Strategic planning technique has been a very imperative management tool used by government institutions, private organizations, corporations and nonprofit organizations for several years. Strategic planning refers to a multi-step process that assists organizations in establishing priorities and giving directions to enhance performance (Ronchetti, 2006).
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Before the advent of strategic planning as an instrument in organizational management, several organizational losses and malfunctions were eminent leading to pitfalls and shutdowns.
However, strategic planning has been a challenge to many organizations, while those who manage to develop the plan sometimes end up underutilizing it. Therefore, this essay provides a strategic plan for Abbott Laboratories Company with a complete proposed strategy for the implementation of the plan.
Abbott Laboratories Company is a global health care organization that started operating a millennium ago, and it seeks to provide optimal solutions in the healthcare sector. The company seeks to provide new elucidations to manage health care by discovering new medicines and new technologies.
The company is currently expanding deeper into regional borders to enable easy access to the company product and enhance medical researches that are key components of the company. In a bid to achieve this goal, formulation and implementation of a strategic plan is one of the essential activities.
Abbott Laboratories planning panel is apt with the task of formulating a strategic plan that will assist in achieving the organization’s mission and purpose. The plan will also aid in proving a focus towards achieving a long-term vision, as well as guiding in decision making on allocation of financial and human resources in the organization.
Components of the strategic plan
The management board will formulate a strategic plan that will be useful in achieving goals starting from January 2013. The company reached this decision after holding several meetings pertaining to the expansion of the company. Key components discussed in the meeting will be most significant in drafting the strategic plan to ensure that it reflects the feelings, thoughts, ideas, and wants of the concerned developers.
The plan will comprise the following components: Vision, Values, and Mission statements, main goals and objectives, specific objectives and specific tactics, Environmental Scan – SWOT/C, Stakeholder Analysis (including internal and external), Key Performance Indicators, Implementation Plan, and Communication Plan. The strategic plan will also include a well-designed scorecard Strategic Planning Model in its development.
Vision, Values and Mission statements
Precisely, the vision, values, and mission statements are core components to strategic planning. Absence of mission, vision, and value statements in place to serve as a direction in achieving long and short-term decision-making hampers a company’s efforts in increasing operational capacity, meeting stakeholder’s demands and utilizing employees’ skills and abilities.
Purposively, to achieve the target discussed in this strategic plan, the vision statement is important. Ronchetti (2006, p.29) asserts, “A vision statement is a word picture of what the project ultimately intends to become in the future” and that this statement should set future directions.
The vision statement of Abbott Laboratories Company will be, “to be the most preferred health care organization among major companies around the world and impact the lives of people through quality health care service.” This means that the company seeks to provide a suitable solution in the health care system as well as improving the relationship with people where there will be a mutual benefit to all stakeholders.
A company mission statement simply clarifies the fundamental purpose of the organization. The mission statement for Abbott Laboratories Company is “to continue cooperating with all stakeholders in spanning the health care services through comprehensive laboratory diagnostics, medical researches, and pharmaceutical therapies.”
Stating the cooperation aspect in the mission statement of the company indicates that Abbott Pharmaceutical Company will operate with dedication in achieving its purpose by respecting human nature and quality of life within its operations.
A value statement describes the principles in which an organization positions itself. It simply emphasizes on what the organization members believe in. In this context, the value statement is imperative to Abbott Pharmaceutical Company since it will provide a guideline through which the company will plan its operations and programs.
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The value statement of Abbott Pharmaceutical Company is, “the organization is determined and committed to resolving the health care menace by providing affordable, reliable and equitable services to all, through teamwork, democratic and innovative approaches.” All organizational members must commit themselves to practicing these values on a daily basis to enable the organization to achieve the desired goals.
Goals and objectives
Strategic goals and objectives are statements that describe the aims or strategies agreed upon for certain achievements. They are among the fundamental components of strategic planning.
Mittenthal (2002) postulates, “Indeed, the process can prove pointless and frustrating and the end product of dubious value when care is not taken to set clear, realistic goals, define action steps explicitly, and elicit the views of major stakeholder groups” (p.1).
Goals and objectives in Abbott Pharmaceutical Company will aid in achieving the expected results by helping the company to concentrate on distinct elements of projection, including organizations designing and coordination, as well as external and internal procedures. Abbott Pharmaceutical Company will have four main goals and several objectives.
The planning committee discussed and identified strategies that resulted to these goals. These goals will serve on both a short and long-term basis for an approximated time of between 6 months up to 8 years. The following are the main goals for the Abbott Pharmaceutical Company:
To enhance continuous expansion of the company to regional level and thus enable individuals to access quality, affordable, and reliable health care services easily within their comfort zone- continuous expansion of Abbott Pharmaceutical Company will help the public acknowledge the importance of the company as has received numerous local, national, and international distinctions.
Regional expansion will also enhance excellent public relations and use of locally available resources to improve health care services.
To establish strong researching techniques on the deadly epidemics which have proven dangerous to the society and which will assist in determining a permanent solution to the epidemic to restore good health- Research in medicine is a key responsibility.
Research forms the basis of acknowledging weaknesses in health care and, globally, healthcare professional have utilized research to provide evidence on certain diseases; thus, it important in determining the strategies to employ in curbing diseases.
To enhance personal and community health by diversifying health care services to all members of the society without bias or any form of discrimination – For several years, human rights and other international organizations have placed allegations on some health care sectors around the globe for practicing bias in the provision of healthcare services.
Abbott Pharmaceutical Company will ensure an equitable access to health care services to all individuals of all communities surrounding the United States.
To expand the company’s financial agency base to accommodate the growing demand for our services across the regions, nations, and the entire world. Abbott Pharmaceutical Company has continuously received global acceptance and its reputation remains clean.
To enhance excellent delivery of the company services, financial support has been the greatest challenge. However, of late the company has identified new strategies to improve the financial capacity, which will help in decentralization of our company to regional boarders.
Formulation of objectives is an important process in strategic planning since objectives are among the major components of the plan. Ronchetti (2006) asserts, “strategic objectives represent concrete actions that support leaders in moving the organization toward achieving its mission and provide a methodology to align and leverage scarce work resources on tasks that will result in increased value to the customer” (p.28).
For Abbott Pharmaceutical Company to achieve its mission, objectives will provide an excellent guide towards its expansion. Therefore, the following objectives will assist in achieving the company’s target.
To examine the most susceptible areas to health care hazards, including HIV/AIDS and malaria pandemics, among other dangerous infections. Providing healthcare solutions is the company’s most important objective.
These regions will provide a suitable basis of medical research, which is always the company’s target. This objective is very important since it will help in propelling the company’s services throughout the time span of the strategic plan.
To investigate the status of the social determinants of health in the targeted regions for expansion and to help in improving them- this objective will primarily provide information on the existing condition of the social determinants of health including level of employment, education, social justice and social security, and the status of health among others.
Elements touching on social health are important factors in determining the state of complete mental, physical, and social well-being.
To identify the status of vulnerable groups, at risk of suffering in case of severe disease outbreaks within the areas of expansion- this will aid in establishing the extent of the need to invest in the targeted regions.
Abbott Pharmaceutical Company has always been in the forefront in addressing health needs with women, children, and the elderly as the priority. This aspect has helped in reducing mortality and mobility among the American population.
To establish potential sponsors and partners within the US and across the world to assist in expanding the health care services. Abbott Pharmaceutical Company is an organization that has always been willing to cooperate with other stakeholders in the health care sector to enhance easy access to new technologies and innovations.
Formulation of specific objectives in strategic planning is essential to emphasize the importance of the highlighted program. Mittenthal (2002) claims that a strategic plan “should articulate specific goals and describe the action steps and resources needed to accomplish them” (p.2).
They supplement the main objectives with the basics of the project. They are inclusive in the services charter, including the vision, mission, and the values of the organization. To achieve its mission, Abbott Pharmaceutical Company will strictly follow the following specific objectives.
- To provide quality health care at affordable prices- for several decades, numerous health care centers have been exploiting citizens by offering poor quality of healthcare at unaffordable prices. Expensive health care services hamper the achievement of equity in health care.
- To expand medical research- the main objective of expanding Abbott Pharmaceutical Company to regional borders is to enhance research services undertaken by the company. These researches have proven significant in our aim of advancing medical science that provides quality healthcare. The aim of advancing medical research is part of the company’s heritage
- Marketing new medicines and new technologies- Abbott Pharmaceutical Company provides new medicine that most people in the regional or local suburbs have not yet accessed. Marketing the new medicine will elaborate on the effectiveness of the medicines. This company will expand beyond local boundaries to allow accessibility and distribution of medicine and related services.
- To find interested joint ventures- one of the primary objectives of the Abbott Pharmaceutical Company expansion deal is to find affiliations both locally and internationally to enhance access of the company products and services. By finding business partners, the company can reach its vision within the targeted time and allow easy expansion of the company.
- To increase the company’s financial capacity- the company will be expanding to local and international boundaries to increase financial capacity, which will further support the anticipated growth of the company’s programs and services. Finance is the livelihood of every project and therefore imperative in this plan.
- To provide employment and increase competitive advantage- the company’s engagement in expansion will help in solving the endless unemployment crisis both regionally and internationally. This expansion will also aid the company in increasing the competitive advantage as stated in the vision statement and this element will halt other malicious health care institutions established for-profit advantage.
The planning committee recommended formulation of specific tactics, strategies, or techniques. “These consist of approaches or sets of activities needed to achieve the goals and objectives” (Mittenthal, 2002, p.7). Strategies, techniques, or tactics are generally company’s approaches based on the broader understanding of the context in which it operates.
This will probably guide the managers and the entire organization on how they will achieve the desired goals and the set objectives. For a company to strive through its mission, strategies are crucial. The following tactics guide Abbott Pharmaceutical Company in achieving the stated mission.
To generate more revenue from the initiated programs and the expanded branches – tributaries developed within and outside the US will potentially help in generating more financial resources that will in turn enhance further expansion. The finance generated will support expected growth of the company’s programs and services as well as increasing effectiveness in its operations.
Increasing awareness of the services through annual campaigns – campaigns are business strategies used to increase market awareness and improve public relations with customers and other related stakeholders.
They will significantly assist in achieving fundamental objectives like increasing competitive advantage as well as enriching the stated mission and vision statements. Otherwise, consumers will only spend on what they already know.
Enhancing community participation – community participation is among the most significant strategies that enable organizations to enhance their reputation. In the case of Abbott Pharmaceutical Company, research will form part of the community participation. Involving the community in researching enables the company to acquire knowledge and research skills as well as a strategy of providing employment to the citizens.
Environmental Scan – SWOT analysis
To enable Abbott Pharmaceutical Company achieve its mission, environmental scan is important. According to Mittenthal (2002), “a successful strategic planning process will examine and make informed projections about environmental realities to help an organization anticipate and respond to change by clarifying its mission and goals” (p.1). Strategic planning will involve the basics of SWOT analysis.
SWOT is an acronym meaning Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats that may determine the prosperity of the business. Ronchetti (2006) affirms, “A SWOT analysis is a tool used to collect stakeholder input and objectively examine the organization’s operating advantages and barriers to effectiveness” (p.29).
SWOT analysis with all necessary components will assist Abbott Pharmaceutical Company in achieving its targets and propelling it towards the right path to the vision. The following is the SWOT analysis for Abbott Pharmaceutical Company.
Strengths and weaknesses
Strengths are organizational potential areas that if well utilized would lead to prosperity, while on the other hand, weaknesses are limitations or challenges that may probably influence the achievement of the stated goals, mission, and objectives.
Mittenthal (2002) postulates, “what a strategic plan can do is to shed light on an organization’s unique strengths and relevant weaknesses, enabling it to pinpoint new opportunities or causes of current or projected problems” (p.9). They similarly imply to the company’s liabilities and assets. The following is the strengths and weaknesses for Abbott Pharmaceutical Company.
Strong regional, national and international reputation- the company has been receiving substantial awareness throughout its operations and engagements. This element will allow the company to gain easy penetration into the market. The prevailing positive image has continuously enabled the company to identify its potential customers and stakeholders, as well as business rivals.
Strong financial unwavering- Abbott Pharmaceutical Company has managed to form a strong financial base that facilitates proper functionality of the company. Through the company’s strong financial foundation, it has helped in initiating unlimited projects that require advanced technologies. Obviously, finance is the determinant of success to an organization.
Inadequate skilled workforce- Abbott Pharmaceutical Company has adequate resources, but lacks adequate skilled workforce to facilitate in achieving organizational ambitions. The mission, vision, and objectives might face inadequacy of skilled labor to handle the new technologies because our technology is unique and needs direct training by the company and not any other learning institution.
Opportunities and Threats
The strategic plan must include opportunities as well as threats. Opportunities are external forces that are capable of influencing the performance of the organization, while threats are intimidations that might hamper the organizational efforts in achieving the desired goals.
Mittenthal (2002) asserts, “A more fundamental rethinking of goals and opportunities may be required” (p.9). They provide a basis on which organizations base its foundation and determine the progress of the company. Abbott Pharmaceutical Company planning committee identified the following opportunities and threats.
One of Abbott Pharmaceutical Company’s opportunities remains its legal operations. The company has been operating for several years and has continuously followed all the protocols required by both the government and other health care policymakers responsible for overseeing all health care companies operations.
In fact, the government has acknowledged the importance of the company and is currently in full support of the ongoing expansions.
The company has been having some minor leadership wrangles and some flimsy issues are over-politicized, which has resulted from the fact that the organization lacks a well-developed management system and thus, this element is threatening to pull down the company if proper measures are not established.
Another threat is the lack of proper company legal assistance since previous advocacies have failed to protect the company legally from malicious political power from a few individuals. Some company members have suffered injustices due to political influence. Therefore, this aspect may be threatening to the expansion plans.
Stakeholder Analysis (including internal and external)
The expansion plan does not undermine the potential stakeholders to the company. Stakeholders are individuals, either directly or indirectly, involved with organizational operations. “At one point or another, all-important stakeholder groups should have a voice in the planning effort” (Mittenthal, 2002, p.3).
This plan observes all internal and external stakeholders as equally important towards the achievement of the organizational goals and objectives.
Internal stakeholders will include the corporate sponsors and shareholders, board of directors, company’s management, the planning committee, different departments and all permanent and casual staff members. This group will be directly engaged in the formation and implementation of the strategic plan.
It will assist by providing creative ideas, opinions, and even objections to certain entries. However, the planning committees will comprehensively discuss and analyze their views and opinions to enhance relevancy in the planning an implementation of the strategic plan.
There will be external stakeholders as well, viz. partnering organizations, competitors, potential clients, and the general community. External stakeholders are essential for the environment in which a business operates and thus, respecting and considering their importance helps an organization in either way. Such stakeholders can be significant determiners of the progress of the company and thus, their inclusion is of importance.
Key Performance Indicators
Performance indicators are very important components of the strategic planning. By formulating indicators in the strategic planning process reveals that the committee is aware of what it is actually doing. Indicators refer to measurable sings that signify the level of prosperity of an organization.
Ronchetti (2006) avows, “Indicators typically track trends, are less precise, and act as a barometer of whether progress of a strategic objective” (p.32). For the case of Abbott Pharmaceutical Company, indicators will be important since they will enable the company to evaluate the success of the immediate purposes. There will be two key performance indicators to measure achievements in Abbott Company.
Company’s financial stability- financial position reveals the progress of a company. Since the company will spend quite a substantial amount of financial resources to expand and develop projects and programs, the financial state will be examinable throughout the period to oversee the company’s progress.
The company will ensure that all financial recorded are reserved and always updated to give a clear overview of the financial position that determines the company records.
Company Sales- the company’s overall achievements will be examined through company sales. The planning committee suggests that all records pertaining to the company sales must be up to date and well preserved to determine the company’s progress. The company management will examine the distribution and consistency in sales and company records. Weekly, monthly, and yearly total sales will reflect the company’s position.
Abbott Company will possess a strong implementation plan. An implementation plan is a company guide in achieving its goals by providing the cost of projects, duration for execution of the plan, liability for each strategy, and the expected priority order. Strategic planning has been an easy thing for companies, but implementation is always confronting.
According to Mittenthal (2002), “if the board and staff are committed to its implementation, a strategic plan can provide an invaluable blueprint for growth and revitalization” (p.9). The following implementation plan will assist Abbott Pharmaceuticals Company in achieving its desired goals.
- Realigning the management- Abbott Pharmaceutical Company will realign the management team to ensure that it acquires skilled and competent leaders to assist in carrying out the implementation plan. The company will monitor basic management skills including self-advocacy skills and managerial experience.
- Formation of an implementation committee- apart from realigning the management of the company, the company will form an implementation committee. The committee will be overall overseers of the implementation plan.
The company will formulate a strong and reliable communication plan for effective implementation of the strategic plan. The company will improve the existing communication resources and establish strong communication system that will connect all stakeholders involved with the company.
Communication system may involve flexible online catalogs and an improved telecommunication system. The company will design a consistent democratic hierarchal system that will ensure flow of information from all corners of the company. This aspect will improve the company’s media coverage, which is an integral part of the company’s functions.
Mittenthal, R. A. (2002). Ten Keys to Successful Strategic Planning for Nonprofit and Foundation Leaders. Web.
Ronchetti, J. L. (2006). An Integrated Balanced Scorecard Strategic Planning Model For Nonprofit Organizations. Journal of Practical Consulting, 1(1), 25-35.