On a networking call, I was asked for my definition of a strategy. This is a word that gets thrown around a lot in the consulting world but what does it mean exactly. I likened strategy to goal setting at the organization level and the call continued.

The more I thought about that conversation, the more I realized that to define strategy, we must also define the components that are the foundations of an organization’s strategy.

The vision of your organization is the idea of the world as it should and could be because of your services or products. It is the future position of the organization.

The mission of your organization declares what your organization strives to do everyday to make progress towards the vision. It states the intention of your services or products for your intended audience and your approach to achieve progress.

The values of your organization are the foundational truths of your organization. These values are the mindsets and beliefs that dictate your organization’s culture.

At the intersection of your organization’s vision, mission, and values, is its strategy–how the organization serves and competes in the market. To be clear, these are true whether the organization is for-profit or non-profit.

The strategy dictates:

  • the long-term direction that the organization is moving towards,
  • the goals that employee performance is measured against,
  • what services and products will be offered,
  • what roles and skills are required to be successful,
  • the financial metrics for sustainability and profitability,
  • how the organization’s competitive advantage is developed, nurtured, and communicated, and
  • how leaders and staff show up every day.

Typically, the vision, mission, and values are defined during the development of the business plan, never to be addressed or acknowledged again. Share the quick assessment below with your leadership team:

When was the last time your organization revisited these strategic components? 

What progress are you making towards your vision? 

Have external factors impacted your approach to the mission? If so, how?

Do your leaders and employees understand the vision? Can they identify their role in achieving the vision?

Do the activities of your leaders and employees align with the mission of your company? 

Do you have the right people in the right roles, or better yet, are your employees working on the right tasks?

Are you seeing culturally deviant behaviors throughout the company? Do they positively or negatively impact the work and morale of the organization?

If you answered “no” more often than you expected, it may be time for a strategy recommitment, refresh, or pivot. Schedule a free 30-minute consultation with us to determine your next steps!