One of the emerging aspects in the contemporary economic landscape is the role of diversity in workplace. According to Kundu and Mor (2017), the 21st century workplace is constituted of individuals from different social, cultural, religious and professional backgrounds. The success of a firm within the current competitive landscape, therefore, lies in effective exploitation of the diverse competencies of the workforce. This makes it integral to include personnel and stakeholders from different social and professional backgrounds in the planning process. The move ensures equitable representation of interests, and also provides the ideal platform for the planning team to identify factors that affect different segments of the market, and to remodel their products and services to satisfy the needs and interests of the target clients (Kundu & Mor, 2017). Based on this premise, I believe that diversity integration in planning process is an exemplary best practice for the 21st century landscape.
Within the current environment, poor leadership characterized with defective communication channels is a key impediment to cooperative strategic planning. The role of a leader is to provide direction and inspire team members to focus on the goals of the planning. Such a process requires transformational leaders who are charismatic, understanding, and ready to be corrected (O’Leary & Sandberg, 2016). Analyses of the corporate environments, however, indicate that many leaders are inflexible and authoritarian. As a result, their followers may be unwilling to contribute proactively towards policy development in planning processes. The other key barrier is rigid organizational values. The contemporary business environment requires firms to review their values from time to time to align with the changing interests of the clients, and to integrate the views and interests of their employees (O’Leary & Sandberg, 2016). A failure to incorporate the values and interests of other key stakeholders in the organization’s value could cripple the planning process.
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The general process of planning requires inclusion of all stakeholders. However, the interests of the different factions can be channeled to the planning teams through their elected leaders. As such, the integration of elected leaders in the planning process is an effective way of constituting a multi-stakeholder taskforce which is necessary to understand all the social and professional aspects of interest to the planning team (Bal, Bryde, Fearon & Ochieng, 2013). Therefore, elected leaders should participate in the actual planning process. Following the completion of the strategic plan, I would consider engaging all stakeholders directly or through their elected leaders to review the elements of the plan. We would then deliberate on contentious elements of the proposed plan and develop consensus in line with the values and missions of the firm as well as the individual and collective interests of the stakeholders. This approach will help to create collective support for the final plan, hence enabling the organization to implement it effectively.
Private and nongovernmental sectors are key players in planning process. The primary approach in engaging these key stakeholders is by focusing on the shared interests of the organizations. This approach implies that I will highlight the benefits that the private and nongovernmental players will harness from supporting the proposed plan. In addition, I will adopt flexibility in decision making to enable us integrate some of the suggestions of the private players and NGOs in the final plan. More importantly, I would encourage the development of a taskforce constituted of representatives from the private sector, NGOs and our organization to look into the shared values and make recommendations on the requisite improvements or changes to our initial plans.
- Bal, M., Bryde, D., Fearon, D., & Ochieng, E. (2013). Stakeholder Engagement: Achieving Sustainability in the Construction Sector. Sustainability, 5(2), 695-710. http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/su5020695
- Kundu, S., & Mor, A. (2017). Workforce diversity and organizational performance: a study of IT industry in India. Employee Relations, 39(2), 160-183. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/er-06-2015-0114
- O’Leary, J., & Sandberg, J. (2016). Managers’ practice of managing diversity revealed: A practice-theoretical account. Journal Of Organizational Behavior, 38(4), 512-536. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/job.2132