Visioning & Alignment
What is strategy?
Strategy means consciously choosing to be clear about your company’s direction in relation to what’s happening in the dynamic environment. With this knowledge, you’re in a much better position to respond proactively to the changing environment
What is the mission statement?
A mission statement is a statement of the company’s purpose or its fundamental reason for existing.
The statement spotlights what business a company is presently in and the customer needs it’s presently striving to meet. To build a solid foundation for a successful business, it’s essential to have a written,clear, concise, and consistent mission statement. This statement should simply explain who you are and why you exist.
What is the Vision?
An idealized view of where or what an organization would like to be in the future.
Values are enduring, passionate, and distinctive core beliefs. They’re guiding principles that never change. Values are why you do what you do and what you stand for. Values are deeply held convictions, priorities, and underlying assumptions that influence your attitudes and behaviors. They have intrinsic value and importance to those inside the organization. Your core values are part of your strategic foundation.
More about Values
More and more companies are articulating the core beliefs and values underlying their business activities. Strong values account for why some companies gain a reputation for such strategic traits as leadership, product innovation, dedication to superior craftsmanship, being a good company to work for, and total customer satisfaction.
A company’s values can dominate the kind of strategic moves it considers or rejects. When values and beliefs are deeply ingrained and widely shared by managers and employees, they become a way of life within the company, and they mold company strategy. They’re also called guiding principles.
Acting on your organizational values
Developing a set of values is one thing, living by them is something completely different. Having a values statement that’s all talk and no commitment undermines your leadership and the management team’s credibility. Here are some ways to bring your organizational values to life:
Communicating values: Send a letter to every employee; develop a brochure;visit every office to personally explain the values; post the values in a public area.
Values training: Develop short training sessions about the different value topics. If that sounds like a lot of work, consider holding a brown bag lunch focused on one of the values. Allow an open discussion about what it means to act on and live by each value.
Values reinforcement: Engrain your values through performance reviews, in your goal statements, and in your everyday language.
Rewards/Recognition: Host contests to give employees a fun reason to discover and integrate the values.
Hiring: Use your values statement as a guide in your hiring process. Structure interview questions around each one of your values to ensure that you’re bringing people into your company who align with your corporate culture.
Alignment: Look at your values and figure out specific ways to align daily activities with the values. For example, if one of your values is innovation, then install a system to reward innovation. If customer satisfaction is a value, then set a policy of 100 percent money back guarantee.
Why worry about mission / vision / values/goals..etc.
Fully understanding and aligning yourself with your organisation's mission vision , Values and Strategic goals enables you to:
Spend more time on high impact, high-growth activities
High impact, high growth activities are where you want to spend as much time as possible. With these maneuvers, you spend less time spinning your wheels. Think back on the past month. Were there any projects or activities you were part of directly or indirectly that didn’t actually move the organization forward because they were dead end opportunities? I bet there were. Get rid of this dead weight as fast as possible!
Identify true opportunities versus false starts
If you know what you’re best at and where you want to go, you can more quickly identify true opportunities versus false starts. You want to pursue true opportunities and quickly throw out false starts. Strategic planning helps you to put the boundaries on your business. When you ignore extraneous distractions, you use your resources more effectively and more quickly to grow your organization.
The ability to adapt quickly is the name of the game in today’s business climate. When everyone on your team is on the same page and is pulling in thesame direction, you can easily absorb shifts, make changes, and innovate on the fly. If there’s no clear direction in your strategic plan, your team may not know how and what to adapt to.
Be proactive instead of reactive
Being in a reactionary mode all of the time puts you one (or more) steps behind your competition. Make sure that your strategic plan maps out proactive choices to propel your company forward.
Achieve your vision for success
You started your organization for a reason. You likely have a vision for your business. You want to achieve your vision for success. You have to specifically figure out how you’re going to get there. Having a strategic plan makes success intentional.
Increase employee commitment
Strategic planning increases employee commitment — especially in this tight labor market, helping your employees see the vision that you have for success and growth helps you work toward that goal.
Elements of an effective vision statement
Audacious: Represents a dream that’s beyond what you think is possible. It represents the mountaintop your company is striving to reach. Visioning takes you out beyond your present reality.
Capitalizes on core competencies: Builds on your company’s core competencies.
It builds on what you’ve already established: company history,customer base, strengths, and unique capabilities, resources, and assets.
Future casting: Provides a picture of what your business looks like in the future.
Inspiring: Engaging language that inspires. It creates a vivid image in people’s heads that provokes emotion and excitement. It creates enthusiasm and poses a challenge.
Motivating: Clarifies the direction in which your organization needs to move and keeps everyone pushing forward to reach it.
Purpose-driven: Gives employees a larger sense of purpose, so they see themselves as building a cathedral instead of laying stones.
For more on leadership and management skills, check out our instant download Leadership skills training package "Lead, Motivate & Inspire" and management skills customizable training package "Managing People"