An organization commences its journey with a Vision & Mission while Strategy & Planning lay the foundation to achieve the envisioned objectives. Vision is the reflection of promoter’s dream and ambition in regard to the growth, stature to be achieved and the very purpose of his enterprise. Vision is shared with the team and important stakeholders so that every one could support and / or work towards its realization. Vision acts as the base line for measuring performance of an enterprise. An enterprise which doesn’t define its vision and mission could carry the risk of making journey without knowing the destination. Vision need not be static. It needs to be reviewed and redefined should the market circumstances so demand.
Strategy & Planning are the most important tools that help us achieving the vision. Strategy takes into consideration the given resources, stakeholders, situations, time-lines and plans the foregoing to achieve competitive advantage in the focused market. Strategy should invariably aligned with the vision of the organization so that it achieves the envisioned advantage, targets and growth while fulfilling the promises accorded to stakeholders.
For example, an enterprise should address the following aspects towards defining right strategy.
- What is the Vision of the organization?
- What is the Mission of the organization?
- Who are the collaborative entities? – Partners, Associates, SMEs
- What is the level of dependency on stakeholders, regulatory provisions, political conditions, cultural aspects and specific technology or expertise?
- Who are the competitors? What are their strengths & weaknesses?
- What is the market, who are the customers and what are the present gaps and what are customer expectations?
- What is the USP offered by the organization?
- What are the identified measures towards fulfilling promises made to stakeholders?
- What is the brand statement and brand vision?
- What are the short-term and long-term targets w.r.t. achieving business growth, market competence, total viability?
- What are the operational measures in carrying business operations?
- What is the plan to achieve the strategy?
As could be seen from the above, Vision and Strategy covers the total chain of activities, processes generally adopted by an organization. The difference, is that many organizations don’t go in the structured way living sufficient scope for laxity in performance, discontentment among stakeholders, and means to measure the value achieved. This is mostly visible in certain family ruled businesses where the promoter-owner goes in the most traditional and conventional way just reckoning the profit value achieved. It goes well in the long run if the business owns a proprietary product in the market or extends exclusive services to stakeholders.
But business is not just meant for profit making. The very essence of business is value creation to all stakeholders. Hence, it is essential that an entrepreneur start his journey with an intent to create value to stakeholders including the very society which is giving him the opportunity to earn money, name and fame.