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Compare And Contrast The Strategies Of War Planning And Business Planning. What Internal (Micro) And External (Macro) Environmental Factors Or Forces Are Considered Important For The Success Of Planning In Business And War?

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Essay Preview: Compare And Contrast The Strategies Of War Planning And Business Planning. What Internal (Micro) And External (Macro) Environmental Factors Or Forces Are Considered Important For The Success Of Planning In Business And War?

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There are a many similarities between military and business planning. The definitions of military and business planning are similar and/or have the same core processes--although they may be called something different. The Army defines planning “as a continuous process in preparation for future assigned or assumed tasks.” Further, “[planning] involves a detailed and systematic examination of all aspects of contemplated operations.” An additional business definition of planning includes, “defining the ends to be achieved and determining appropriate means to achieve the defined ends.” Another business definition states, “defining organizational goals and proposing ways to reach them.” Although, if you take the definitions apart you will find some slight differences. However, the business and military definitions address future objectives and an on-going and defined process for achieving and reaching those goals. The key significant difference in the business planning process and military strategies is military plans include preparing to fight and win. General George Patton said, “Practice those things in peace time that you intend to do in war.”

However, both military and business planning require effective leadership. Effective leadership at the core requires vision. “Vision is the sense of the future...and the power of a vision...gives leaders a basis for positive actions, growth, and transformation.” This sense must be converted to action. To вЂ?convert the vision to action’ certain characteristics are important to and in senior leaders to achieve that vision. These characteristics are ethics, professional skills, process, and organization. All effective leaders utilize these basic characteristics to implement and sustain their vision. The implementation of the leader’s vision requires the use of these characteristics to develop the strategies to plan and guide the direction of a business or the military operation. The premise regarding the issue of strategies of war planning or business planning hinges on the use of these characteristics.

The first critical element of leadership (military or business planning) is ethics. “Ethics is a set of values and rules that define right and wrong conduct.” Although ethical values may vary for the leader in a business as compared to a military organization, the core expectations of value and rules are essential for a strategically effective organization. One is reminded of the Enrons of the world when we think of failure to maintain ethical standards. This is not to say that the military has not had some of the same, such as the Melie massacre in Vietnam. It should be understood that this type of behavior is not taught or actively allowed in the military setting. Further, we tend to forget the ethical standards set by companies, such as Tylenol, who many years ago voluntarily recalled their product, and saved their company and set an ethical standard respected by customer and industry alike. Further, our military has a history of more than 200 years of ethical behavior in light of a completely different mission than a business.

Therefore, effective leaders must serve as role models worthy of emulation, promote ethical development in subordinates, and develop and sustain those standards which are expected by all employees. Without such effort originating from the top level in an organization and working its way down through the organization, a weakness can develop which will continue to plague the organization.

An ethical weakness is a serious problem in an organization and will eventually seriously hamper the organization, if not cause its downfall. This is significant enough for a business organization. However, the issue is much more significant in a military organization where the ultimate mission is to fight and win a war. The demonstration and expectations of such values as loyalty, duty, selfless service, and integrity are critical to a military planning. The lives of many men and women and the potential hope of a nation is in the hand of those who demonstrate and hold the issue of ethical actions and behavior in high esteem. General George Washington said war must be carried on by, “Men of Character actuated by Principles of Honor.”

Further, but with continued attention on ethical considerations and the vision of the leader, the second element of leadership (planning for either business or military) is professional skills. Professional skills include conceptual, competency, and communications. The conceptual skill involves the ability to develop processes or ideas and make decisions. Many believe that creativity, generation of novel ideas, is the first step in the innovation process. In addition to creativity there must be some semi-scientific decision making process. A part of the decision making process should be forecasting. “Forecasting involves projecting or estimating future events or conditions in an organization’s environment...primarily external factors beyond the organization’s control.” Further, much of the decision making process includes intuition. Intuition skills are those quick and ready insights which come from being prepared, from study, and from concentration on critical issues.” Therefore, this conceptual skill is one of the significant differences in the purpose of the military training program, not only for the top leadership, but training at all levels of the military.

The second professional skill, competency, based on Webster’s New World Dictionary, addresses the issues of ability and fitness. From a military perspective, the lack of competency of a leader can impact, “the very survival of a unit’s soldiers. In light of this statement, a military planning strategy has significant implications when looking at the competency of the military leader. Barring those business leaders who hold the вЂ?actual’ life of their employees in their hands, the military strategist has a more critical role as relates to competency. Competency includes factors of perspective, endurance, risk taking, coordination, and assessment.

The first competency factor involves perspective, which is a matter of being able to look at the �big picture’. This skill would be critical for business and military planning. Yet the ’big picture’ of the military leader has bigger implications than the business leader.

The second competency factor, endurance, has two components, physical and mental. The

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