Appendix D. Plans—Strategic Process

The strategic process is the first of the three critical ongoing processes required to run a business: the other two are operational process and organizational process. This is a two-part appendix: There is a discussion of mission, vision, and values; it is followed by an examination of an effective strategic planning process.


Simply put, a mission statement informs the organization how to spend its time. However, mission statements are often so complex and convoluted that they do not have meaning to anyone. The best mission statements are concise, clear, and motivating. They leave no question as to the "higher good" or the "ultimate focus" of the organization:

Provide relief to victims of disasters and help people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies.

American Red Cross

Preserve and improve human life


To explore new worlds, discover new civilizations; seek out new life forms, and to boldly go where no one has gone before.

Starship Enterprise


A good vision is an appealing picture of future success, showing what the company will be like when the mission is accomplished. Some examples of clear and inspiring visions:

The world's premier engineering organization. Trained and ready to provide support any time, any place.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Create a world-renowned, yet personable, showcase of maverick films, filmmakers and the technology that enables creativity.


A world in which every child, every where, ...

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