One of the key elements in any endeavor is clear communications. This is especially true when doing strategic planning. So, my major communication tip to ensure more successful strategic planning efforts is to first provide basic definitions of major terms used in the strategic planning process. Having written definitions to hand out to all participants at the start of the process will help ensure that everyone knows the meaning of the terms being used throughout the strategic planning process facilitates this.
Here are the definitions of major strategic planning terms that have served me well in all of my strategic planning efforts over more than 25 years.
Definitions of Major Strategic Planning Terms
Strategic Planning: The process that examines where the company is now, where you want the company to be in the future and how the company is going to get there.
Vision Statement: A statement that identifies where the company intends to be or where it should be to best meet the needs of stakeholders in the future.
Mission Statement: An action statement that outlines the preferred future of the company; establishes what the company plans to do and for whom; identifies what makes the organization unique, and acts as a focal point against which all plans & directions are reviewed and evaluated.
Company Core Values: A set of beliefs or standards that the company believes in and operates from. Company core values are used to guide the day-to-day operations and serve as a link between the company’s Vision and Mission.
Goals: Statements that identify how a company intends to address critical issues in support of the company’s Vision and Mission. Goals are designed to drive actions intended to achieve the company’s Vision and Mission.
Objectives: Statements of the specific outcomes that a company expects to accomplish within a given or stated time frame. Objectives are specific and measurable targets for accomplishment during the stated time frame.
Stakeholder: Individuals, groups, and entities that affect or are affected by the company, including all internal and external customers.
You may have some degree of disagreement with the terms and definitions, but the most important communication tip here is to make sure that everyone has a list of terms and definitions from the beginning of your strategic planning process so everyone is using the same terms with the same meanings for your efforts.
Glenn Ebersol, Jr. is a multi-faceted professional, who is recognized as a visionary, guide and facilitator in the fields of business coaching, marketing, public relations, management, strategic planning, and engineering. Glenn is the Founder and Chief Executive of two Lancaster, PA-based consulting practices: The Renaissance Group, a creative marketing, public relations, strategic planning, and business development consulting firm and J. G. Ebersole Associates, an independent professional engineering, marketing, and management consulting firm. He is a Certified Facilitator and serves as a business coach and a strategic planning facilitator and consultant to a diverse list of clients. Glenn is also the author of a monthly newsletter, “Glenn’s Guiding Lines – Thoughts from Your Strategic Thinking Business Coach” and has published more than 250 articles on business.
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