Strategic It is interesting that, as strategic management

Strategic decisions vary from other decisions primarily in the magnitude of the decision and effects as well as the timeframe for execution.  As Brian Bass puts it, strategic decisions “implement policy that aims to move the organization toward its long-term goals” (Bass).  Strategic decision have long term effects and can result in major changes to the way the entire corporation operates and functions.  Other types of decisions are often applied at a more localized level and are used to guide the company towards meeting the larger goals set by strategic decisions.  These other decisions can deal with day to day operations or address shorter term goals (Bass).According to Wheelen, Hunger, Hoffman, and Bamford, strategic management typically evolves through four phases: basic financial planning, forecast-based planning, externally oriented planning, and strategic management.  The first phase, financial planning, is the most basic form of planning and often consists of managers developing an annual plan or budget for their group.  The second phase, forecast-based planning, becomes more involved and can use rudimentary analysis to determine estimated project budgets that can range out to five years.  The third phase, externally oriented planning, takes control away from low level management, utilizes more developed market estimates, and begins to align the company’s budget with its objectives and overall competitive strategy while not getting caught up in details.  The last phase, strategic management, engages all levels of an organization to make strategic decisions.  On the last phase, upper management still has some control over strategic decisions as they set company goals and vision, but the employees are equally involved as they implement and develop more localized plans to meet the overall vision of the company (Wheelen, Hunger, Hoffman, & Bamford, 2015). Ultimately, strategic management is a way to ensure long term success for a company.  Even the most talented team can become ineffective if there is no leadership or vision defining a goal and plan for success.  Strategic management provides guidance for achieving company goals and makes sure that all the parts of the company are working toward the same vision.  It is interesting that, as strategic management evolves within a company, navigation of the company is removed from localized decision making and becomes more centralized.  However, when a company reaches the last phase, the process begins to involve all levels of the company while still receiving guidance from top executives.  This involvement helps to ensure that all employees are actively engaged at work and everyone can see the direction that the company is headed and feels involved and influential in the overall progress.