A while back (almost 6 years ago) I wrote this post (click here for post) about strategic planning. Over the past 6 years, it has been one of the most shared and looked at post on my blog, and I think the reason is that people want a simple way to do strategic planning. When you google search “strategic planning charts” the image base is a limitless amount of charts… but none of them make any sense to people like me who like things simple and focused. Well, over the past month or so, I have been refining my own thoughts on the strategic planning process and have come up with a new chart that I believe makes even more sense. Here it is:
MISSION: every organization has a mission that they are going after. It is what drives your organization to exist and, at the end of the day, it tells you whether or not you are successful. It is your GOAL.
VISION: your vision is what propels you toward your goal. Your vision is the picture of your preferred future that you dream to be true. It is the thing that keeps pushing you to keep on going after your mission.
VALUES: values are like the guardrails of your organization. They keep you from driving off the road and going in a direction that is away from your mission. Your values are what keep you focused on the goal.
INITIATIVES: Initiatives are the things you hope to accomplish in the near future that will make your vision a reality. Your vision usually can be broken down into statements [“I see…” ]. In order for those statements to become more than vision, though, they need strategies behind them. vision statement + realistic strategy = strategic initiative. I would also encourage this: you may end up with SEVERAL vision statements from your vision. That’s OK. In fact, that is AWESOME because that shows you are an organization with BIG VISION. The reality, though, is that you cannot go after all of them effectively. So I would suggest trying to tackle 2-3 initiatives in a given year. 1) It will keep you focused, and 2) you will have enough bandwidth to put excellence into them.
My hope is that this will help you and your organization plan more effectively and efficiently.