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

Featured Stings

Migration crisis update: What are the chances of a fair deal at this EU Summit?

A reflection of health inequity in recent epidemics

Galileo and EGNOS programmes back in orbit powered with €70 billion

Inflation down to 0.7%, unemployment up at 12.2%: Bad omens for Eurozone

The New Year 2016 will not be benevolent to Europe

Industrial producer prices on free fall and stagnant output

Cameron’s “No Brexit” campaign wins top business support as Tory front breaks

Will the outcome of the UK referendum “calm” the financial markets?

German opposition win in Lower Saxony felt all over Europe

Google’s bare truth: Europe’s Chief denies EU accusations but admits they “don’t always get it right”

Lessons from the Global Entrepreneurship Index

Conflicting statistics and bad banks haunt the Eurozone

EU Parliament: Deposit guarantee and trading platform transparency sought

Twenty days that may remold the future of Europe

JADE Generations Club 2015: Knowledge vs. competences – Do not wait for the change to happen, but make it happen

Young people demand a transparent job market: new campaign launches on international interns day

EU Parliament: The surplus countries must support growth

The EU moulds a new compromise for growth and financial sustainability

Mobile young people create the European labour market of tomorrow

The Monetary Union drives Europe into dangerous paths, CoR demands an EMU of regional content

AIESEC @ European Business Summit 2014: European Youth, Change Now Patiently

EU to Telcos: Stop Mergers and Acquisitions but please help me urgently with 5G development

Businesses succeed internationally

Intel, Almunia and 1 billion euros for unfair potatoes

EU to fail 2050 Green targets due to lack of European citizens’ engagement

MWC 2016 LIVE: Under Armour learns from “robust community of data”

Italy’s M.Renzi and Germany’s S. Gabriel veto austerity, ask EU leaders to endorse growth measures

EU security and defence industry prepares positions for ‘producers’ and ‘customers’

German stock market is not affected by the Greek debt revolution while Athens is running out of time

Who is to lose from the 6-month extension of the EU economic sanctions against Russia?

We are close yet so far…

Access to health in the developping world

Brussels Vs. Google: The €1 bn EU fine and the US response

EU: Centralised economic governance and bank supervision may lead to new crisis

Is deflation a real danger for Eurozone?

Europe’s top court hears Intel and sends € 1.06 bn antitrust fine to review

No better year for the EU’s weak chain links

Syria: Why did the US-Russia brokered ceasefire collapse? What does the duo care for?

“One Belt One Road”: Its relevance to the European Companies

The European Internet is not neutral and neither is the Commissioner

Human Resources Information Systems Specialist Trainee – 2013

Eurozone has practically entered a deflation trap

The Next Web 2014, the biggest European conference on Internet so far and the Absence of Brussels from Amsterdam

Youth platforms call on German Government to break down legal barriers for young volunteers and pupils

It’s not summer holidays what lead to the bad August of the German economy

VW diesel scandal and climate change: can increased independent car checks lead to cleaner mobility?

SMEs and micro firms sinking together with south Eurozone

The Syrian knot cannot be cut without devastating consequences

G20 LIVE: “Re-envisioning the economy to enable women to reach their full potential” live from Antalya Turkey

Greece to stay in the euro area but the cost to its people remains elusive

Pharmaceuticals conceal drug side effects with the EU’s Court blessing

EU Trust Fund for Africa: Can it be beneficial for Italy and tackle the migration crisis in the Mediterranean?

Copyright: European Union , 2017; Source: EC - Audiovisual Service; Photo: Frank Molter

EU hits deadlock on the future of glyphosate a month before deadline

UN Environment Assembly 2017: where the world convenes to #BeatPollution

JADE Team at the European Business Summit 2017

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “You just don’t know if the oil price will be 20$ or 100$ in the next 2-3 years!” top Harvard economist Kenneth Rogoff underscores from Davos

I’m not feeling lucky: The “Right to Be Forgotten” ruling puts Google inside a box

OECD: Mind the financial gap that lies ahead

Elections in Europe: No risks for the EU, leaders readying to face Trump-Brexit

Fostering intergenerational solidarity and cooperation through age-friendly environments: the right answer to Europe’s demographic challenge

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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s