Charles Hobson, MA, CEng, CITP, FStratPS, has become an SPS Fellow. Hobson is a practitioner of strategy, advising executive management teams and helping them to develop and implement strategic plans that identify new opportunities and improve customer value, effectiveness, sustainability and profitability.
His main interest lies in the strategic management process, which is for most organisations the key driver of customer value, growth and profitability. His approach to strategic management is pragmatic, flexible and facilitative rather than directive. He has worked with many organisations across the private, public and third (or charity) sectors, including AMEC, Sainsbury’s, Alcatel, BUPA, Unity Bank, IBM, Shell, Yorkshire Water, Thomas Cook, , United Utilities, HSBC, HM Customs & Excise, the Health Service and many others.
He says the importance of strategy in modern business is difficult to understate. “I don’t think a business can survive without a sound strategy. My personal belief is that strategic management is probably the most important tool or technique for any organisation, regardless of sector.”
He says that it is “vital” for an organisation like SPS to be focusing on the discipline. “I hope this will bring strategic management to the fore and make the practice more widely used. It is absolutely vital that academic strategy and real world strategic planning work hand-in-hand, creating a virtuous circle where each feeds back to the other, to the benefit of both.”
A good strategy has a clear vision for the future, he says, and a sensible process of implementation. “Sometimes people jump too quickly into how to achieve the vision, rather than spending time on the strategic planning stage,” Hobson says. “I think getting ready to do the planning is something people could spend more time on.”
But implementation is also important, especially how progress is to be monitored. “Quite often people get very excited about the plan and then don’t provide enough resources to ensure it is implemented.
For further information, please visit www.strategicplanningmatters.co.uk