There are four elements that drive your organization's direction. Learn how to define your mission, vision, guiding principles, and goals so you can quickly and confidently identify relevant and fruitful opportunities.
- When you set direction for your organization as part of the strategic planning process, there are four elements to doing so: Articulating your mission, your vision, your guiding principles, and your goals. A mission is: Why does your organization exist? What is its purpose in the world? The vision is then saying: If we're fulfilling that purpose, at some point in time, where are we going to be? What do we want to achieve? What do want the organization to look like at some future point? Your guiding principles are the rules you want your team to live by. How do you want people in the organization behaving, especially when the boss isn't around? What are the lenses you're going to look through as you try to evaluate decisions? And lastly, your goals. Try to quantify these. It may be X number of customers by a certain date, or dollars of revenue, dollars of profit, a margin percentage, being able to put out hard numbers by a certain point in time to orient the organization and say, "Here's what we're shooting for." Some of the pitfalls that I've seen during this step of defining where you're going. First, many vision statements and mission statements are way too long. I've seen some that have spanned multiple pages. To the extent possible, make them short, clear, and free of buzzwords. Next, your guiding principles need to be clear enough that everyone in the organization understands them and can apply them, even to the smallest actions. And last, your goals need to be aggressive, but pragmatic. If they're not aggressive, the organization isn't going to push itself. They're not going to innovate to try and fill that gap between where they are and where the goal says they should be. If the goals are too aggressive and you're not pragmatic, people will look at the goal and say, "There's no way we can achieve that," and they just give up. So as you define it for your organization and set out that mission, vision, guiding principles, and goals, you'll be providing clarity for where you want the organization to be in the future.
- Define the principles of strategic planning.
- Identify forces used to assess the market.
- Explain how to conduct a SWOT analysis.
- Articulate how to establish guiding principles and set goals.
- Explain what strategic filters are used for.
- Describe the steps of a strategic planning process.