Rocket Nation Recovery Part 9 – a couple of recent posts used The Principles of Strategic Management as a framework to assess the situation at UToledo. They asked if the root cause of the morale, enrollment and financial crisis could be traced to structural problems in strategic management of UToledo’s strategic intent and/or strategic plans?

Many of your messages have asked “what are The Principles of Strategic Management”? Great question! My apology for not starting there. 

In simple terms, The Principles of Strategic Management suggest that an institutions success is grounded in senior leaderships ability to proactively align and control:

• Strategy Formulation including strategic intent, plans, forecasts, and organization structure.
• Strategy Execution including procedures, technology, people and knowledge transfer.
• Strategy Evaluation including measures, analysis, reporting and process improvement. 

Is it possible that the crisis is being caused by a lack of strategic management alignment and control across the institution?  

Managing The Principles in a start-up or small business is pretty straightforward. But managing them in a nearly $1B institution is complex. Why? Because The Principles need to be aligned and controlled in the holding company (UToledo) and within each operating company (colleges + athletics). So, UToledo strategic management complexity is high.

That complexity is further magnified by the need to manage a series of shared services. This includes facilities, grounds, strategic planning, student affairs, human resources, information technology, finance and accounting, fleet management, legal, and others.

Managing a matrix organization structure through a crisis requires specialized leadership knowledge, skills and experience. 

What insights into the crisis might be gleaned by a comparison of The Principles of Strategic Management to the:

• 2023-2028 Strategic Plan 
• 2017-2022 Strategic Plan ? 
• Past 15-years of audited financial statements

When the board of trustees convenes in a few weeks, what strategic management framework will they use to assess the past three years performance and chart an urgent course for recovery?  

It’s ok to feel uncomfortable in a crisis. Please pray for thoughtful, compassionate accountability and urgent actions to revitalize The Rocket Nation.