Business leaders urged to develop strategic thinking skills

Monday, Dec 23, 2013 09:45

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HCM CITY (Biz Hub)— Business leaders will need to apply strategic thinking in order to survive sustainably in the new economy, experts said at a seminar held on Thursday in HCM City.

The seminar was organised by the International Business Knowledge Corporation, attracting 150 Vietnamese economic experts, researchers, managers, strategy planners and business leaders.

Si Danh Quoc Hung, training centre director of OCB Bank, said that new strategic thinking was indispensable for a manager, especially for business leaders.

"Without strategic thinking, companies will not develop well or could go bankrupt," he said.

He outlined five basic steps in a strategic thinking model to help businesses identify "where we are", "where we want to be", "how we will go there" and "how are we doing".

The steps will allow businesses to realise priorities, understand their strengths and weaknesses to use resources effectively and make key decisions to reach their targets, he said.

Dang Quoc Tien, deputy general director of Military Bank, said that "traditional strategic thinking is based on today's figures and forecasts for the future. But new strategic thinking requires business leaders to be creative."

The businesses need to focus on market demand, market forecasts and outside influences on their firms.

For instance, future forecasts must be based on social conditions as well as short – and long-term situations.

Then they can prepare substitute products and services to meet market demands.

Tien said that "new strategic thinking would help firms build new business strategies that show the strengths of their businesses."

This approach helps them create distinctive products and services compared to other competitors.

"If the competitors want to copy these products, it will take them a lot of time and then the competitors will be left outside," he added.

Tien said new strategic thinking has become an urgent issue for businesses when most Vietnamese SMEs are still struggling in a difficult economy.

Since the beginning of this year, 55,000 businesses have gone bankrupt or ceased operations.

He said that it was necessary to seek advice from consulting firms on strategy because the latter could analyse strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges for businesses.

Tran Quang Thang, head of the HCM City Institute of Economy and Management said that "new strategic thinking required business leaders to create many possible scenarios to cope with situations in the future market. This can minimise business risks."

New strategic thinking is needed for start-up businesses, SMEs businesses and large businesses since all enterprises face many risks during their own business development process, he added.

These risks are related to taxes, capital crises, human resources and management.

On the occasion of the conference, the International Business Knowledge Corporation announced the establishment of a Strategy Consulting Centre to provide courses in strategic thinking and strategic consulting for businesses and cities and provincial officials.

This would include risk and financial management, human resources and macro-policy analysis.

The centre will also create a strategy consulting board with the country's leading economic experts, including Tran Dinh Thien, president of the Viet Nam Institute of Economics; Pham Linh, deputy general director of OCB Bank; Nguyen Chi Hai, head of HCM City University of Economy-Law's Economic Department; and Vo Tri Thanh, vice president of Central Institute for Economic Management. — VN

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