Discussion Board 2: Strategic Thinking
When I worked for the HSBC there were several strategic issues that I had to address. I might soon find myself working in such a place and I need to apply strategic thinking to ensure I face a smooth start to my career.
My mission is to excel in a fulfilling business career where I will exercise a high level of professionalism for individual and corporate growth.
My vision is to become a highly effective business executive within the first six years of my career.
The strategic issues I faced at HSBC were:-
– What were the most appropriate ways and methods needed to handle different clients and serve them to their utmost satisfaction?
In response to this challenge, my trainer guided me on how to handle clients with varying temperaments and demands. Never to be impatient or act rudely to a client and most importantly to develop my listening skills.
– How do I adapt to the new environment especially the time demands, the rotations to different departments and working late hours?
I had to set a strict time schedule ad also the discipline to adhere to deadlines. My trainer advised me to organize each day’s work, to set realistic time frames and persevere through late working hours.
– How do I master effective banking communication or communication in such workplaces?
I had to obtain a clear communication protocol especially on urgent issues that may arise. I also had to learn on how to communicate in business and banking terms .
– How do I create a rapport with my seniors and work harmoniously will all my new workmates?
I participated in team building exercises and took time to chat with my workmates or catch some entertainment after work.
– How do I go about the technical bits of my work that I have not been trained on?
I had to heavily en quire from my trainer and be keen to watch how he went about some technical aspects. I also had to be innovative and use all my learnt and intrinsic skills t come up with solutions to various challenges.
Crafting strategic alternatives
– The first alternative was to ask for a personal trainer. This alternative would help me to settle quickly and learn many new things. However, I had to be cautious to avoid being over reliant on that person as this could limit my creativity and pro-activeness in learning.
– The second alternative was to ask for minimal supervision and be assigned simpler duties in a manner that I would be comfortable with. I would also ask to be assigned tougher duties at later stages of my training period. This strategy would however not be welcome by the management and I had to fit into the training program already set by the company.
Selection of the strategy
I opted for the first alternative since it offered me an opportunity to learn quickly and effectively. I could also become creative and proactive. I had to consult my trainer in several things and before I implemented my own ideas to avoid conflicting with the norms or compromising the company’s standards.
Implementing the strategy
Allocating resources to strategy-critical activities
The most critical resource that I needed to allocate strategically was time. I needed to learn and adapt fast and effectively by prioritizing my duties to fit into limited time.
Establishing strategy-supportive policies
I familiarized myself with the company’s human resource policies paying attention to its training policies so that I would know what was expected of me and how I would go about my training effectively.
Instituting best practices and programs for continuous improvement
I made sure that I was always kept time. I also tried to be as disciplined and respectful as I could. These practices were aimed at improving my professionalism.
Installing needed information, communication and operating systems
In this regard, I sought from my boss the communication protocol that I was supposed to adhere to in my work.
Motivating people to pursue target objectives
I read some business and banking literature as well as teamed up with experienced bankers in order to lean some things and also get motivated to achieve my target objectives as a trainee.
Tying rewards to achievement of results
HSBC offers employment to outstanding trainees and I was motivated to do my best in order to gain employment by the bank.
Exerting the leadership necessary to drive the process forward and keep improving
I started several things on my own initiative and I was disciplined enough to work under minimal or no supervision. I also consulted widely and helped new trainees to settle in quickly.