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When a company is ready to expand into new markets or increase its portfolio of product offerings, it might be time to hire a vice president of strategic development. The VP leads business planning strategies to identify and take advantage of market, industry and economic opportunities while mitigating risks. The goal of this VP is to achieve sustainable business growth.
The VP of strategic development investigates value propositions associated with product or corporate acquisitions, introducing new products to markets, and expanding into new markets. This VP defines objectives to gain market share and maximize profitability, and executes plans to make those objectives achievable. Partnering with leaders across the organization, it is this VP's responsibility to take advantage of the company's core competencies, and to recognize when strategies under consideration do not align with those competencies and therefore represent undue risk.
The VP works with leaders in project management and operations to ensure strategic business plans are successfully executed in the workplace. Strategy execution includes identifying and developing the necessary processes to link the strategic objectives portfolio to the project management office, thereby enabling an effectively coordinated implementation. This VP analyzes business metrics collected at the financial and project levels to verify objectives are progressing as planned, and to direct additional actions to be taken when problems or risks are identified.
The VP of strategic development partners with the chief financial officer and members of the executive team to evaluate the current financial performance of the company and identify specific areas in need of improvement. Financial models are developed in alignment with strategy planning road maps to provide insight into investments, delivery timelines and resource requirements. The VP prepares and presents future project proposals to the executive team, highlighting how new business opportunities are expected to promote sustainable business growth.
The VP of strategic development should have a graduate-level educational background, ideally holding a master's degree in business administration. Most people entering this role are expected to have a minimum of 10 years of experience working in strategic leadership, with a proven background successfully leading teams in strategy planning and development. Applicants should have exceptional communication skills and must be comfortable giving presentations to all levels of a corporation, from the board to hands-on employees.
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A careers content writer, Debra Kraft is a former English teacher whose 25-plus year corporate career includes training and mentoring. She holds a senior management position with a global automotive supplier and is a senior member of the American Society for Quality. Her areas of expertise include quality auditing, corporate compliance, Lean, ERP and IT business analysis.