Midterm 1 Readings.docx - Midterm 1 Readings...

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Midterm 1 Readings Vision and Mission In a previous blog, I provided an overview of strategic planning processes, including six core elements essential to any successful strategic plan. The six core elements are as follows: Vision Mission Core Values Strategic Areas of Focus Strategic Goals Action Plans For over 18 years, I have facilitated strategic planning initiatives with many diverse organizations. From my experience, I believe there is a lot of confusion regarding the difference between a Vision and Mission statement. I regularly see Vision statements that are actually Mission statements and vice versa—from Fortune 500's, nonprofits, and government agencies. I also see well-intended Vision and Mission statements that are uninspiring, confusing, and so long that they are impossible for anyone to remember! Why does it matter if there is confusion about Vision and Mission statements, or if they are written in a certain way? For the same reasons it is fundamental and valuable for any organization to have a strategic plan as a roadmap for success, it is important to develop a plan around a clearly defined and well written Vision and Mission. Both serve important, yet different roles as core elements of a strategic plan. The absence of, or poorly written, Vision and Mission statements are lost opportunities for: Attracting/engaging/retaining talent Building organizational culture Increasing productivity while leveraging all resources to successfully implement a strategic plan. A study by Bain and Company indicated that organizations that have clearly defined Vision and Mission statements that are aligned with a strategic plan, outperform those who do not.
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In this blog, I will explain the difference between a Vision and Mission statement from an organizational development perspective, include real world examples, and expand on the benefits they bring to an organization. What Is a Vision Statement? A Vision Statement: Defines the optimal desired future state, the mental picture, of what an organization wants to achieve over time Provides guidance and inspiration as to what an organization is focused on achieving in five, ten, or more years Functions as the "north star"—it is what all employees understand their work every day ultimately contributes towards accomplishing over the long term Is written succinctly in an inspirational manner that makes it easy for all employees to repeat it at any given time. Leaders may change, but a clearly established Vision encourages people to focus on what's important and better understand organization-wide change and alignment of resources. Defining an organization's Vision is not always easy for senior leadership to do. James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner wrote an article about this challenge for Harvard Business Review, "To Lead, Create a Shared Vision ." Kouzes and Posner, also creators of "The Leadership Practices Inventory," analyzed responses from over one million leaders about this. The data indicated that one of the
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