When it comes to creating a successful strategic plan, there are five essential elements that need to be taken into consideration. These elements include mission and vision statements, core values, action planning, long-term goals, and SWOT analysis. The mission and vision statements are the foundation of any strategic plan. They provide a clear direction for the organization and help to define its purpose.
The mission statement should be a concise description of the organization's purpose and objectives, while the vision statement should be an inspiring declaration of what the organization hopes to achieve in the future. Core values are also an important part of any strategic plan. These values establish the principles that should guide leaders and employees in their decision-making. It is essential to identify the core values that already exist within the company's culture and refine them, rather than imposing them from the top down.
Action planning is the next step in creating a strategic plan. This involves determining what organizational capabilities are needed to reach the desired destination points. Objectives should also be established and individual and team responsibilities defined in order to link the big picture to individual goals and competencies. Long-term goals are statements that break down one level below the vision and describe how you plan to achieve it.
These goals usually start three years from now and extend to around five years in the future, aligning directly with mission and vision statements. Short-term goals can then be established to define the actions and objectives for the next three months in order to achieve these long-term goals. Finally, a SWOT analysis should be conducted in order to provide companies with situational research on their position in the market. This analysis allows companies to detect and name important aspects, events, and adversaries of their business.
Understanding these five essential elements of strategic planning can help organizations and their diverse teams and departments make smart, long-term decisions that will help them reach their goals. Visualizing these elements with a customizable strategic planning template can also be beneficial in ensuring that everyone in the organization has a shared interpretation of the vision.