Risk management in Vesuvius Area
The duality of wanting to intentionally design the future, while needing to gradually explore, learn and adapt to an unfolding reality, is the tension central to the topic of strategy formation. It is the conflicting need to figure things out in advance, versus to find things out along the way. On the one hand, strategists would like to forecast the future and to orchestrate plans to prepare for it. Yet, on the other hand, strategists understand that experimentation, learning and flexibility are needed to deal with the fundamental unpredictability of future events.
When we speak about strategy, we can't omit the demand for strategy emerges. Emerge is the process of becoming apparent. A strategy emerges when it comes into being along the way. Where there are no plans, or people divert from their plans but their behavior is still strategic, it can be said that the strategy is emergent - gradually shaped during an iterative process of 'thinking' a 'doing'.Strategy is a part of strategic management, which effectively merges with strategic planning, implementation and control.Strategic management is formed from strategic planning plus implementation plus control.
Strategic management = strategic planning + implementation + control
The strategic management process consists of four major steps: (1) formulation of a great strategy, (2) formulation of strategic plans, (3) implementation of strategic plans and (4) strategy control.
The first step, formulation of a great strategy refers how the strategist's mission will be accomplished, because grand strategies are not drawn out of the air. Strategists must analyze very carefully all the aspects of the main problem, a 'situational analysis' for matching organizational strengths and weaknesses with environmental opportunities and threats and in the end to determine the right way for solving it out.
In our case is about SWOT analysis. Strategists are using forecasting techniques, which help them to cope with uncertainty about the future. They have to sort carefully environmental opportunities and threats, because many times a perceived threat may turn out to be an opportunity, or vice versa.
The same thing was happen in our case when a possible Vesuvio eruption represents not only a threat to be managed in case of emergency, but also an opportunity to be exploited.When we speak about the possibility that eruption to represent a threat, we refer at one serious thing: the Vesuvio volcanic area is in the vicinity of the densely populated city of Neaples, Italy.
Moreover, the area at risk, located along the coast has an extraordinary natural beauty, complemented with high architectural and historical value of the vesuvian villas (17th century) and the archeological sites of Pompei and Ercolano.
On the other hand, a possible Vesuvio eruption represents an opportunity for a significant rehabilitation of the whole area. So, many times steps can be taken to turn negatives into positives.In the second major step in the strategic management process, general intentions are translated into more concrete and measurable strategic plans and policies.
Plans at all levels should specify who, what, when and how things are to be accomplished and for how much.Many strategists prefer to call these specific plans 'action plans' to emphasize the need to turn good intentions into action. In the third place, the last two steps: implementation and strategic control refers at the questions at which the strategists must to have answers, related with organizational structure, people, and culture and control system.
In the last place we have strategic control closely related with strategic plans, like our more informal, daily plans can go astray. But a formal control system helps keep strategy, plans on track. Before strategies are translated downward planners should set up and test channels for information on progress problems, and strategic assumptions about the environment or organization that proved to be involved. If a new strategy varies significantly from past ones, new production, financial or marketing reports will probably have to be drafted and introduced.
Strategic planning is the ongoing process of ensuring a competitively superior fir between an organization and its changing environment. In a manner of speaking, strategic management is management on a grand scale, management of the 'great picture' (Arnoldo C. Hax)
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