Strategic planning is the process of looking ahead according to Eric Vo, a writer for The Hartford. The strategic planning process involves a business, large or small, envisioning the success they’d like to have in the future and setting goals to get there. It’s not enough to just think about the future. Organizations should go about the process of developing a plan on how they will be successful by first determining which method they will use. Regardless of the method employed, there are five key components that every strategic plan should include: the vision, mission, goals & objectives, action plans and a review process. These components are the basic pieces that should be developed by an organization. The most important of the five steps is the vision. Some organizations create a vision for the company that is impossible to reach; This is a mistake. A vision should be created and established as a realistic path to a future goal that is attainable in a set amount of time.
According to VP of Product at ProjectManagement.com, Stephanie Ray:
<A vision>…. states the current and future objectives of an organization. The vision statement is intended as a guide to help the organization make decisions that align with its philosophy and declared set of goals. It can be thought of as a roadmap to where the company wants to be within a certain timeframe. A vision statement is not only used in business, as nonprofits and governmental offices also use them to set goals.
A Vision for the Future
A famous quote from the Bible says, “with no vision, the people perish”. How true! In business, we could say it in these words: “Without a thoughtful determination of what the organization should be doing and where it should be going, it will not be successful.”
A vision may be crafted by the leadership within an organization, but it should be massaged by employees. Why? Because the employees carry out the execution of the strategic plan goals and objectives that employ the vision. Without buy-in and participation from employees, a vision will fail to be effective.
To get thoughtful interaction amongst leadership and employees, outside consultation may be beneficial in helping to lead productive exercises that culminate in consensus and shared understanding about what the goals and objectives of the organization should be. A visioning exercise is a thought-provoking way to generate positive ideas about the future of the organization and what it will take to make it successful. Hari Srinivas, a leader at the Global Development Research Center, created a useful guide called “How to Conduct a Visioning Exercise”. See the full instructions on how to implement this exercise by clicking here.
The first step in your organization’s journey of developing a strategic plan is to create a vision. iSeek experts can guide you through the visioning and strategic plan development process. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to start your journey.