents their market and their industry and alerting the appropriate people to changes that can affect the plan, she says.
Internal Impacts
The internal environment also can affect strategic planning efforts. Suppose a key employee leaves or several employees suddenly leave. Suppose a new employee with unique skills in a new area joins the company. Suppose new technology is introduced that employees don’t yet know how to use. Just as the external environment can shift, causing companies to revisit their planning efforts, so can the internal environment.
Changes in the Planning Team
Organizations that have a formal planning process often assign a team of people to create and manage the strategic plan. Changes in the team–from its leader to any one of the participants–can affect planning efforts. All teams go through standard and expected changes as they grow and mature–forming, norming, storming and performing, according to psychologist Bruce Tuckman’s business model. As changes in team members occur, the team again will go through these expected stages, Pophal says

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