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Strategic Intent

Strategic Intent

The Advantages of Strategic Intent Thinking

Many people fulfill lifelong goals when they become a member of a certain profession. Perhaps you had a
dream of being a business professor or operating your own business from a young age. You may have
admired a teacher or a business owner who kindled your ambition. Despite having an idea of what you
wanted to accomplish early on, you likely had little knowledge of the steps you would take to achieve your
goal. As you learned about what was required to reach your ultimate goal, you set short-term and
medium-range goals that aligned with your long-term goals. Short-term goals may have included getting
good grades each year while medium-range goals might have included getting into a good college or
saving money for tuition. You likely adjusted short-term and medium-range goals to take advantage of
new opportunities that may not have existed when you set your long-term goals, such as attending the
DBA program at Walden. Organizations that operate with strategic intent employ a similar approach often
with substantial benefit. However, adopting a strategic intent approach can also present challenges for
organizations that have relied on more traditional strategies. As a scholar-practitioner in the modern
global business environment, it is important that you understand the benefits and challenges of strategic

intent and how the approach differs from traditional strategies.


The traditional strategic planning determines how an organization can effectively allocate
resources to its functions to improve its profitability by exploring the internal and external
opportunities. The traditional strategic planning begins by setting an attainable goal then
identifying the steps and the resources that are needed to make the goal a success (Hill & Jones,
2012). Thereafter, the management becomes responsible in controlling and maximizing the
utility of resources to ensure that the goal of the strategic plan is effectively achieved. On the
other hand, strategic intent differs from the traditional strategic planning in that the former
operates towards increasing an organizations knowledge base with the aim of leveraging an
organization’s resource towards the achievement of impossible goals. Whereas strategic intent
thinking is surrounded with the notion of expectancy theory, the traditional strategic planning is
concerned with reaching attainable goals using the available resources.
Both the traditional strategic planning and strategic intent are similar in the sense that
they both place value on the available resources in order to reach organizational goal. Strategic
intent and strategic planning are similar in the sense that both of them require critical thinking in
addition to aligning an organization’s mission statement with the vision. Whereas strategic

planning focuses on the available resources and the current environment to develop achievable
goals, strategic intent looks above the realm of what is possible through inspired innovation to
push the current resources beyond the production possibility frontier (Hill & Jones, 2012).
Strategic intent has an impact on strategy in that it inspires innovation and business
strategies as the management works towards the strategic business goals. In addition, strategic
intent improves the clarity of an organization’s mission and vision, which in turn improves the
operational strategies within the company and the overall improvement in business strategy.
When the viewpoints of all stakeholders are taken care of, the business strategy can greatly be
expanded to add value to the organization. When the viewpoints from all stakeholders are taken
into consideration, an organization is able to work in unison in achieving the strategic business
objectives by allowing more flexibility and maximum exploitation of available opportunities
(Hill & Jones, 2012). It thus becomes a topic worth exploring in research to determine to what
extent strategic intent results in the achievement of impossible goals do.



Hill, C.W & Jones, G.R. (2012). Strategic Management Theory: An Integrated Approach.
Cengage Learning; 10 edition

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