Most of us develop strategies for our organizations on a regular basis. However, we often forget exactly what we are trying to accomplish in that strategy. In other words, to what end or intended outcome does each strategy accomplish?
We have found that there are four distinct purposes or intended outcomes under which you can categorize any strategy. They are:
- Missional Mandate - Achieving this goal will purely align with your mission.
- Competitive Imperative - Achieving this goal will be responsive or "catch up" to marketplace demands.
- Element of Distinction - Achieving this goal will position your organization as the only one of a kind in a specific category.
- Revenue Producer - Achieving this goal will produce revenue which can be invested back into program or product.
If your strategy does not meet any one these goals, you might want to question exactly what it does accomplish for your organization. A successful portfolio of strategies typically are balanced among the four distinct purposes listed above. For example, it is often best if your organization is meeting missional mandates, being responsive to the market demands, creating new distinctions, and generating new revenue to invest in program.
Remember a strategy is in and of itself not enough. It must be intended to accomplish a specific objective. Understanding what you are trying to accomplish and aligning your strategies accordingly is a best practice in planning.