Five Tips of Business Strategy for A Comprehensive, Integrative Approach to Business
An Integrative Approach to Business and Organizations
In their book Business – an Integrative Approach, 3e, Fry and Hattwick (2004) present the practices of three business icons e.g. Dell, Best Buy, and Southwest Airlines, in order to glean a path for successful business. Through their study of these principle organizations and others, Fry and Hattwick constructed a model to outline the type of thought process business leaders use to make sound judgments and decisions and to demonstrate how the pieces of a business enterprise fit together to make a whole. Recognizing that “owners or managers of every business make decisions related to marketing, finance, human resources, facilities, and other elements of business,” Fry and Hattwick take an integrated approach to business organizations and show how each decision affects other areas. They break the path to business success to five major processes illustrated in Figure 2.1 including
1. Mission and Vision
2. Indicators of Business Success
3. Assessing the Environment and Its Impact
4. Providing Excellence in Products and Services
5. Evaluating Results and Making Changes
Arrows are drawn from one step to the next to indicate that the path to success is a continual process (See Figure 2.1).
Vision and Mission
Through their research and observations, Fry and Hattwick (2004) posited that the first decision key people must make is the direction they want their enterprise to take. As shown in Figure 1, this direction is determined and set forth through vision and mission statements that define the intentions of the organization and how the organization will achieve those intentions. Fry & Hattwick define a vision statement as a broad statement of what organizational leaders want their business to achieve and a mission statement as a document that spells out why the organization exists and what it will do to achieve its ultimate aims.
Indicators of Business Success
Frye and Hattwick (2004) postulate that the second step on the path of business or organizational success comes by looking at how a respective organization measures progress toward their crafted vision. Indicators of success are formulated as functions of the vision and mission statements and become an integrating force within an organization. They suggest five indicators that affect nearly all businesses including
1. Achieving financial performance;
2. Meeting customer needs;
3. Building quality products and services;
4. Encouraging innovation and creativity;
5. Gaining employee commitment.
Assessing the Environment and Its Impact
The third step in Fry & Hattwick’s (2004) integrative model of business and organizations is to be aware of and assess the potential impact of the environmental forces related to their business enterprise. To survive and thrive in this complex business world, they suggest organizational leaders especially keep an eye on five environmental forces including
1. Diversity trends and issues;
2. Economic forces;
3. Financial markets and processes;
4. Global influences;
5. Legal and regulatory forces.
Providing Excellence in Products and Services
Fry and Hattwick (2004) narrow the fourth step in their integrative approach to providing excellence in products and services. Once an organization has defined its vision and mission; set up its measures of success for accomplishing that vision and mission; and engaged in a comprehensive process of environmental scanning; Fry and Hattwick outline six things that successful organizations do to optimize performance and move towards their defined indicatos of success. Those six things include
1. Thinking strategically;
2. Acquiring and using resources;
3. Providing value through quality products and services;
4. Enhancing value through communicating to customers;
5. Integrating activities and encouraging commitment;
6. Using technology in a competitive environment.
Through this step, Fry and Hattwick show that no matter how much or how well organizational leaders script their visions and plan their courses of action, success comes in the execution of that vision and plan. Moreover, they add that “regardless of the types of products or services provided and the kinds of resources involved in the production, the entire process must be managed well” (p. 1).
Evaluating Results and Making Changes
The fifth step in Fry and Hattwick’s model of integrative business is to evaluate the results and make necessary changes in a timely order. They wrote: “a business can be successful over time only if its managers carefully evaluate performance results and make necessary changes to improve those results and meet new demands” (p. 1). In their work focused on strategic leadership, Hughes & Beatty (2005) prescribed a similar comprehensive scheme to organizational development and leadership as Fry & Hattwick. In that work, Hughes & Beatty defined organizational success as the ability to continuously maintain a competitive advantage in their chosen field or sphere of influence. Furthermore, they demonstrated that organizations that want to thrive in the complex business world of the 21st century must develop their capacities as learning organizations that are situated to respond in appropriate ways to the ebbs and flows of their respective market environments. Like Fry & Hattwick, Hughes & Beatty stress that the importance of each firm to check their progress by devising a scheme to evaluate results and make necessary changes in a timely manner in order to retain a sustainable competitive advantage and viability over the long-term.