Strategist is the person performing the activities associated with business strategy planning. The major responsibilities of a strategist are:
- First, he must assume the responsibility to develop a plan to complete the strategy activities, the plan must be initiated, dates set, deadlines established, and the process must be monitored to ensure that the deadlines are met.
- Second, basic assumptions about forecasts, economic indicators, technology, and general industry competitiveness must be agreed on and communicated to the functional areas. Procedures must be developed to assure uniformity in the development of the plan. Responsibility for undertaking fundamental studies and valuation of special matters necessary to strategic planning must be assumed.
- Third, the functional areas must actively participate by providing basic underlying data, information, and in some cases specific studies and evaluations. The objectives established by the functional areas must be analyzed and compared to those established for the entire firm. The inputs from the functional areas must also reviewed for major problems, contradictions, gaps, omissions, conflicts and inconsistencies.
- Fourth, training and assistance must be made available to functional areas that do not have the experience or staff to perform their strategic activities well. This is especially true for the firms initiating formal strategic planning for the first time, or new firms. Responsibility must be allocated in such a fashion that someone stands ready to help the functional areas upon request with substantive problems, forecasts, and studies.
Fundamentally, then, responsibility for coordinating and integrating of the strategic planning function must be assigned. However, the responsibility does not stop there. It also includes instigation of the planning process, simulation of creativity and innovation, and providing support studies and advice to others involved in strategic planning.