This post is the third in a series. You can find the whole series in our Complete Toolkit for Strategic Planning with Remote Teams.
Have you ever tried strategic planning without first getting your vision and mission right? What did you find?
If you were a small, cohesive group, maybe you breezed through goal-setting based on complete unity. It happens, but it’s rare.
For everyone else, here’s what typically happens:
- You generate ho hum goals: goals that just don’t stretch the team.
- It sometimes feels like you’re writing a to-do list, rather than a strategic plan.
- You sign-on for strategies that are far-removed from what you see as your core business.
In short, strategic planning takes far too long and feels anything but strategic. You look at the end result and fear you’ve created a Frankenstein: pieces from here, pieces from there, with no final coherence.
And the challenges don’t end at strategy. Teams that operate without vision and mission feel the effects everywhere.
How? Here are some everyday signs you need a vision and mission:
- Your branding feels disjointed or superficial.
- People outside don’t get what you’re all about.
- People inside don’t see their work as meaningful.
- You zig and zag to meet opportunity, but you get no closer to your dream.
If a vision and mission are this important, why would anyone skip it?
First, we’re all pressed for time. Vision and mission sometimes feel like the extras we’ll get to when we have space to breathe...or when we hold our next retreat.
Second, we make assumptions. Many teams believe they’re on the same page when it comes to where they’re going, but when they sit down to plan strategically, the gaps become glaringly evident.
Finally, we misunderstand the value of having relevant, vivid, fully thought out vision and mission statements.
Let me clarify.