Strategic Planning: Where Are We Now? - dummies

By Erica Olsen

As you think about where your organization is as you create your strategic plan, you want to look at your foundational elements (mission and value) to make sure that nothing has changed. More than likely, you won’t revise these two areas very often.

Then, you want to look at your current or strategic position, which is where you look at what’s happening internally and externally to determine how you need to shift and change. Here are your foundational elements:

  • Mission statement: The mission describes your organization’s purpose — the purpose for which you were founded and why you exist. Some mission statements include the business of the organization. Others explain what products or services the organization produces or customers it serves. Does your mission statement say what you do? Why does your organization exist?

  • Values statement and/or guiding principles: This statement clarifies what you stand for and believe in. Values guide the organization in its daily business with its employees, customers, partners, and community. What are the core values and beliefs of your company? What values and beliefs guide your daily interactions? What are you and your people really committed to?

  • SWOT: SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. These elements are crucial in assessing your strategic position with your organization. You want to build on your company’s strengths, shore up the weaknesses, capitalize on the opportunities, and recognize the threats. (You may or may not choose to include your SWOT in your strategic plan but as supporting documentation.)