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Free Systems Thinking Essay Sample

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     The strategic planning system involves various subset systems that help curve out the effectiveness of the results.  The importance of strategic planning cannot be overemphasized though it has become an integral part of the business environment in the world of today.  This is because it helps in the identification process of well defined objectives and assessments of both the external and internal environments within which the specific business operates.  As such, it enables easier formulation, implementation, evaluation and adjustments of strategies to keep the business in the requisite operational levels.  Key to the strategic planning process is the systems thinking.  This has been widely defined as the way of conceiving and projecting the outcomes of a system comprised of many components by evaluating the interactions among the components.  The components of a system can be tangible or intangible, and the interactions among the components have effects such as causing, affecting, controlling, inhibiting, accelerating, etc.  Further, recognizing the dynamics (interrelationships) among the system's components may lead someone to some predictive insights on the possible outcomes, both positive and negative, and provide a deeper overall understanding of the system's behavior caused by the impacts that the various components have on one another.   (Uchil, 2009) This paper seeks to address how the strategic planning process (specific reference made to the application of the strategic intent) can be used to achieve the set objectives in an organization that is non-profit making in nature and deals specifically with the provision of mental health care services.

Mission statement

            The mission statement of this organization states in part that it is a comprehensive mental health center and 100% of its services are dedicated to providing cerebral health avoidance and treatment to the citizens of Bibb, Pickens, and Tuscaloosa counties. The mission statement actually forms the basis upon which the strategic intent is formulated.  Therefore, the success of  strategic intent would depend entirely on the suitability of the vision and mission statements with reference to the service being delivered.  Therefore, these two components have a direct if not total effect on the strategic intent and its achievement.  In line with the mission stated above, this agency uses a very effective strategic intent to make it a reality.  In this case, the strategic goal applied here states as such: to provide the very best care/services for the clients.  This is a company-wide strategic intent that allows the organization to achieve the goals it has purposed at the highest level of the organizational structure.

Internal assets

     These are the existing facilities that enable the provision of efficient or rather excellent service to the mentally ill individuals.  The agency prides itself in having in place world class facilities that have helped them in the administration of excellent services.  Modern computerized equipment as well as support systems that have created conducive environments for the sustenance of the mentally sick patients are just but a few instruments that have made it possible for the agency to live up to its billing as a world class facility.  The existence of internal assets promotes in almost the greatest since the realization of the mission of the institution.  The existence of these internal assets in a big way contributes to the aspect of internal factors that subsequently affect the working of the organization as a whole.  Internal factors are, therefore, drawn entirely from the existing assets.  Such assets would, therefore, include the labor force and the existing organizational designs and structures among others. (Rogers, 2001).

External factors

      The external factors play a huge role when the organization’s competitive environment is put into consideration.  However, considering the organization under study is non-profit making, the external factors would be limited to the community, legal procedures and the target consumers (in this case the people with mental health problems).  The most influencing factor in this case would be the community considering the organization offers its service to them.  It, therefore, has a big say in the running of the organization.  This class can also be enlarged to encompass the financial donors.  Being non-profit making, this organization must have in place efficient financial channels that would help them to maintain constant if not high-performance levels.  Poor funding methods would mean that the organization would lack the financial means to maintain the operational levels expected of it thereby resulting in the failure to realize the strategic intent.  Legal aspects would include taxation regimes and population ratios that would either minimize or maximize the service delivery of the organization.  (Wootton & Horne, 2000) As for the customers, their participation level is of importance in the determination of the service delivery of the organization.  This means that customers have to be there if any services are to be administered.  Therefore, they form the basic requirements of any organization offering services such as those.  External factors could also be enlarged to encompass environmental constraints that would in one way or another affect the processes required to realize the strategic intent put in place.  Such factors would include vagaries in the weather patterns that would have mild effects on the service delivery, ailments or diseases that would reduce the input levels hence a consequent decrease in the efforts to realize the strategic goals.  The effect occasioned by diseases would act to lessen the rate at which the scheduled strategic goals would be achieved.

The Market/Organization Reaction

            Much of this section has been covered under the external factors that in one way or another affect the achievement of the strategic goal.  In a summary sense, though, it is important to take into consideration the potential delays that would affect the strategic intent implementation process, the time frames required for the market or internal organizations to react to the strategic intent and its implementation, the probable delays that would be witnessed in the evaluation of the reactions and lastly the feedback loops that could be used to generate the requisite alterations or adjustments.  It should, however, be noticed that the implementation of the strategic intent, however, simple it may seem, may be a very difficult task. With all the factors shaping the strategic planning process in full play, the process may warrant a little too much concentration if any results are to be realized.  Hindrances may be occasioned by variations in the internal and external factors as discussed above. It is therefore, particularly important that we take consideration of the changes that would lead to the establishment of blockages that would subsequently hamper the realization process of the set objectives.  Such changes would include a decrease in the agency’s population (in terms of the number of the mentally ill patients present and the labor force), an increase in the taxation schedules as well as the reduction in the donor funding.  The successful implementation of the strategic goals will also mean that orientations will have to be aligned to incorporate the new outcomes.  This implies that reactions are bound to be witnessed, and the implementation procedures of this strategic intent will depend on the duration taken by market and the internal organization to conform to these goals.  Such durations normally vary according to the intensity of the goal being pursued and its relevance to the organization’s service delivery procedures.  The evaluation process of the strategic goals would be another occurrence that would warrant proper and quick action. The control function can be applied to verify the results of the strategic goals (accomplishments) as compared to the expected results to be able to make proper inferences on the suitability of the strategies.  It is obvious that positive outcomes will be met by quick responses while negative outcomes would lead to slow responses.  The control function of measuring the goals to the outcomes would, therefore, make it easier for the assessment of the strategic goals to be made.  The reasons that lead to delays in the implementation process would be suitable in this situation, as well.  It must however, be realized that any delays in as far as the evaluation process is concerned would lead to a slower implementation process as well as impact negatively on the suitability of the vision statement.

Projected Outcome and Recommendations

     With an increased service delivery over time, this organization has managed to establish itself as one of the best health care centers not only in the regions of Bibb, Pickens and Tuscaloosa but in the national stage.  Its increased dominance and influence is a clear pointer of what the future holds; an international mental health care agency.  Feasibility tests projected into the future portends eminent growth patterns for this institution.  This means that the organization will have an opportunity to offer its services even to foreigners considering mental illness is a condition that is experienced in almost all quarters of the globe.  The interrelations between these factors; internal and external factors is the most important of all the set ups required for efficient implementation of the strategic goals. (Bruce & Langdon, 2000)  Striking an effective balance between these two operational environments helps the organization to function well in line with the strategic goals it sets aside.  My recommendations would, therefore, be that the agency should start an awareness campaign in the global stage to help it gain the recognition so much required to propel it to higher levels of service delivery.

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