Educate yourself
December 29, 2021

Strategic Vision and Strategic Planning. What, Why and How?


I am here to discuss why it is detrimental to the growth and success of your company year over year, to create a strategic vision and build a strategic plan based on that vision. So, first thing, let's discuss, what on earth is a strategic vision, and how is it different than a strategic plan? Then we will go over how to create one and involve your entire team for the betterment of your company.

A strategic vision is generally defined as an organization's capacity to establish a mission or purpose of being. It is an ambitious picture of the future that serves as a the destination that your strategy plan steers you towards. The Vision or Vision Statement is aspirational, and does not necessarily have to be 100% achievable. It serves as a direction and purpose as opposed to a concrete goal. This is where the Strategic Plan comes in.

Strategic planning uses the strategic vision to lead the process of defining your goals and then building out the steps you’ll take to accomplish those goals. This can occur on an individual, team, department, or company-wide scale. Generally, strategy considers the goals or reasons for doing something, while planning refers to the specific actions you’ll take in order to reach a specific goal. When creating a strategic plan, you’re considering both simultaneously. The end result will be both your overarching goals as well as the steps you’ll take to achieve them. Many companies use the strategic plan as a guideline. It is crucial to revisit this guide from time to time, whether it be yearly, quarterly, monthly or even weekly in order to make changes and adjustments. It is detrimental that you make sure to re-visit this plan any time your company undergoes a significant change as well. Significant change could be economic shifts causing expansive growth or adversely, market decline. The change could involve mass or minimal employee turnover or internal restructuring. All of these and many more could directly affect your companies ability to continue on a singular strategic plan. Being able to pivot the company to fit the need will build a stronger and more sustainable and scalable structure. With out a strategic plan in place, pivoting is nearly impossible and will result in the inevitable crumble of everything you have built.

Now that we have reviewed what a Strategic Vision and a Strategic Plan actually are and why they are important, let's explore how to get started. Make sure that you start with goals. Whether your main goal is to grow revenue, or improve internal company culture, placing these goals at the top of your strategic plan is instrumental in guiding you in the creation of the road map and in connecting the dots to reach the destination.

Conduct a full analysis of your current operation, evaluate the company's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Build a prioritized list of areas that need improvement or attention. Move on to allocating your resources in those areas and describe how your ends or goals will be met with your means. Utilize the skills of your upper management or C-Level team to build out process formulation and implementation. Basically and simply put, get with you team and create a step by step guide on how to achieve your goals. Sounds easy right?

Michael Porter a professor at Harvard Business School and co-Founder of The Monitor Group wrote that formulation of company strategy includes consideration of four key elements:

  1. Company strengths and weaknesses
  2. Personal values of the key implementers (i.e., management ownership and/or the board)
  3. Industry opportunities and threats
  4. Broader societal expectations

The first two elements relate to factors internal to the company (i.e., the internal environment), while the latter two relate to factors external to the company (i.e., the external environment). These elements need to be considered throughout the strategic planning process to allow for creating a more "Doable" plan.

In closing, if you have not sat down yet and looked at how far you have come and where you want to be, DO IT NOW! Strategic Vision and a Strategic Plan lay the foundation for growth and with growth comes success! Here at Tier Level our main focus is working to Level Up your business. Creating a strategic plan is one step in achieving that Level Up experience. If you are looking for guidance in creating your strategic vision and plan for your company, you can always reach out to me at any time. Happy Strategizing!

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Wednesday, December 29, 2021


Ashlie Marshall