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Making A Strategic Vision Real

After a CEO and his or her leadership group has articulated a strategic Vision of the organization’s future, along with supporting strategy, an analysis of the organization’s current capabilities with respect to implementation of these strategies must occur.

Based on management’s assessment, the capabilities required for strategic implementation are then determined. The disparity between these two sets of capabilities will usually be caused by a group of “critical issues,” circumstances, systems, procedures, methods, policies, people, etc., which need to be modified, added or eliminated.

Addressing these critical issues begins the process of converting the strategic vision into operational goals that push the essence of the Vision down into the organization. This makes it possible for everyone to affect the ultimate outcome – realization of the Vision.

How to:

  1. The leadership group first clearly identifies those issues that must be addressed to move from the current situation to the required situation.
  2. Each member of the leadership group takes responsibility for their respective strategic categories.
  3. Critical issues in each strategic category are assigned to senior management with accountability for resolution.
  4. With great deliberateness, the leadership group begins the process of setting long range goals that precede the end point of the Vision, e.g. 3 years, 5 years, etc. These goals are drawn from the required situations which were determined earlier in the process. That is, these long range goals must be accomplished and the required situations must exist if the Vision is to be realized as presented. The critical issues are obstacles to be overcome in the process of achieving these goals.
  5. When the long range goals have been created, the group may more easily identify shorter term, annual goals, often represented by solutions to the obstacles in the long range goals. These shorter term goals are then handled in the normal goal setting process of the organization.

The two sets of goals described above are to be created within the guidelines established by the Vision with its supporting strategies; and governed by the philosophies, values and behaviors set forth in the organization’s statement of Mission. A constancy of purpose and consistency of performance will be ensured by frequent reference to the above two documents.

Richard Lewine is an Organization Development consultant in Pompano Beach Florida

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