Funnel Vision – A Helmsman’s View of the Strategic Planning Horizon in the Knowledge Era – Part B

Funnel Vision – A Helmsman’s View of the Strategic Planning Horizon in the Knowledge Era – Part B




Welcome back to Part II of this series on strategic planning. In the past article we reviewed the first six of twelve chief areas that represent the meaningful areas of focus for a thriving business in the Knowledge Era. In this article, we review the remaining six areas.

chief Area #7: Organization’s Image: Development and Sustainability – The strength of branding is amplified by increased accessibility to the consumer and the public in general. For example, a spill in Alaska caused by a single cruise ship crew member no longer remains just an incident on the Coast Guard report; it reaches millions of people, some of whom are so sensitive to the issue that they may elect not to use the cruise line for the their next vacation.

In an ecosystem where loyalty and retention are focuses of both human resources (employees) and sales (customers), companies are leaning on the public relations arm of their operation to ensure alignment between corporate identity and image. Companies such as Crowley Maritime recognize the need for an effective PR machine, and have stated the responsibility for internal communications, media relations, advertising and marketing communications for the corporation and its subsidiaries and business units operating around the world to a Director of Corporate Communications.

chief Area #7 focuses on the development of an authentic image that is aligned with the organization’s identity and culture. It lays the foundation for marketing, branding and advertising plans. It is also examines how the organization builds relationships with customers and guides customer acquisition, satisfaction, loyalty and retention.

chief Area #8: Social Responsibilities: Community Outreach and Mentoring – Working with the community is an important part of our industry. The collaboration of the Canaveral Port Authority and the surrounding community resulted in the port developing a rare educational program that emphasizes community education on the importance of protecting our natural resources, for which they were awarded the AAPA Environmental Excellence Award. A similar trend has been manifested in the cruise industry by the creation of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) notation by the classification societies for cruise ships.

chief Area #8 provides the ecosystem and culture within the organization to address the social responsibilities of the organization, including interaction with the immediate community, the specialized/technical communities, and the next generation of professionals.

chief Area #9: Revenue Generation and Sales -The appetite for merger and acquisition as the global business arena becomes an open field is apparent. Sales are not the only source of income for many corporations who are looking at the bottom line with a magnifying glass. The purpose of this chief area is to provide the scenery for the revenue generation possible of the organization. In addition to traditional revenue supplies, this includes leveraging technologies, resources or market presence; licensing of patent-protected products or sets; recycled knowledge; appreciation of assets or brokerage of projects.

chief Area #10: Risk Management – Understanding, managing and reducing risk remains one of the industry’s Achilles Heels. “It is not widely practiced in the shipping industry,” according to Sanjeev Bhandari a Mumbai-based P&I Club representative who spoke at the Shipping conference in Chennai, India. “Risk management must not keep the concern of top management alone. Staff at all levels should be promoted to look for areas of vulnerability in both the company and its ships,” he additional.

This issue took center stage during the third-annual Arctic Shipping Conference, with discussion pivoting around risk management in light of political transformation, climate change and environmental concerns in times of growing O&G activities in the arctic vicinity. Risk management has far more impact that just insurance, workers’ compensation claims, and compliance with Department of Labor and Industries regulations.

chief Area #10 focuses on the development of a comprehensive risk management plan for the organization, including a method by which risks are formally identified, quantified and managed during project execution.

chief Area #11: Legal Framework – A clue as to why leaders in the maritime industry should pay a close attention to the legal framework of their organizations can be picked up from the message that ABS president and CEO Robert D. Somerville delivered during the World Maritime Forum in St. Petersburg, Russia. In his view, demands have increased from the public to enhance safety records; the character of assets, namely ships, oil rigs, and floating structures, has changed; the technology obtainable to classification societies is far more complex; and the pressure on the shipbuilding industry to cut costs, enhance productivity and deliver a quality product are different than the past. These and other changes add new threats to an already-cluttered minefield of ethical and legal challenges.

chief Area #11 provides the legal guidelines and framework for the organization’s activities, including issues related to immigration and work authorization, intellectual character, contractual obligations, and other legal matters that need to be aligned with corporate policy. It also provides an understanding of the organization’s governance and how it addresses its ethical, legal, and community responsibilities.

chief Area #12: Infrastructure and Tangible Assets – Last but not least is the focus on an important, however sometimes overlooked issue: our physical work ecosystem. It includes the working space and equipment that supports the team in successfully accomplishing their duties and responsibilities.

In conclusion, when charting an organization’s future course, we need to take a methodic approach.

We also must remember that no matter whether it is a shipyard, boat builder, port authority, or a naval architecture firm, we all have one defined purpose in shared: we must be able to Deliver applicable Value to Our Stakeholders. This can be achieved by adopting current thinking about strategic planning that advocates shifting the focus from strategy as a fit to strategy as a stretch, from resource allocation to resource leverage, from portfolios of sets to portfolios of competencies, and from competition as confrontation to competition as collaboration.

In future articles, we will analyze methods to translate each of these chief areas into tactical plans with hypothesizedv indexes for each category. If your organization wishes to be interviewed for best practices in strategic planning please contact us at [email protected]




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