Create A Vision & Strategic Plan
The most successful businesses aren’t just run profitably, they create enduring value for customers, employees, and owners. How do they accomplish this?
First, leadership crafts a defining vision for the company. This vision guides every step the business takes on its way to greatness, helping it stay focused on its long term goals. The vision also energizes and engages every member of the company team. Engaged employees serve their customers better, stay and grow with the company, and have higher quality professional lives. Finally, the vision is a compelling differentiator that motivates customers to chose the company over its competitors.
Second, the vision forms the basis for a strategic plan that guides the operation of the business. This plan creates a goal based framework for the company’s growth and development. It anticipates industry trends, market disruptors, and new opportunities. Importantly, the strategic plan does not seek to micromanage processes. Instead, it focuses on outcomes, allowing for flexibility in how the outcomes are achieved.
How To Develop A Successful Strategic Vision
Creating an effective strategic vision and plan requires leadership to step back from the day to day activities and challenges of operating the business and focus on the fundamental goals of the business (the “big picture”). Rather than emphasizing what the business produces, the priority is who the business serves and how. This also includes what the business will look like when it has achieved all of its goals.
A company’s vision and strategic plan become the lens through which everything the business does is viewed. Accordingly, buy-in from all members of the organization is important. Getting ideas and feedback from employees is key to the creation and implementation of a successful plan.
Any plan is only as good as its execution! All too often, companies promote a great new approach, only to let it die off due to lack of follow through, support, reinforcement, and accountability. Successful leaders are tireless champions of the company’s vision and plan. “Walking the walk” always starts at the top.
Look Ahead support activities for the creation of visions and strategic plans include:
- Defining core company values
- Determining long-range goals
- Identifying company competencies
- Refining Vision and Mission statements
- Building plan frameworks
- Monitoring strategic plan execution (accountability)
- Engaging employees/getting buy-in