Identifying strategic issues within an organization forms the basis of a successful
strategic planning process. The strategic concerns may affect the institutional values, mission,
and mandates if left unsolved. Therefore, strategic planning aims to establish fundamental policy
questions involving the organization and find the proper solutions (Cassidy, 2016). However,
how these issues are framed can influence the creation of concepts for decisive action. It can also
affect those decisions that define the organization, what it does, and why it engages in its
activities, thereby affecting an organization's ability to create desired values. Besides, if strategic
planning is based on social reality construction, then the planning procedures would outline the
primary paths along which the organization’s strategic plan would be implemented. This analysis
aims to assess the Council of Exceptional Children's present state as an organization to determine
where it is headed through its SWOT analysis. This paper will examine the SWOT analysis to
determine if the strategic plan would successfully pass the implementation process.
A. SWOT Analysis
Inclusivity- allows for the contribution
and participation of different people in
developing the organizations' policies,
which could boost the organization's
success and image.
Visionary thinking- enables CEC to
develop an appropriate environment
Overreliance on human service
systems- relying mainly on social
services to provide standardized
practices would hinder the
organization's productivity and
effectiveness through the existence of
barriers such as regulatory measures
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that nurtures the needs of the students.
Integrity- creates loyalty and
trustworthiness of the organization in
the eyes of the families who entrust
their loved ones to CEC.
CEC focuses on serving exceptional
students who are bound to experience
marginalization and inequality.
Focusing on the group sets a pace for
creating a suitable environment for
this group of students and their
Resistance- the employees are likely
to counter-attack the new strategy if it
does not provide them with the
stability and comfort of professional
and personal lives.
Lack of commitments from the top
leadership- the senior management
may feel threatened by new ideas and
may show little or no support for the
Improved communication channels-
would make the implementation
process faster, thus saving time and
Enhanced teamwork –would ensure
proper engagement with employees
and improved service delivery to the
The ever-widening market.
Varied needs of exceptional children
may repress the plan bearing in mind
the scarcity of resources.
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B. Environmental scan
Environmental scanning is where stakeholders gather and analyze data about an
organization, agency, or community to determine external threats and opportunities (Alderman et
al., 2012). In this case, the stakeholders would use survey questions geared towards determining
whether the CEC undertaken programs and policies are adequate and whether they provide good
services to the learners with exceptionalities. Besides, the questionnaires would evaluate the
organizations’ accomplishments against the institution’s core values. However, the questions
would relate to the efficiency of the initiatives, policies, and programs practiced against the
organization's promises to identify the staff members' and administrators' possible needs.
So, how would internal conditions affect CEC? Internal states can affect how well an
organization meets its objectives and can be seen as weaknesses if they have unfavorable impacts
on implementing the strategic plan (Volts & Collins, 2010). In the CEC case, the employees are
likely to counter-attack the new strategy if it does not provide them with the stability and comfort
of both professional and personal lives. To discourage rejection from the employees, I would
involve them in developing the new strategic plan to include their concerns in the program.
Second, the senior management may feel threatened by new ideas and may show little or no
support for the new project. To gather enough support from the top government, I would explain
to them in time why the strategic plan is significant for the agency and give them enough reasons
why they would benefit from the strategic plan implementation.
However, the external conditions are uncontrollable outside factors that an organization
should prepare for in time. First, the political situation, such as government policy and tax
policy, may influence the CEC's strategic plan implementation. To ensure that these external
factors do not affect the implementation process, the organization should consider national
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policies before creating the strategic plan. Second, economic conditions may shift supply and
demand for the CEC services and afford the services offered. The economic conditions may
include inflation and interest rates, which would be difficult to change because the organization
has no control over them. Finally, the legal requirements, such as consumer protection laws,
labor laws, and health and safety requirements, may hamper the implementation process. So, the
strategic plan should consider all the legal qualifications before the implementation of the
Besides, the external condition may include competitors such as the readily available
online services that the exceptional students can access from their homes' comfort. These
services would potentially discourage implementing the new strategic plan because the
competitors are likely to split the marginalized market by its vast majority based on the
accessibility, lower cost, and online education comfort. To compete favorably, I would introduce
online services from the organization since CEC is already an innovative agency and would
easily incorporate digital learning into its system. However, I would merge with my competitors
since working together has been proven to promote growth among the competing organizations. I
would ensure this by proposing that we (CEC and competitors) provide online services through
the same platform. This move would ensure that the competitors acquire a broader market base
while safeguarding the CEC growth. So, it would benefit both CEC and competitors.
C. Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats
The strengths of the agency include inclusivity, visionary-thinking, and Integrity. First,
inclusivity allows for the contribution and participation of different people in developing the
organizations' policies, which could boost the organization's success and image among its
stakeholders based on the sense of belonging (CEC, 2020). Inclusivity is a strength because it
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ensures that every participant is content with the final plan, increasing its implementation. I
would use inclusivity to promote the new plan's performance by ensuring that each shareholder’s
concerns are met within the strategic plan. Second, visionary thinking would enable CEC to
develop an appropriate environment that nurtures the students' needs. Creative thinking is a
strength because it would attract the most exceptional students based on the resultant ample
learning environment. I would use visionary thinking to promote the plan's implementation by
incorporating all the students' necessary needs in the strategic plan.
Finally, Integrity allows families who entrust their children to CEC to acknowledge that
the organization is dependable, loyal, and trustworthy hence appealing to more students (CEC,
2020). Integrity is a strength since it will attract most parents to the agency because non-trustable
agencies may only join the business for profit rather than a solution to the students' needs. I
would take advantage of the organizations’ Integrity to ensure that the strategic plan successfully
passes the legal requirements, increasing its chances of being implemented.
So, what are the CEC weaknesses? They include overreliance on human service systems,
possible rejection from the employees, and lack of commitment from the top leadership,
obstructing the plan from being effected. First, over-reliance on social services would hinder
CEC's productivity and effectiveness through the barriers like regulatory measures. Relying
mainly on human services is a weakness because human efficiency can easily be affected by
personal problems such as mood swings and family situation. To maintain service delivery
efficiency, I would minimize the effect by using technological advancements to reach students.
This way, the quality of services would be uniform as one service posted on a YouTube channel
is likely to be accessed at the same rate by all online learners. Second, employees' resistance is a
weakness because the employees who would not be satisfied with the plan will not support it and
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may also not act upon the objectives if it gets implemented. Therefore, employee concerns must
be incorporated into the program to reduce the effect of similar weaknesses. Third, a lack of
commitment from the top leadership is a weakness because anything not supported by the senior
leaders in an organization is more likely to fail. After all, senior leadership influences almost
every activity within any organization. To minimize the effect, I would bring together all the
leaders to discuss the plan's importance and incorporate their concerns before implementing it.
So, what are the anticipated threats to CEC? The three hazards include the varied needs
of exceptional students, legal requirements, and online competitors. First, the students' various
needs would be a threat because CEC may lack adequate resources to cater to all the students
(Cook et al. 2014). To minimize the impact, I would ensure that only a manageable number of
students are admitted to ensure the right balance between the available resources and students'
satisfaction. Second, online competitors may be a threat to CEC because they are likely to attract
students who would otherwise be CEC’s registered learners. I would use the agency's
innovativeness to provide online services, which would increase the number of students catered
for by the organization. Finally, the legal requirement may be a threat because if any of the plan
objectives are not in line with the laws, it would be impossible to implement them. I would read
all the legal requirements before I formulate the strategic plan and incorporate them where
The opportunities include improved communication channels, enhanced teamwork, and
the broader market for CEC services. First, enhanced communication channels within the agency
would save time and money during the implementation process since most of the procedures
would be done online, thus eliminating physical traveling (Picazo-vela et al., 2012). I would
maximize the use of advanced communication to reach out to every employee and persuade them
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to support the new plan. Second, enhanced teamwork is an opportunity because a coordinated
team is likely to deliver a better service since the team members ensure that every worker
provides quality service, which would otherwise affect the team members' overall effort. I would
take advantage of the teamwork condition to promise better services in the plan. Finally, the
broader market is an opportunity as it implies that the agency would have enough demand for its
services. I would take advantage of the more overall market to promise a variety of
complimentary services and provide services on a large scale, which would promote a more
significant profit margin for the organization.
Strategic planning relies on both internal and external factors to successfully go through
the implementation process. The internal factors include the strengths and weaknesses, while
external factors include threats and opportunities. For unanimous support for the strategic plan
and its implementation, an organization should engage all the stakeholders in formulating the
project to ensure a smoother implementation process.
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Alderman, L., Towers, S., & Bannah, S. (2012). Student feedback systems in higher education:
A focused literature review and environmental scan. Quality in Higher education, 18(3),
Cassidy, A. (2016). A practical guide to information systems strategic planning. CRC press.
Cook, B., Buysse, V., Klingner, J., Landrum, T., McWilliam, R., Tankersley, M., & Test, D.
(2014). Council for Exceptional Children: Standards for evidence-based practices in
special education. Teaching Exceptional Children, 46(6), 206.
Council for Exceptional Children. (, 2020). CEC'S Mission Statement.
Picazo-Vela, S., Gutiérrez-Martínez, I., & Luna-Reyes, L. F. (2012). Understanding risks,
benefits, and strategic alternatives to social media applications in the public sector.
Government information quarterly, 29(4), 504-511.
Voltz, D. L., & Collins, L. (2010). Preparing special education administrators for inclusion in
diverse, standards-based contexts: Beyond the Council for Exceptional Children and the
Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium. Teacher Education and Special
Education, 33(1), 70-82.