Read a student's account of our most recent session in our Management Leadership and Development program below. For more information, about MLDP, click here.
On February 28, 2012, Marty Jacobs, CEO of Systems In Sync, delivered a talk on the
importance of strategic thinking. Opening the session, Jacobs asked MLDP participants to think
about the question, "as an up-and-coming leader, why is it important for me to learn about
strategic planning?" Overall, Strategic planning allows the management leadership to think
holistically about the whole picture, rather than getting caught up in minute details. It means
results-based action plans and engaging with internal and external stakeholders.
Jacobs outlined important drivers of strategic planning (Mission, Vision, and Values) and the steps to strategic process: start with a vision, assess current reality, engage shareholders, brainstorm goals,
prioritize goals, develop action steps, and implement an evaluation plan. After presenting the
structure of strategic planning, Jacobs provided two sample strategic plans from separate
organizations and encouraged students to think about the pros and cons of each plan. As a final
takeaway point, Jacobs ended with a case study based on student interests while using the
planning tool to guide discussion. Overall, I felt that the practical application of the process was
a great way to cement and synthesize the steps and capture the core ideas of strategic planning,
and the presentation has a large amount of cross-applicability to personal life goals and
-Betty Huang '14