There is a lot made of having to have a mission, a vision, then having a strategy with a series of tactics to help to guide the business forward.
A BHAG (big hairy audacious goal) is another level added in recent years to drive a sense of a company’s ultra long term thinking and showing that the organisation is going to prosper for decades to come.
Breakdown Of Strategy
Across the business world, many have experienced everything become tactical, we have seen strategy become strategies (this is the common cause of confusion and internal conflict) and the majority of us have experienced ‘strategy’ become tactical and change constantly.
This chain of events just leads to the company compass being misaligned and misunderstood.
Something many businesses experience with this shift is regular questions being asked of what direction are we taking, where are we going and what should we be doing?
Clarity is the key to success for any business.
At focus, we have an operating model, we introduce to each client.
We explain that our business operating principles are clearly defined and understood so everyone understands that change is either essential or part of progressing the business rather than just reacting to a change or a shift in the market.
Our operating guidance is as followed:
|Operating Principle||Explainer||When To Review||When To Change|
|Mission||The long term objective to complete as your business.|
Missions should be somewhat aspirational but within long term reach
|Every three years.|
You can question every year but do not change unless essential.
|Once a decade|
|Vision||The long term direction for the company. |
The vision helps to guide decisions when anyone is unsure and needs to understand if you are making the right move.
Vision has to inspire and be within reach.
|Every two years||Up to twice a decade|
|Strategy||One company-wide plan for everyone to understand, be able to repeat without any thought and all departments follow. |
No team or department should deviate from the strategy.
Your Company Strategy about guidance should be broken down:
5 Years is thinking ahead, 3 Years is planning ahead and 1 Year delivering for the next year.
It is imperative: No department should have its own strategy.
|Up to twice per year||Every year|
|Department Action plan||Each department creates a plan of action for the year ahead connecting into the one company-wide strategy. |
Department action plans should be presented to the business.
Each department should connect together and liaise on their action plans to ensure they will plan resources, budgets and allocate the right prioritises together.
If teams (for example CRM within Marketing Department) with departments have to break out their action plan it has to roll up into their department plan and connect into the company-wide strategy.
|Up to three times per year||Every year|
|Tactics||Part of the action plan is to help everyone understand the channels and initiatives you are rolling out. |
Tactics are the most flexible part of this operating principle and are important to review, optimise and tweak.
Tactical layers are important but should not be built up first to build your action plan.
Each company and business approaches creating ‘strategy’ differently, some are top-down, others are flexible and open for all to add their insights.
It is fundamental that each manager and every member of the leadership team understand’s this framework and introduces and reminds their teams of this operating framework.
Key To Explaining Mission, Vision, Strategy Internally
- For the long term mission and vision are the inspiring elements.
- Strategy is the driving force from the short term to the long term.
- What is important is to ensure that strategy is the compass for your departments, teams, projects and campaigns. If any team goes off track deliberately and is managed accordingly, you will see offsites and strategy sessions undone very quickly.