The role of strategic thinking in shaping institutional management
Tom Destiny Namwambah
Management has its share of perks and rewards. Managers are usually in a better position to influence, lead change and trigger transformation. In most organizations and to the understand of most ordinary people, being a manager means a better compensation package and not having to sit in a labour intensive cubicle. Such understanding of a manager, though common in many circles, is naïve, misleading, illogical and unrealistic because it negates the very essence of being a manager. There’s a huge price to pay for the status and the extra rewards that accompany the position of management. Being a manager means you have to deal with tough and critical issues that can easily cost you sleep and loss of hair. You need to ensure and guarantee that the institution is running smoothly, that productivity is on target, that quality meets the requisite competitive standards, you need to know your team and their capabilities, and have the prowess of adjusting their mindset from contributor per se to lead-contributor; you need the zeal and acumen to resist and overcome pressure to perform - building your Emotional Intelligence to surpass ordinary measures; flexibility to shifting from the details to high-level view; managing time devoid of lapses; effectively communicating with and between the ranks; setting clear goals, aspirations and expectations; setting pace in giving and asking for regular feedback; encouraging productivity and teamwork; determining the hiring and firing of employees; guaranteeing discipline; and having the courage to ask for help, among others. In the practical sense, being a competent manger means being a lead servant, a pacesetter, a role model, and icon of efficiency and effectiveness, the gadfly of the organization’s serenity and success; a shrewd strategic thinker. This article explores the value and the critical role of strategic thinking in the management of institutions, especially its central role in the development of institutions’ vision, mission and values statements.