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Organizational Strategic Direction


Before an organization, a project team, or an individual begins seeking to translate strategic goals into organizational actions, the mission, vision, and values of the organization need to be clarified. One's mission, vision, and values are three powerful means of shaping an organization's culture—who you or the organization is. But it also works the other way: a company's culture will heavily influence the mission, vision, and values of the organization. If the mission, vision, and values are too broadly or narrowly defined, then the organization may focus so broadly that it is ineffective or so narrowly that it acts in a myopic manner, so getting this right is key.


In short your mission is your reason for existence. It is critical that a company, a project team, and, even, an individual, understand what the ultimate mission or purpose is. Otherwise, you have tactics that are directed from different starting points.


Your vision is where you are planning on going. Is it to be a market leader, the most profitable, to give back to others, or does it include all of these? It's your vision to shape, but without a clear vision it is difficult to evaluate your organizational actions' ultimate outcomes. A clear vision provides a measuring stick for success, as it ensures that the goal for which you are aiming is the goal that you chose.


Finally, you need to know what your values are. Your values guide you in terms of the actions you take or do not take. Some organizations have accidental values. These values have simply developed over the years, and there is no consistency to them or how they are practiced. Other organizations have misaligned values. What they say their values are, are not in fact their values in practice. There is a disconnect between their stated values and their functional values. Rather, an organization should seek to have intentional and aligned values that are embedded within the very culture of the organization. This can create a consistent baseline for how people will work to achieve the strategy through organizational action.

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