Aligning Strategy to Vision
Blog: The Knowledge Economy
Having a vision statement is essential for an organisation to know ‘why’ it is doing what it is doing. A vision statement supports the rationale for why an organisation exists. It provides both guidance and a means to assess the worthiness of any potential organisational activity. Vision statements articulate what the organisation aspires to be at some point in the future.
It is also critically important for organisational success that a Strategic Plan be established. A Strategic Plan describes ‘where’ you want your organisation to go. It does not necessarily describe how you’re going to get there.
However, like a detailed “travel itinerary,” without knowing where you want to go, making plans on how you will travel are meaningless.
Strategic planning defines the “where” that your organisation is heading.
When defining a Strategic Plan and the activities it will encompass care must be taken to ensure that progress will be made towards the realising the organisational vision.
All objectives and goals to be incorporated within a as strategic plan should be questioned as to how they contribute to the eventual outcome. It is important in defining a strategy that the question ‘why?’ be frequently asked.
- Why is this being done?
- Why not do this?
- Why is this option better than another?
Asking why and also demanding an answer to the question ‘what impact will doing this have on progress to realising the vision’ should keep an organisation on track.
A business vision provides the focus essential to the shaping of the business strategy. The strategy will be influenced by current and anticipated business drivers, business constraints (financial, organisational, capability, …) and where the organisation actual sits (the ‘as-is’ scenario).
It may be essential that a Strategic plan adopt tactical solutions in order to better place it for the longer term. A clear vision therefore allows for better strategic and tactical decisions to be made.
Being able to ask “Can the organisation get there from here?” is important.
Like the travel itinerary sometimes detours are essential in order to arrive at one’s destination.
Without a Vision a Strategic Plan will result in an organisation arriving somewhere.
Is this ‘somewhere’ a place where the organisation really wants to go?
The Vision and the Strategy are mutually supporting. Without a Strategy there is no clear cut way of deciding how the vision may be achieved. Without a Vision the Strategy has no focus and what is achieved may not be what is desired.