What are Components of a Strategy Statement?

The strategy statement of a firm sets the firm’s long-term strategic direction and broad policy directions. It gives the firm a clear sense of direction and a blueprint for the firm’s activities for the upcoming years. The main constituents of a strategic statement are as follows:

Strategic Intent

An organization’s strategic intent is the purpose that it exists and why it will continue to exist, providing it maintains a competitive advantage. Strategic intent gives a picture of what an organization must get into immediately in order to achieve the company’s vision. It motivates the people. It clarifies the vision of the vision of the company.

Strategic intent helps management to emphasize and concentrate on the priorities. Strategic intent is, nothing but, the influencing of an organization’s resource potential and core competencies to achieve what at first may seem to be unachievable goals in the competitive environment. A well expressed strategic intent should guide/steer the development of strategic intent or the setting of goals and objectives that require that all of the organization’s competencies be controlled to a maximum value.

Strategic intent includes directing organization’s attention on the need of winning; inspiring people by telling them that the targets are valuable; encouraging individual and team participation as well as the contribution, and utilizing intent to direct allocation of resources.

Strategic intent differs from strategic fit in a way that while strategic fit deals with harmonizing available resources and potentials to the external environment, strategic intent emphasizes on building new resources and potentials so as to create and exploit future opportunities.

Vision Statement

A vision statement identifies where the organization wants or intends to be in future or where it should be to best meet the needs of the stakeholders. It describes dreams and aspirations for future. For instance, Microsoft’s vision is “to empower people through great software, any time, any place, or any device.” Wal-Mart’s vision is to become the worldwide leader in retailing.

A vision is the potential to view things ahead of themselves. It answers the question “where we want to be”. It gives us a reminder about what we attempt to develop. A vision statement is for the organization and its members, unlike the mission statement which is for the customers/clients. It contributes to effective decision-making as well as effective business planning. It incorporates a shared understanding about the nature and aim of the organization and utilizes this understanding to direct and guide the organization towards a better purpose. It describes that on achieving the mission, how the organizational future would appear to be.

Mission Statement

The mission statement is the statement of the role by which an organization intends to serve its stakeholders. It describes why an organization is operating and thus provides a framework within which strategies are formulated. It describes what the organization does (i.e., present capabilities), who all it serves (i.e., stakeholders) and what makes an organization unique (i.e., the reason for existence).

A mission statement differentiates an organization from others by explaining its broad scope of activities, its products, and technologies it uses to achieve its goals and objectives. It talks about an organization’s present (i.e., “about where we are”). For instance, Microsoft’s mission is to help people and businesses throughout the world to realize their full potential. Wal-Mart’s mission is “To give ordinary folk the chance to buy the same thing as rich people.” Mission statements always exist at the top level of an organization, but may also be made at various organizational levels. Chief executive plays a significant role in the formulation of a mission statement. Once the mission statement is formulated, it serves the organization in long run, but it may become ambiguous with organizational growth and innovations.

In today’s dynamic and competitive environment, the mission may need to be redefined. However, care must be taken that the redefined mission statement should have original fundamentals/components. The mission statement has three main components a statement of mission or vision of the company, a statement of the core values that shape the acts and behavior of the employees, and a statement of the goals and objectives.

Goals and Objectives

A goal is a desired future state or objective that an organization tries to achieve. Goals specify in particular what must be done if an organization is to attain mission or vision. Goals make the mission more prominent and concrete. They coordinate and integrate various functional and departmental areas in an organization.

Objectives: Objective, in general, indicates a place where you want to reach. In organizational literature, it means the aim which an organization tries to achieve. Objectives are generally in plural form. Objectives are predetermined; they provide clear direction to the activities and results to be obtained from the planning process. Objectives must be SMART (Specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely). Objectives must be clearly defined so that the works become goal-oriented and the unproductive and unsystematic tasks can be avoided.

Goals: A Goal is simply something that somebody wants to achieve. The synonyms of goal are aim, ambition, purpose, target and objective. Simply speaking, goal refers to the purpose towards which the efforts are made or endeavors are directed. A goal has a time-frame which is generally long term. So, it’s a long term plan.

At this stage, it is important to differentiate between the terms objective and goal, because the words, objective and goals seem to be synonymous, but, in fact, they are not. It does not matter much which word you call goal and which word you call objective if you are consistent in your own use and understand its relevance or applicability. However, if there are words in English that are confusing, especially to the students, objective and goal are the ones among them. It’s, therefore, important to understand them so as to avoid the confusion.

When you have something you want to accomplish, it is important to set both goals and objectives. Once you learn the difference between goals and objectives, you will realize that how important it is that you have both of them. Goals without objectives can never be accomplished while objectives without goals will never get you to where you want to be. The two concepts are separate but related and will help you to be who you want to be.


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