Forum - Strategic Planning: A Vision for the Future
Eric Y. Nasution

 


What, Precisely, Is Corporate Strategy?  
Mark De Rond

Strategic Planning--The Basic Steps 
Allen F. Stembridge

Strategic Planning Applied to Educational Facilities Design    
David R. Streifling

Escaping Tunnel Vision: Wider Horizons
in Strategic Planning
John Wesley Taylor V


Flexible Learning in a Digital World:
Experiences and Expectations

B. Collins and J. Moonen
Reviewed by Annette D. Melgosa

The Principal as Curriculum Leader
A. A. Glatthorn
Reviewed by Joyce Musabe Ngamije

Educating by Design: Creating Campus Learning
Environments that Work
C. C. Strange and J. H. Banning
Reviewed by David R. Streifling



    

Forum-Strategic Planning: A Vision for the Future


       "Strategic planning as a vision for the future" has been presented as a synthesis of the education, business, and healthcare areas in a forum attended by 197 participants which took place on the 29th of October 2001, in the new AIIAS amphitheater. All presenters have to a large extent covered the essential process of determining "where an organizations is now, where the organization wants to go, and how it will get there" in the framework of envisioning a future. A future vision will guide an organization in the total function of "strategic management" which is generally defined as "the set of decisions that result in the formulation and implementation of strategy designed to achieve the overall objectives of an organization."

       The Business Chair of the AIIAS School of Graduate Studies, Dr. Allen F. Stembridge, introduced as the one leading in the conceptualization of the forum, presented the various important steps involved in strategic planning phase of strategic management that requires business firms to manage all their resources in an attempt to develop a distinctive competence and sustainable advantages in creating a future (Harrison, J. S., and St. John, C. H., Strategic Management of Organization and Stakeholders, West Publishing Co., Minneapolis/ St. Paul, MN, USA, 1994, page 10). The use of strategic planning as a tool in leadership seems to be the critical area where many people do not fully understand. And leadership in the context of strategic management will demonstrate a business firm's ability to get things done successfully. So the success and failure of a business firm will depend on the use of this tool.

      In response to success and failure, the keynote speaker of this forum, Dr. Mark de Rond (in absentia), presented an argument on "whether strategy matters." In his paper that was read and critiqued by Roger Dunder, another AIIAS Professor who teaches Strategic Planning in the MBA program, de Rond argued that as a result strategy may not inevitably be the most rational and best possible solution but is likely to constitute a workable compromise. He further presented several evidences of how strategies didn't work out well in some businesses with the result that the universality of the tool is being questioned.

      In the area of education, the presenters were Dr. John Wesley Taylor V, the Director of AIIAS Online Learning Division, and Dr. David Streifling, AIIAS professor who specializes in Facility Planning. Dr. Taylor presented the importance of formulating and linking mega plan (future society), macro plan (future educational institution), and micro plan (future quality students), the framework of envisioning the future of an educational system. He emphasized on the need for changing the educational paradigm, from mastering content to success in life, from correct behavior to ethical attitudes and motives, from increasing efficiency to quality results, and most important, creating a vision as a subsystem of the wider society, when preparing a strategic plan for an educational institution. This is what he pointed out as "escaping from the tunnel of traditional vision."

      Dr. David Streifling presented strategic planning applied to facility design. In his presentation, he clearly pointed out that "facilities master planning" in an educational institution is really strategic planning with a specialized application. He concluded that facilities do reveal our educational philosophy in practice.

       In the area of health care, Dr. Marilyn E. Lorenzo, the Director of Health Policies and Development Studies of the University of the Philippines, has also presented the concept of strategic management and its actual implementation in the health care industry. (We apologize that her article was not available for inclusion in this issue.)

        Regardless of whether implementation of strategy is a success or failure, the forum has delivered the essential concept of strategic planning as a vision for the future and a useful tool in leadership. It has done well in laying out the tasks involved in formulating a future vision -- tasks that are to be performed in their respective field as a total function of strategic management. After a question-and-answer session, under the "strategic management" of Dr. Julian Melgosa, the Dean of AIIAS School of Graduate Studies, the forum was adjourned with a prayer by Dr. William Andress, professor in the AIIAS Department of Health Education.

       We would therefore share the success of the forum by conveying the message of "strategic planning as a vision for the future" to our readers for further references. May God bless you.



Eric Y. Nasution, PhD
Associate Professor, School of Graduate Studies
Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies