Strategic planning is the process by which managers of the firm analyze the internal and external environments for the purpose of formulating strategies and allocating resources to develop a competitive advantage in an organization that allows for the successful achievement of organizational goals.
There are two planning approaches; the reactive planning which considers the organization as the primary client. It is as if one was looking from inside the organization to the outside world. It focuses on the benefit of the organization, while the proactive planning considers the society as a primary client. It focuses on the benefit of the society. It is as if one is looking from outside to inside the organization. So, reactive planning is waiting for failure to make change, while proactive is changing before failure.
Both the reactive (in-side out) planning and the proactive (out-side in) planning have advantages and disadvantages. The advantages of the reactive planning is that it represents the personal orientation and world view of persons who feel more comfortable fixing something which is broken while assuming that it is worth fixing. Such people start work analyzing the problems and then seek methods for repairing the damage. The success of any reactive approach hinges on current objectives and purposes being valid and useful.
The disadvantages of the reactive planning are that it is difficult to make major change or identify problems which currently do not exist. Also there is likely bias towards maintaining the status-quo rather than towards creating a fresh set of purposes and responses.
On the other hand the advantages of the proactive planning are many. This approach encourages new visions and answers, Social good now and in the future becomes paramount. The role of educational organization as only one of many provides becomes obvious and since the society is the primary client, and then all other educational partners are also beneficiaries. The proactive planning represents an orientation which constructively challenges the status-quo and identifies possible new purposes and pay offs, this perspective is most comfortable to professionals who seek to effect positive change and growth. The proactive planning clearly recognizes that education and educational agencies are means to social ends, and reduce the likelihood that the primary client and beneficiary of education will be the organization itself or its people.
The disadvantages of the proactive approach are that the process consists of many steps that are connected to each other and must be constantly adjusted. Some unexpected factors also appear that may change the whole strategy and as a result, strategic planning process. Moreover Due to its complexity and heavy commitment to strategic goals, strategic planning is rarely implemented successfully. Often, the poor implementation is the reason for failure, although it is more often the case of misaligned operational and strategic goals.
In fact both approaches are important. The organization may first use the proactive approach, and after setting the vision and mission, delivering the building-block objectives and related methods, the reactive approach may be used and a comparison of “What is” may be made against “what should be” in order to determine what to keep and what to change.