Vision Success strategic planning organizational benefits

timer Asked: Jan 6th, 2019
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What are the two most interesting guidelines that relate to a strategic planning team formulating a vision of success? Why did you find these two interesting?

What are the desired outcomes of an organizational vision for the future? Why would these be important to understand?

What are a few of the benefits of a clear, succinct, inspiring, and widely shared vision of success? How could they help an organizations long term goals? Support your thoughts with material from our text AND outside sources.

Introduction Formulating and Adopting Strategies and Establishing Organizational Vision are steps six, seven, and eight in the strategic change cycle. The focus of the formulation of strategies and plan development stage should link the organization and the environment. The strategies will often be developed as a result of the identification of strategic issues. It is important to review the FiveStep Strategy Development Process and to peruse some of the key components of linking the organization with its environment. Lastly, establishing organizational vision will be important to understand. The importance of vision was included in the article, “The Power of Vision”: “For almost three decades, scholars have argued that vision is important to leadership, strategy implementation, and change. “Kenneth Leithwood and colleagues (Leithwood et al., 1996) even point out that vision building is intended to create a fundamental, ambitious sense of purpose, one to be pursued over many years”. A vision should produce a clear description and picture of how the organization will evolve and ultimately look at the strategic plan is implemented. Strategy Development The five-step process is one method and approach to strategy formulation. At its core, the approach requires the strategic planning team to ask five specific questions about each strategic issue. Those questions are as follows. Five Questions to Ask Alternatives What are the alternatives, dreams, or visions that might be pursued to address the specific strategic issue that is presented? Barriers What are the barriers to question? Proposals What are the proposals to achieve alternatives? Action Plan What is the action plan identified that should be in place to implement the proposal? Implementation What are the near-term steps that must be taken for implementation and the people that will be responsible? Strategy Development (Cont.) Interestingly, there are specific management processes in this stage that link back to the SWOC analysis. For example, during the SWOC analysis, it was recommended to use the snow-card technique. This technique is also useful in the five-step process. Per Smith 2015, “People are asked to write one note on each card answering the question, what are the main issues, challenges, or questions facing this organization”. The answers are subsequently written on white cards and grouped by the similarity in response and common themes. There are some advantages of combining the snow card technique with the five-step process. A few of those advantages are as follows. snow-card The snow-card technique is a group initiated activity that includes brainstorming and produces detailed answers to questions that are presented. This process is also referred to as the snow-ball technique because similar outcomes become evident in snowball type groups as the responses are gathered and organized by similarity. close Advantages • • Large Groups of Stakeholders The Snow Card Technique The ability to include large groups of stakeholders in the process. The snow card technique avoids group participants from coming to immediate conclusions based on group consensus. One other powerful element in addressing these strategic issues through a snow card technique is presented by Spencer, “This exercise is powerful as it allows people to express themselves without the fear of judgment”. Once the team identifies common themes and answers to specific strategic issues, it is important to then identify the strategies that should be pursued. Linking the Organization with its Environment Although, not all inclusive, these are a few of the guidelines that should be considered when linking the organization with its environment: Do not rule out radical considerations during the formulation process and make sure that you link strategic development with the strategic issues that you identify. Also, one of the most interesting is the inclusion of stakeholder feedback and concerns. Make sure that there is a clear discussion about evaluating strategies and how they impact stakeholders. Without some of your stakeholders, the business and overall mission of the organization will fail. If you develop and formulate strategies that are inappropriate and ineffective for stakeholders, they should be redeveloped. It is a recipe for definite failure. Stakeholders are generally defined as any person that might have an interest in the business or the process. Someone that might contribute to daily activities or have a linked benefit in its success. Some examples include corporate stakeholders, internal stakeholders, or external stakeholders. external stakeholders External stakeholders are entities not within a business itself but who care about or are affected by its performance (e.g., consumers, regulators, investors, suppliers). close internal stakeholders Internal stakeholders are entities within a business (e.g., employees, managers, the Board of Directors, investors). close corporate stakeholders A corporate stakeholder is a person or group who can affect or be affected by the actions of a business. close Fundamental Examples • • • Employees Customers Vendors Some of the most fundamental examples are employees. Executive management has a vital role in the strategic direction of organizations, but it is the employees that ultimately implement many of the ground level initiatives. Employees are said to be nearest to the everyday action and plan that an organization is implementing. Employees will often have the closest interaction with customers and vendors. Without having employee feedback and buy in, you will lose organizational and strategic planning success. From a for-profit perspective, if employees do not feel connected and dedicated, revenue potential will fall short. Customers are another important part of this process. The reason for an organization to exist (For-profit or non-profit) is to fulfill the needs of its consumers/customers. The service is measured in terms of pleasing them and benefiting them in a positive and meaningful way. Without customers, the survival of an organization will be short-lived. Feedback from customers will offer insight about what needs to be improved and what new solutions should be offered to meet changing market demands. Vendors are a key component and should be solicited for constant feedback about the strategic development process. Organizations rely on vendors for raw material and services that are imperative to the daily operation of most organizations. When developing strategies, you need to consider business interruption factors that might be related to disruption. Discuss these factors with vendors and include them in the overall strategy development process. Vision of Success/Statement Visions are a very powerful part of the business decision and processes. It is often said that all successful endeavors will begin with a vision. If we are going to be successful, a vision is paramount to achieving those goals. The reason why visions of success are so important is that it helps us communicate and negotiate important ideas for the successful implementation of a plan. Developing a vision also helps organizations evaluate approaches for management actions and to develop thresholds and benchmarks for measuring success. As with other business processes, it is important for visions to be concise and clear. As stated by Fawcett, “Having a clear mission statement can: Convert the broad dreams of your vision into more specific, action-oriented terms. Explain your goals to interested parties in a clear and concise manner. You want the entire team and organization to understand it and repeat it. When reviewing a vision for success in a strategic planning team, consider some of the following factors. Factors to Consider Past and Present Actions Link the vision to both the past and present actions. Look backward as much as you look forward. This will help to provide examples of what the organization has done well in the past and link those successes to the future. It should help members of the team understand changes in the business environment and where those changes will present future opportunities. Inspiration You want your vision to be inspirational. What does this mean? You might compare this to Neil Armstrong’s statement about “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”. Not only do you want to set a course for the future, but you want it to touch people and encourage success. Part of being inspirational is being positive and emphasizes unity around common goals. Being inspirational also promotes excitement and enthusiasm. Elements of a Formal Vision Statement It has been argued properly drafted vision statements are the anchor point of strategic plans. Well-developed vision statements have unique qualities and should include the following characteristics: The statement should be short and to the point. You do not want to confuse people with long content that is not memorable. You need it to be catchy and appeal to the people that will implement your plans. The foundation of a solid vision is that it should be specific and describe measurable outcomes. Avoid using generic language that will confuse people. You do not want the language to be open-ended. There should not be a large amount of varied interpretation. You want to keep it simple. If people inside and outside the organization can understand the vision, it will be more effective. A vision should be ambitious, but not unattainable. It is important to align the vision with your values and overall strategic plan. Make sure that the team does not see the vision as obligatory. It should not be a process where it is seen as an exercise of simply checking off a box. Make sure that the stakeholders see it as a potent tool for success. As stated by Sandusky, “Your vision should inspire you and be so powerful that during the darkest times in your business, it's the one thing that you can reconnect with and help keep you moving forward”. Conclusion This week, you have learned more specific information about strategy development, linking the organization with its environment, the vision of success, and elements of a formal vision statement. An emphasis was included in this lesson about the importance of feedback and listening to concerns. Employees at all levels of the organization should be heard. This lesson also emphasized the importance of an all-inclusive approach to understanding the organization and barriers that might exist in the strategic planning process. This all-inclusive approach to understanding barriers provides the foundation for students to also understand the importance of a properly drafted vision statement. Vision statements should inspire employees and provide goals for staff. Inspiring employees can only happen if all levels of staff are involved with the process and understand the vision of the organization. This lesson has helped provide clarification of all of these points. References Graber, A. C. (n.d.). The Snow Card Technique [Web log post]. Retrieved from Kantabutra, S., & Avery, G. C. (2010). The power of vision: statements that resonate. Journal of Business Strategy, 31(1). Retrieved from Boundless Accounting. (n.d.). Retrieved from Sanduski, S. (2014, March 19). 5 ways to take your firm's vision statement from cliché to inspiration. Investment News. Retrieved from Nagy, J., & Fawcett, S. B. (n.d.). Developing a Strategic Plan and Organizational Structure. Retrieved from Ebener, D. R., & Smith, F. L. (2015). Strategic Planning: An Interactive Process for Leaders (D. Crilly, Ed.). back to top F

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