I need a response to the below Statement:
Strategic planning is an organization’s process of defining it’s strategy or direction of the organization. The major elements of strategic planning involve: mission, vision, and aspirations, core values, objectives, strategies, and operational tactics, and measurements/funding streams (Krach, 2016). These procedures set the stage for organizations to thrive and excel in business and growth of the company. Once you have established these tools, then one can focus on the task at hand and hopefully master the plan for continued success.
Southwest Airlines is a billion dollar company that has a faithful following of loyal customers that believe in their vision and mission. In this case study, Southwest has been presented with multiple challenges that can possibly change the trajectory of the organization. Once considered a start up company, Southwest was founded in 1967 and their sole mission was to provide low airfares to a variety of cites with limited time in the air. This philosophy has been embedded into the company’s culture. The founders wanted the service to be both memorable and inexpensive to deliver (Heskett, J.L. & Sasser, W. E., 2013). With the objective being set, the team had to form teams to achieve these goals. First they had to purchase additional planes to keep up with the demand as well as hire experienced staff. From the outset, Southwest’s management focused on hiring agents and cabin staff with positive personalities, sense of humor, and the willingness to make humorous intercom announcements and otherwise innovate on behalf of customers ( Heskett, J.L. & Sasser, W. E. Jr., 2013). This was suppose to replace meal service on short flights and to keep the customers engaged and happy. The next challenge that presented itself was other airlines followed their model and wanted to emulate their success, so competition begin forcing Southwest to become creative again. They implemented the 10 minute turn around, no assigned seats which allow people to sit wherever they choose without additional cost, and offered additional destinations. This was a big hit with their loyal customers and continued to attract new customers. One of their most important strategic plans was to make the customer experience exceptional, Southwest accomplished this by implementing the “bags fly free “policy. This policy allows passengers to check up to two bags at no cost (Heskett, J. L. & Sasser, W. E. Jr., 2013). This was a game changer and no other airline has been able to mimic this process.
As Southwest continues to grow and remain a force in the airline industry, their leaders are constantly meeting and inventing new ideas with management and partners to help reduce fuel cost, keep customers happy and excited about new flight destinations and keep employees and stakeholders (internally and externally) satisfied. With this motto in place, they will continue to excel in customer experience.
Heskett, J.L. & Sasser, W. E. Jr., (2013). Southwest Airlines: In a Different World. Boston, Ma.: Harvard Business School. HBS No.:910-419. http://gcumedia.com/digital-resources/harvard-business-school-press/2010/southwest-airlines_in-a-different-world_ebook_1e.php
Krach, K. ( 06 September, 2016). 5 Key Components of a Powerful Strategic Plan. https://medium.com/@KeithKrach/5-key-components-of-a-powerful-strategic-plan-4fbb6f15eae3