<Back to Articles Page
The following article
was written by Coleman Patterson and
appeared in the Business section of the Abilene Reporter-News.
Business success requires a game
plan, June 16, 2006, 9C.
Watch any pre-game commentary during
football season and you will see and hear sports broadcasters discuss the keys to victory
for each team. The comparable strengths and
weaknesses of each team are analyzed and the game plans for victory are described. As the games play out, each team is typically
evaluated on how well it executed its game plan and how well it reacted and adapted to the
play of its opponents.
The development of a game plan comes from
a process of analysis, goal setting, introspection, comparison, evaluation, and
forecasting. Before each game, coaches take
stock of their teams talent and make note of injuries and player health. They also learn about the health and abilities of
the upcoming opponent. Coaches look over game
film, of their team and the opponents, to discover strengths that might be used and
weaknesses that might be exploited. Once a
proper assessment has been made about their teams abilities and how those abilities
match up against the abilities of the opponent, then a coaching staff can develop a
feasible game plan for victory.
The processes for developing winning game
plans for sports teams are similar to developing winning strategies for success in the
business world. Strategies are linked to
goals. Goals for sports teams are usually
pretty clearto win the game or competition. Goals
in business organizations can sometimes be less defined, conflicting, contradictory, or
confused. When identifiable goals do exist,
it is necessary to develop a strategy to attain those goals. Strategy describes the methods, actions, and
procedures needed reach the goals.
Once goals have been defined and agreed
upon, managers should engage in deep introspection. The
strengths and weaknesses of the organization should be studied. Strengths are those characteristics or abilities
that the organization possesses that can give it a competitive advantage in the
marketplace and might include experience, production efficiency, exclusive information,
market share, customer service, or distribution methods.
The absence of these same characteristics might be weaknesses for a company. Weaknesses are those things that could be
exploited by competitors or that might hinder goal attainment.
In addition to introspection, managers
must also look outside the organization to identify possible opportunities and threats. Opportunities are things that exist in the
organizations environment that could benefit the company. Threats are those things that might harm the
company. Changing consumer demand,
demographics, legislation, environmental factors, technology, competition, and economic
factors might all be viewed as opportunities or threats depending on their effect on the
company. Opportunities and threats could
exist as short-term or long-term and could have immediate or future influences on the
organization. Managers must be able to see
current opportunities and threats and be able to forecast and predict future influences.
Only after strengths, weaknesses,
opportunities, and threats are identified and analyzed, should organizational leaders
begin developing strategies for success in the marketplace.
Just as coaches spend a great amount of time and effort developing game
plans for success, so too should organizational managers and leaders.
to Articles Page