This paper provides a brief description of the Clayton County Library System. It then discusses the strategies used in the process of analyzing stakeholders and the groups that are among the most important stakeholders in a strategic planning process.
A Brief Description of Clayton County Library System
Clayton County Library System is one of the public libraries that are found in Jonesboro, Georgia (Clayton County Library System, n.d). The library was established with a mission of providing learning and research services to the members of the local community (Clayton County Library System, n.d). The library has six main branches, which are located in different areas within the local community (Clayton County Library System, n.d).
The Strategies Used in the Analysis of Stakeholders
The strategies used in the analysis of stakeholders are approaches that provide effective ways of identifying stakeholders and their specific interests; they are also used in clarifying the views and positions of stakeholders about a particular policy issue. Beginning the process of identifying a coalition of supports and oppositions also depends on such strategies (Parent & Deephouse, 2007; Brugha & Varvasovszky, 2000). Therefore, the following paragraphs explain the strategies that we used in the process of analyzing stakeholders.
The first strategy involved brainstorming about the potential stakeholders (Sue & Liam, 2005; Ewy, 2009). This helped in determining individuals and groups, who would either influence or be influenced by the strategic planning process (Sue & Liam, 2005). Second, the diagram of power-directions of interests was used to build on the power-interest grids (Freeman, 2010). The main purpose was to indicate the various sources of power that were available to each stakeholder, and also the goals and interests that each stakeholder sought to achieve (Freeman, 2010). The third was the use of stakeholder-issue interrelationship diagrams to show the kind of issues in which each stakeholder had an interest (Freeman, 2010). The last strategy was the use of ethical analysis grids to determine the ethical issues that needed to be addressed concerning the various interests of stakeholders (Freeman, 2010).
The most Important Stakeholders in a Strategic Planning Process
One of the most important groups of stakeholders is the board of directors; directors’ roles include providing regular directions, guidance, and oversights (Bhagat & Huyett, 2013). Therefore, the board of directors is the most powerful group of stakeholders in a strategic planning process (Bhagat & Huyett, 2013). The other group of the most important stakeholders includes employees of an organization (Sa, 2013). Successful implementation of strategic plans depends on employees; the employees are supposed to be fully involved in the implementation processes (Sa, 2013). The last group includes the top management officials of an organization and chief executive officers. These are the people who cooperate with the board of directors in terms of providing strategic directions and policy formulations (Sa, 2013).
The Level of Support for the Strategic Planning Process
The most important support a strategic planning process needs can only come from the board of directors. The directors are the ones who give final approval before a strategic plan is implemented (Bhagat & Huyett, 2013). This means that the implementation of a completed strategic plan depends on the board of directors’ final approval of the process (Bhagat & Huyett, 2013).
The most important role of employees entails the implementation of a strategic plan; the employees’ role is to participate in the process of a strategic plan implementation under the supervision of senior management officials (Sa, 2013). Once the board of directors gives its final approval, it is always the responsibility of the senior management officials to oversee and guide the process. Therefore, the importance of their level of support is second to that of the board of directors (Sa, 2013).
The Ways of Soliciting Buy-ins and Commitments
To get the board of directors’ buy-in, I would ensure that the organization would be able to afford the implementation of the strategic plan (Simerson, 2011; Axson, 2010). I would also demonstrate how the strategic planning process and its implementation would benefit the organization in the long run (Simerson, 2011; Axson, 2010). Concerning employees, I would involve them in every stage of the strategic planning process and also demonstrate to them the way the process would benefit them and the organization (Simerson, 2011; Axson, 2010). As for the senior management officials, I would show them how the strategic planning process helps achieve the long-term goals and objectives of an organization (Simerson, 2011; Axson, 2010; Omar, 2003).
The process of strategic planning needs to include the analysis of stakeholders, winning the buy-ins of the stakeholders and the determination of the power, and the consideration of interests of every stakeholder in the entire process (Parent & Deephouse, 2007; Brugha & Varvasovszky, 2000).
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