Strategic Vision

What is Strategic Vision? Definition, Features, Benefits, Process, and Examples

What is Strategic Vision?

A strategic vision is the intended future of the organization that reflects the organization’s values and aspirations and intends to capture the heart and mind of the employees and other stakeholders.

The strategic vision paves the strategic direction of the organization and charts a strategic plan to go there. It is the vision of the company that reflects the future desired state of the company. It is a nicely worded one-sentence statement.

The organization should generate a strategic vision as the first step in the strategic management process. It outlines a company’s strategy for growing and enhancing its business.

A strategic vision statement informs stakeholders about organizational goals. It should be unique and specific to a particular enterprise. It gives managers a point of reference for making strategic decisions and planning for the future. The anticipated future is shaped by a strategic vision.

  • “A strategic vision describes the route a company intends to take in developing and strengthening its business. It lays out the company’s strategic course in preparing for the future.” – Thompson and Strickland
  • “A vision statement presents the firm’s strategic intent that focuses the energies and resources of the company on achieving a desirable future.” – Pearce and Robinson

Examples of Strategic Vision

As we discussed, the vision is the future of the organization which is nicely written in one sentence. Here, are a few examples of strategic visions.

OrganizationStrategic Visions
Nepal Investment BankOur vision is to be most preferred
provider of Financial Services in Nepal
McDonald’sTo be the world’s quick service
restaurant.
WikipediaImagine a world in which every single person
is given access to the sum of all human
knowledge.
Chaudhary GroupWe strive to be a global leader in customer
value.
FordTo make the automobile accessible to
every American.

Characteristics of Strategic Vision

Following are the main characteristics or features of an effective strategic vision.

Future-Focused

Strategic visions are future-focused, they talk about the future, and seek to build an enhanced future for the organization. Usually, it is not less than 5 years it describes the more than 5 years’ future of the organization. It clarifies the future aspiration of organizations.

Directional

It is directional in nature. It sets the overall direction of the company. It describes a route a company intends to take in developing and strengthening its business. Following the vision statement the mission, objective, goals, strategy, and plans are made.

Clear

An effective vision is clearly articulated and easily understood by all stakeholders of the company. It should not be understandable to the management committee only, should be known to customers and all direct and indirect parties.

Feasible

A vision should not be made in imagination only it should have some feasibility. The vision should be feasible for the organization in terms of capability and resources.

Value-Based

The vision statement should provide value to the people in and outside of the firm. An effective vision connects people to the organization’s core values.

Challenging

An effective vision is always challenging. It represents the future that is beyond what is possible today but what we think is possible tomorrow.

Unique

A vision must be unique to other firms. An effective vision reflects the uniqueness of the organization to make it different.

Inspiring

An effective strategic vision engages and inspires people towards organizational objectives. It appeals to the heart and minds of people.

Benefits of Strategic Vision

A strategic vision is the means to change the overall face of the organization. The more effective the vision is the more likely the organization will get there. Following are some of the benefits of effective strategic visions.

  • Provides Direction – It provides a clear direction for the organization’s future.
  • Guides for Decisions – It reflects the intent of the organization. Hence, it guides strategic decisions.
  • Shapes Strategy – It is the future aspiration of an organization. Strategic management always focuses on strategic vision.
  • Sets Priority – It sets organizational priority and further guides planning.
  • Aligns People and Activities – It aligns people and activities across the organization. Hence, it enhances organizational effectiveness.
  • Reflects Core Values and Beliefs – It reflects the core values and beliefs of the overall management system of the organization.
  • Empowers Employees – It aims at employee motivation, commitment, and empowerment which are vital for an organization’s success.
  • Brings Change – It intends to bring changes to the organization. It also acts as the center of hope in the organization.

How To Develop An Effective Strategic Vision?

Developing strategic visions: a manager should follow the following considerations while developing strategic visions.

  1. All the key factors such as internal strengths & weaknesses, external changes & trends, emerging needs, and service expectations of customers should be reviewed very carefully.
  2. It should be external and market-oriented and expressed in an inspirational way.
  3. All the managers from the top to the lower level should be involved in the process of developing the strategic vision. It enhances commitment to the organization. It facilitates the formulation and implementation of the strategy.
  4. The managers should be asked to review related literature on the statement and prepare a strategic vision for the organization.
  5. The Statements prepared by different managers should be merged into a single document and distributed the draft statements to all managers.
  6. A meeting of the managers should be held for modifications, additions, and deletions if needed and to revise the documents.
  7. As mentioned earlier, the input and support from the employees and managers enrich strategy formulation, implementation, and evaluation activities. Hence, the development of a strategic vision statement provides an opportunity for strategists to obtain needed support from all the employees and managers.
  8. Some organizations use group discussions to develop and modify the existing statement. An outside consultant or facilitator may also be hired to manage the process and help draft the language.
  9. After preparing the statements, decisions on how to communicate them to all managers, employees, and external stakeholders are needed. A videotape may be prepared to explain the statement.

Communicating Strategic Vision

The strategic vision should be well communicated to all managers, employees, and external stakeholders or within and outside of the organization to win the support and commitment of the employees and other stakeholders.

A well-articulated strategic vision gives the organization long-term direction. An organization’s management must be able to persuade stakeholders of its strategic direction i.e. strategic vision. The frontline worker must believe that the strategic direction is logical and desirable.

Effective strategic direction communication can aid in gaining organizational stakeholders’ support. As a result, the executive should describe the vision statement.

A well-understood strategic vision remains the foundation for gaining employee support and commitment to actions that move the organization in the right direction. It also encourages employees to participate in strategic planning.

It should be imprinted in the brains of employees and managers at all times, and then converted into goals and strategies. To overcome resistance to change, communicating a strategic direction provides the rationale for the new strategic direction and company leadership. Communication is easier when the substance of the concept is communicated in a catchy and readily remembered slogan.

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