Strategic Planning Best Practice 14 – Never Be Satisfied

Profits are up, costs are down, the market is yours. Time to sit back and enjoy life, right? Wrong!

From Kmart to Walmart, Compaq to Dell, history is replete with examples of organizations that had once dominated a market segment only to become insignificant or non-existent. Today’s fast moving, highly competitive marketplace demands a relentless pursuit or organizational improvement. What is low cost and efficient today is likely to become expensive and unwieldy tomorrow given the rapid pace of technological advances, process innovation, and the entry of tenacious entrepreneurs into the marketplace from around the globe. For organization leaders, this means never being satisfied with the status quo and always seeking to identify ways to improve the organization’s performance.

How Hungry Should an Organization Be?

Executives and managers frequently ask: How high should we set our goals?

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Strategic Planning Best Practice 2 – Prioritize the Mission

Ideally, an organization’s mission statement would convey a singular purpose. However, mission statements often enumerated several purposes, such as creating shareholder value, contributing to the community, and offering workforce prosperity. When this occurs, organizations struggle to serve multiple masters.

Prioritizing the mission establishes the relative importance of an organization’s multiple purposes; focusing decisions and driving actions toward achievement of the organization’s primary purpose while allowing progress to be made on objectives of lesser importance. The amount of emphasis given to each purpose should make their relative importance obvious to all members of the organization. Additionally, decision-making should demonstratively reflect and reinforce the mission priorities such that a proportionate amount of managerial attention and organizational resources are applied to the achievement of each purpose.

About the Author

Nathan Ives, StrategyDriven Principal is a StrategyDriven Principal and Host of the StrategyDriven Podcast. For over twenty years, he has served as trusted advisor to executives and managers at dozens of Fortune 500 and smaller companies in the areas of management effectiveness, organizational development, and process improvement. To read Nathan’s complete biography, click here.