Entrepreneurship and strategic planning: the enabler

Bienkowska 2017_

Press conference following the State of the Union Address by Jyrki Katainen, Vice-President of the EC, and Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Member of the EC, on Industrial Policy Strategy. Date: 18/09/2017   Location: Brussels – EC/Berlaymont. © European Union , 2017 / Source: EC – Audiovisual Service / Photo: Jennifer Jacquemart.

This article was exclusively written for the Sting by Mr Diogo Parreira, President of the European Confederation of Junior Enterprises (JADE). The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect The European Sting’s one.

Entrepreneurship is a common word in our daily lexicon. It is about exploiting resources to produce concrete new ideas. It is about re-thinking what it is done and find better ways of doing it. It is about improving and enhancing the goals we give to products, services, organizations, etc. The European ecosystem of start-ups, incubators, innovation centres is growing very fast.

On the other hand, there are also a lot of small business dying every day. Indeed, having an idea is not that hard in a world full of opportunities. Structuring this idea into a business model is a bit more complicated. Planning it to be sustainable and successful in the long-term is even more difficult. This last step seems to be one of the main pains for small businesses and for the start-up universe.

When we talk about entrepreneurship, we often associate it to brainstorming and thinking out of the box. Seeing the same things from different perspectives. Discussing scenarios to come up with different ideas. That is true – but it is only the first step. The vision for the future, through a clear strategic planning, is crucial. A lot of times, unfortunately, it comes too late.

Why is the strategic planning so important?

The knowledge coming from hundreds of Junior Enterprises – organizations managed and composed of university students that aim to foster and develop their entrepreneurial skills –, show us 3 main ideas to encourage the strategic planning in an entrepreneurship environment:

  1. Be sure you have the foundations aligned

More and more often organizations foster diversity in their teams, assuming that diversity brings different perspectives that will lead to richer solutions and outputs. Differences may come from backgrounds, nationalities, expertise… and are powerful sources of inputs. Globalization helps destroying the idea of homogeneity. However, a basic alignment is needed. It is important to have the concepts clarified, the conviction shared and goals set. Otherwise, managing, structuring and taking decisions in an organization is much harder.

Strategic planning is an enabler to go into a deep diagnosis, to listen to the people, to collect insights and perspectives. It is about defining foundations that everyone in the organization should share. Having the pillars, building a house is much easier.

  1. Continuity, continuity and continuity

Mainly younger generations are always looking for more challenges. They start, learn, improve themselves in a professional and personal point of view, but then they also leave and go to other challenges. Indeed, when we talk about the entrepreneurial environment, the people turnover is quite high. When this happen, it is more likely for the knowledge to get lost and for an organization to either die or stagnate. In a market that changes fast, learning, adapting and improving is very important. Thus, continuity is key to succeed.

Having a clear strategy defined gives the guidelines in a mid/long-term perspective. If converts the one-year basis idea into a broader vision.

  1. Know the meaning of the things you do

When we start a business or setup an idea, there are many things to be done in a short amount of time. The first years are very demanding and complex. It is very easy to get lost in details, operational work and to lose the focus on the purpose of an organization, its strategic goals or core business. Having a team that works without knowing the answer to the “why-question” is a first step to demotivation and lack of a clear direction.

The strategic planning gives the big picture – showing the reasons for the actions we implement in a daily basis. It is about understanding the meaning and the direction, about focus and results orientation. Therefore, the frame helps to understand what needs to be done, but even more important, why it needs to be done.

There are two parts when talking about strategic planning. A first one made up by market research, deep diagnosis and benchmarking. This is often done. Then, there is a second part, which is the strategic definition: the goals, KPIs and action plans – that is often, sadly, either ignored or forgotten. This does not destroy the necessary flexibility to grow fast: it brings focus and orientation to succeed in a fast-changing environment. Although, a variable should be raised here: time.

Strategic planning is not a question of defining goals only in a 10-years perspective. We can (and should) plan in shorter periods. In some contexts, planning in a 2-years basis is more than enough. Others will need to go for a 5-years or even 1-year. The important is to not forget the idea of planning in a strategic way, according to the organization goals and purpose.

Following what is written, strategic planning is very important for us in JADE, the European Confederation of Junior Enterprises. We always encourage our Junior Enterprises to define their strategies and we will be defining our own for the next 3-years.

About the author

Diogo Parreira is the President of JADE – the European Confederation of Junior Enterprises. He is in charge of managing the strategic planning of the Confederation; enlarging the Junior Enterprise concept across Europe; and enhancing the international relations of JADE.

Diogo has graduated in business administration from ISCTE Business School (Portugal), currently finishing his master in International Management with a major in Strategy at Católica Lisbon. He was Vice-President of his Junior Enterprise, ISCTE Junior Consulting and President of JADE Portugal – being the responsible for defining a 5-years national network strategy that aims to double the number of Junior Enterprises and ensuring their faster and sustainable development.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

EntEx Organises 5 Summer Schools for Young Entrepreneurs across Europe in June/July 2014

EU Commission retracts on the Chinese solar panel case

COP21 Breaking News_04 December: Building a Sustainable Future – speech by UNEP Deputy Executive Director Ibrahim Thiaw at the LPAA Thematic Event on Buildings

There is a way for Eurozone to reach a sustainable growth path

MWC 2016 LIVE: 5G to embrace unlicensed bands and Wi-Fi

Iran nuclear talks’ deadline extended: the match is still open for many

Commission offers discount on fines to banks for competition infringements

European Union: Retail sales show deep recession

EU car manufacturers worry about an FTA with Japan

Health & Sustainable Development Goals: it’s about doing what we can

At last Britain considers a super-soft Brexit

Cloud computing under scrutiny in the EU?

Family incomes stagnate in the EU; people excluded from ‘moderate recovery’

Eurozone needs more than some decimals of growth

A Brussels antithesis reveals where the EU is heading

Is “Sustainable Development” a concept that integrates Health Literacy and Health Policy as a global health action?

France asks help from Germany but it will not be for free

May led Britain to chaos, now looks for way out with unpredictable DUP

The vicious cycle of poverty and exclusion spreads fast engulfing more children

Germany to help China in trade disputes with Brussels

Building an Inclusive ICT Innovation Ecosystem

New round of bargaining for the 2014 EU budget late in autumn

JADE @ European Business Summit 2014: Youth Unemployment – a drive to Entrepreneurship

A Young entrepreneur cries out: “start in Europe, stay in Europe”

The 28 EU leaders unable to start a relevant debate on migration and Brexit

Hardened creditors drive Greece to dire straits; Tsipras desperate for an agreement

What UK and EU risk if Brexit “wins” these elections

The Commission breathless behind the horsemeat scandal

CHINA: five letters that could mean…

Commission and ECB prepare new financial mega-tool in support of SMEs

The fatal consequences of troika’s blind austerity policy

Bank resolutions to remain a politically influenced affair

ECB offers plenty and cheap liquidity to support growth in all Eurozone countries

Germany and Europe prepare for Trump’s America

Azerbaijan chooses Greek corridor for its natural gas flow to EU

Will the end of QE come along with ECB’s inflation target?

Higher education becoming again a privilege of the wealthy?

Can the EU really make Google and Facebook pay publishers and media?

Education expenditure in the EU not hurt much by crisis

Is Germany’s political landscape becoming a breeding ground for extremism?

ECB will be the catalyst of Eurozone’s reunification

Humanitarian Aid 2016: The needs, the highlights, the crisis and the relief

Towards the Rise of the United States of the Atlantic?

MWC 2016 LIVE: Verizon boasts momentum for IoT platform

Civil society organisations disenchanted with “Youth Guarantee”

Junior Enterprises as a solution for Youth Entrepreneurship

Joris in Indonesia

JADE Spring Meeting Live Coverage: Entrepreneurial skills in the digital markets

1 million citizens try to create a new EU institution

Inflation not a problem for Europe

Fed, ECB take positions to face the next global financial crisis; the Brits uncovered

Turkey’s Erdogan provokes the US and the EU by serving jihadists and trading on refugees

How the EU sees its own and Russia’s role in Ukraine

A Sting Exclusive: “On the road to Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement”, by Ambassador Katakami of the Japanese Mission to the European Union

G20 World Exclusive Interview: “The world, especially emerging economies and developing countries, require a more sustainable and quality development”, the Spokesperson of Japan underscores live from Antalya Turkey

COP21 Breaking News_03 December: Transport Industry Drive for Improved Energy Efficiency and Electro-Mobility to Stem High Growth of Emissions

Europe moulds global defense and security chart given US new inward vision

The next 48 hours may change the European Union

EU and U.S. castigate Facebook on Cambridge Analytica scandal as citizens’ data privacy goes down the drain again

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s