Developing a Strategic Vision.
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DEVELOPING A STRATEGIC VISION TERM RESEARCH PAPER Executive Summary "Where there is no vision, the people perish" Proverbs 29:12 The strategic vision is the heart of an organization. The strategic vision gives focus, meaning, direction and power to everyone within in the organization. The strategic vision tells the members of the organization "where we are going" The strategic vision gives life to the organization as the members walk in the vision. Without a strategic vision there is no direction, no purpose, no motivation and the members within the organization perishes and dies because the welfare of the organization becomes unfocused. The strategic vision provides a glimpse of possibilities and it is the capacity to look beyond the moment into the vast potential of tomorrow. It evokes deeper meaning and deeper commitment than the goals. When developing a strategic vision, it should begin with the questions, "Where are we trying to go and how do we see the organization in the future?" Answering these questions is the guideline for evaluating what is important; it gathers and incorporates information about the present and anticipates the environment in which the organization will be working in the future. The development of the strategic vision must also include three elements: * Creation of the mission statement: The mission statement tells "who we are" and "what we do. The mission statement is the purpose and why the organization exists. It summarizes what the organization does. * Charting a strategic path: A strategy that will lead to achieving the vision. The strategy must be consistent with the organization's values, the mission statement and the goals that the organization has set. * Communicating the vision to the members of the organization and the public: The key to gaining widespread commitment to the strategic vision, is to present the vision in such a way that the members will want to participate and freely choose to do so.
There must be a discussion of the mission statement, what it will be used for and how it differs from other organization's descriptions and statement. The members must have voice in development from the outset. All members have valuable information to contribute and their involvement is critical. When the members of the organization are a part of the creation process, they will be more committed because they have help shaped the mission statement.12 After all members have presented their ideas, the ideas are merged, eliminate, expanded and modified. The organization will work through many drafts before developing a final mission statement. A revised list of the best ideas should be presented for discussion. The best ideas are identified and a consensus is reached. The point is to have members of the organization participate and express their ideas, thoughts and opinions. Once the final draft of the mission statement is complete, it should be circulated throughout the entire organization for comments and feedback. Any feedback and comments that can contribute, enhance or empower the mission statement should be considered for inclusion. The mission statement should include the organization's definition of success, descriptions of its values, beliefs, philosophies and objectives. Once the organization has defined its beliefs, this should be used to build and define the mission statement. The mission statement draws on the organization's belief statement. The beliefs stem from the members' values. The values are the beliefs that the members hold in common and endeavor to put into practice. The values guide the members into performing their work and reaching the goals of the organization. The values consist of commitment to excellent service, excellent products, innovation, diversity, honesty, creativity and integrity. Holding the members to the values requires commitment and courage. Values call into question the very nature of the organization.13 An effective mission statement articulates the organization's essential nature, its values and its work.
It keeps the organization moving in the right direction and it is the glue that binds the organization and members together. It is the capability to look beyond the moment and look into the potential of tomorrow. When an organization does not have a strategic vision, there is no direction, no purpose, no motivation and the members within the organization perishes and dies because there is no glue that binds the organization and members together. It hinders the growth of the organization and the members. The success of an organization grows out of the strategic vision. When developing a strategic vision it will stretch the imagination and motivate the members of an organization to rethink what is possible. The strategic vision must be clear concise, easily understood by all within the organization and accessible to those outside the organization who interact with it. The strategic vision consists of the mission statement, a course of how to achieve the vision and method of communicating the vision to the members of the organization and the public. The vision and the mission statements are the critical elements of a successful business. The vision and mission are linked together. The vision addresses the where and the mission is the how. The vision is a goal and the mission is a strategy. The vision and the mission are the guiding principles and values of the organization. The values that the members have give direction to the organization and define the spirit in which things in the organization should be accomplished. A commitment flows from the values because of the organization's commitment to the members, the members in turn, become committed to the organization. An organization can reach the future by focusing on where the organization is headed. Every organization must have an end to which they are headed. To be an effective organization there must be a strategic vision because "Where there is no vision, the people perish." VI. ENDNOTES VII.
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