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Strategic Management and Leadership Development Challenges

By Ben Uugwanga
Introduction
Strategic Management and leadership involves utilizing human, material and financial resources through a well coordinated management plan that involves the responsible person or unit to implement an action plan that sets out institutional goals to be achieved including setting a time frame and targets expected to measure whether the objectives of the plan are indeed achieved or not.

The purpose of this paper is to advocate for the continuous use of strategic management and leadership resources to support efforts towards establishing a learning society; instituting problem analysis and solutions through scenario planning tools, policy analysis, economic analysis, and knowledge management processes in order to achieve optimum organizational greatness and a high performance culture anchored on management and leadership greatness.

The Learning Society
A learning society is required to learn, unlearn and relearn old and new practices, attitudes, behaviors in order to align them to organizational goals and objectives which promise quantum leap gains. At the same time the age of wisdom demands that man should adopt time tested solutions that are derived from biblical wisdom and that provides alternatives to the cause effect outcome caused by evil in order to capitalize on opportunities presented by the fruits of a life based on the obedience of God’s Law.

Using time tested wisdom will enable a learning society to produce eclectic ideas which build on strength and long-term sustainable gains and which avoid trial and error outcomes. This comes in the light because knowledge alone is not enough to address man’s problems.
Knowledge which is know-how and which comes with skills need to be guided by wisdom which is the ability to choose between good and evil or bad and good. Wisdom enables man not to compromise on the longterm, medium-term and shortterm benefits leadership can provide and which comes with man’s Dominion Mandate to subdue the world in accordance with Christ’s wisdom. Situation Analysis
A situation analysis is an account of the state quo prevalent in a country or faced by an organization.

The analysis is comprised of an evaluation of the internal and external factors that inhibits or enables an organization to achieve its goals and objectives.

The internal factors and external factors of every situation differ and should be probed with the right tools peculiar to a situation to remedy the negative impacts prevailing and to accelerate implementation output.

The Internal Environment
The internal environment is influenced by: People, Budgets, Strategies., Organization systems (work culture and structure) and Skills and learning.

The External Environment
The external environment is influenced by: Globalization (financial markets performance, commodity prices, currency values etc). Government Policy (elections, political stability, the rule of law, accountability, transparency etc).

The Economy (inflation). Donors (donor interference). Competitors (supply and demand). Funders, Unions., Technology and Customers.

Scenario Design and Problem Analysis
Scenario Design is the activity of sketching a Desired Vision for an institution or person by picturing were the organization or person needs to be in future. Designing a Scenario is done after undertaking a Problem Analysis exercise.

Problem analysis involves identifying problems, identifying their causes and symptoms in order to institute corrective interventions. Listed below are some steps to be considered when conducting a problem analysis exercise:

Identify and list problem faced by organization or people. List causes of problems experienced and separate symptoms from problem listed. Write a Problem Statement. Propose a desired State.

Identify solutions to Problems. Design the most desired scenario based on long-term moral and sustainable wisdom driven objectives.

Scenario Planning Tools
Various tools exist in drawing up or evaluating a vision. Information provided through such tools can be used to restrategize or re-enforce strategy implementation. Below are tools used in scenario planning: SWOT Analysis.

Baseline Surveys on customer service satisfaction that can be used to review the Vision and Mission Statement of an organization. Economic Forecasts Information which can be used in Sectoral Planning.

Policy Analysis or Monitoring and Evaluation mechanisms to ascertain where we are; where we want to be; how we got there; and how we know we got there. Selecting and ranking strategies through a point system. Formulating Strategies through an Action Plan and assigning Budget and tasks to people or units to implement the required strategies.

Needs Assessment or stakeholder analysis
Need Assessment or stakeholder analysis is the process of identifying the needs in society based on data collected through interviews, observations or a survey. The needs identified should be filtered and ranked and linked to the national, regional and local priorities taking into account their moral, environmental and socio-economic or political consequences.

Enumerated below are some steps that may be taken in the process of identifying stakeholder needs. Find out the different needs of the different groups in society. Gage the interventions or solutions needed to address the challenges through stakeholder participation. Prioritize and allocate resources to mitigate challenges based on where the most pressing need is and in accordance with national, regional and local priorities.

Moral and Extra-rational Input
Generally, when making policy it is important to enlist the extra-rational input of the Churches to draw advice on strategies on how to curb moral decay and to reduce social pathologies and poverty. The Church’s extra-rational input can be useful in complementing government to build a stable moral and healthy country.

Implementation and Action Planning.
The steps involved in the above exercise are: Identify Office and Unit responsible for implementation. Prioritizing and Allocating Resources to address developmental challenges. Setting a Deadline for implementation based on short-term; medium-term or long-term objectives. Identify Staffing issues and skills needed to implement programs through a skills audit.

Instituting monitoring and evaluation mechanisms to guide policy output in line with corrective actions taken; implementing recommendations to continue or close the project or program based on moral responsiveness, financial and market viability, stakeholder analysis, cost-benefit analysis or cost-effectiveness analysis.

Techniques for Policy Analysis
Following are some techniques for policy analysis: Cost Benefit Analysis. Pre-Feasibility and Feasibility Studies. Cost Effectiveness Analysis: considering the relevance of a strategy because of political and moral imperatives.

Market Viability Studies. Moral Extra-rational Input and Stakeholder Analysis. Implement Variance Analysis (Analyzing whether budget expenditure is greater than funds budgeted for activities).

Economic Analysis
A country needs to strengthen its economic position through proper economic management and planning. For that to happen decision making will rely heavily on research conducted by researches to assist in policy design and economic planning.

At the moment the world economic crisis has impacted negatively on the entire world economic system which means that Namibia as a net exporter of raw materials and agricultural produce to major markets will negatively be affected by this development. As such the country will expect a fall in export earnings derived from trade because of the fall in demand for our resources on the world market. As such any economic strategy will need the judicious implementation not to compromise Namibia’s gains but needs to be tailored to enhance the country’s capacity to derive growth in the existing niche sectors and create new ones if need be. To this end data, information and knowledge generated and translated into economic strategies will need to enable Namibia to respond pro-actively to capitalize on her comparative advantages and economies of scale. The data, information and strategies to be generated can be derived from the underlying studies: Sector Studies, Economic Climate Studies and Trend Studies.

Knowledge Management
Knowledge Management is a discipline that is concerned with the generation, organization and application of technocentric, organizational or system thinking/ecologic knowledge.

In order to generate knowledge a researcher should be objective and create facts and truth that are valid and reliable. After collecting data through a research exercise the data has to be interpreted for it to become information. After creating information, the information could be modified or adapted to serve the needs of an institution for planning and scientific purposes. This step draws a distinction between information and knowledge in that information is data interpreted and knowledge is the organization of information and its adaptation to address socio-economic or political challenges. The steps in knowledge management require: Step 1: Formulating a Research Design.

Step 2: Embarking on Data collection.

Step 3: Organizing and interpreting data in order to create information. This is followed by conducting a gap analysis and filling data gaps with information obtained from the internet, literature, stakeholders and other research sources.

Step 4: Adding the information to a Data Repository or Data Base for application by end users. This approach is known as the Codification Approach of Knowledge. The other approach is to capture knowledge through request from experts. This approach is known as the Personalization Approach to knowledge.

Step 5: Creating, organizing, sharing and applying knowledge for use in planning, decision- making, monitoring and evaluation and problem solving, through strategies, policies, laws and national positions that enhances national policy performance.

Step 7: Enforce Policies and Rules through responsible institutions, units and people.

Step 8: Review and evaluate policy output and take corrective actions where necessary to continue or discard the policy/ program or project at hand when necessary or modify the policy/program or strategy to respond to reality.

Considerations
Gap Analysis in research processes is necessary to avoid re-inventing the wheel. At the moment excellent documents exist that provide information on socio-economic and political strategies or interventions taken by the Namibian government to mitigate the severance of certain anomalies and challenges.

These documents in the form of Vision 2030, National Development Plans, Regional Development Plans and Poverty Profiles can be augmented with case studies to find a symbiosis in best practice to remedy policy underperformance where necessary.

Food for thought If you want to make minor, incremental changes work on practices, behavior, or attitude. If you want to make significant quantum leap changes work on implementing a Christian-centric paradigm. A Christian-centric paradigm explains the causal effects of a phenomenon and provides guidance to avoid incremental short-falls.

The adversary does not wish to give up power and control and hides his motives behind deceptive schemes, carrots and stick politics and double talk. Once these shadows are removed the enemy is exposed and will have to give way to reason.

Science investigates. Religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge which is power. Religion gives man wisdom which is control – Martin Luther King Jnr.

A perfection of means and a confusion of aims seem to be our main problem – Albert Einstein.

Wars of nations are fought to change maps. But wars of poverty are fought to map change -Muhammad Ali. If you do not look at things on a large scale you will not be able to master strategy - Miyamoto Musashi.

Leadership
A leader is someone with a strategic vision for a group or an organization. He/she is hard working; virtues, skillful, promotes participatory democracy based on stake-holder needs; believes in meritocracy; is assertive, honest, ethical and moral; is a good team-player and possess rapport or emotional intelligence.

Management
A manager is technical; hard working; searches and shares information liberally; is emotionally intelligent; has tactical know-how; is honest, a team player; is innovative; possess planning, organizing, monitoring and evaluation skills; is virtues;
promote skills development and capacity building of the members of an organization;
believes in empowerment and desist from an empowerment model based on favoritism, cronyism, tribalism and gender discrimination.

Succession Planning and Mentoring
Leaders are not born but are people who are willing to take risks. Additionally a good leader is someone who is willing to do what the next person is not willing to do. Leaders do not necessarily need to be highly educated; however, they are people who use teams effectively; are focused and press on to realize a vision for the people they lead. One of the biggest strength of a leader is to be confident, courageous and determine with respect to achieving the greater good for the greater number.

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear (Ambrose Redmoon).

As leaders are challenged to hand over the mantle at some stage, a key consideration in succession planning and mentoring should involve mentoring a successor because of the underlying considerations:

Spiritual Intelligence (Be a Christian and abiding to a Life in the Spirit and be virtues). Cognitive Intelligence (Be willing to master the theory and skills that comes with his position and work).

Physical or Natural systems Intelligence (take care of body, mind and health) Emotional Intelligence (Must have a caring heart; rapport; respect; must promote harmony, unity love in group and beyond; must be self-disciplined, selfcontrolled, modest and full of endurance.) Skills
Depending on the work at hand, generally skills are categorized in 4 areas which are: Cognitive knowledge – what to do (theory).

Advance skills – how to do it (practice, skills and experience). System thinking skills – (Knowledge of Paradigm or field in terms of its concepts, principles and theories). And Performance instinct – (Experience and excellence because of right placement, motivation, abilities and exposure).





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