Strategic Plan Part 1 – Organization Foundation

Strategic Plan Part 1 – Organization Foundation

The mission, vision, and purpose statements frame how an organization wants to fit into the world today and in the future.  It provides the foundation that guides where the organization is going and what it wants to accomplish.  An organization’s core values are the guiding principles on how it operates.

Mission (Impact)

A mission statement focuses on a specific goal or set of goals that guide the organization’s activities and decision-making.  The mission statement is often inspiring, aspirational and designed to provide a sense of purpose and direction to employees, customers, stakeholders and volunteers.  Here are some examples of different for-profit and non-profit organization mission statements:

  • Tesla: “To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.
  • UNICEF: “To promote the rights and well-being of every child, in everything we do.
  • Google: “To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
  • American Red Cross: “To prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.
  • Doctors Without Borders: “To provide impartial medical care and assistance to people affected by conflict, epidemics, disasters, or exclusion from healthcare.
  • Apple: “To bring the best user experience to its customers through its innovative hardware, software, and services.
  • Amazon: “To be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”


The vision statement identifies what the organization wants to achieve and where it wants to be in the future.  Some examples of visioning statements include:

  • Apple: “To make the best products on earth and to leave the world better than we found it.”
  • AT&T: “We aspire to be the most admired and valuable company in the world. Our goal is to enrich our customers’ personal lives and to make their businesses more successful by bringing to market exciting and useful communications services, building shareowner value in the process.
  • Bank of America: “to be the world’s finest financial services company.”
  • Netflix: “To continue being one of the leading firms of the internet entertainment era.
  • CVS: “help people to live longer, healthier, happier lives.


The purpose statement identifies the positive impact that an organization is having or going to have on the world either through a specific cause or by operating a socially responsible organization.  The purpose statement helps guide the organization’s decision-making and prioritizes goals to ensure they align with the ‘greater good’.  Some examples of purpose statement:

  • Patagonia: “We’re in business to save our home planet.
  • TOMS: “Using business to improve lives.
  • Warby Parker: “To offer designer eyewear at a revolutionary price, while leading the way for socially conscious businesses.
  • The Body Shop: “To enrich our planet, our people, our products, and our principles.
  • Ben & Jerry’s: “To make the best possible ice cream in the nicest possible way.
  • Kickstarter: “To help bring creative projects to life.
  • Teach For America: “To enlist, develop, and mobilize as many as possible of our nation’s most promising future leaders to grow and strengthen the movement for educational equity and excellence.

Core Values

An organization’s core values are its fundamental beliefs, guiding principles and ethical standards.  These values provide a framework that defines how employees should behave and make decisions, while help shaping an organization’s culture.  Core values should influence an organization’s hiring process, marketing strategy and overall operations.  Some examples of one of an organization’s core values are:

  • Google: “Focus on the user and all else will follow.
  • Zappos: “Deliver WOW through service.
  • Patagonia: “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.
  • Southwest Airlines: “Warrior spirit, servant’s heart, fun-loving attitude.
  • Airbnb: “Champion the mission, be a host.
  • Amazon: “Customer obsession, ownership, invent and simplify.
  • Apple: “Think different, innovate, simplicity, design.

An organization typically has multiple core values.  For example, here are all of Google’s values and principles:

  • Focus on the user and all else will follow
  • It’s best to do one thing really, really well
  • Fast is better than slow
  • Democracy on the web works
  • You don’t need to be at your desk to need an answer
  • You can make money without doing evil
  • There’s always more information out there
  • The need for information crosses all borders
  • You can be serious without a suit
  • Great just isn’t good enough

Feel free to use/adopt a core value from another organization.  Most organizations post theirs online, so they are relatively easy to look up. 

Department’s Mission, Vision, Purpose and Core Values

Every department within an organization should adopt the organization’s mission and vision statements and its core values.  A department’s purpose statement is much more targeted.  For example, a Sales Department’s purpose is to “sell” within the overall organization’s purpose.  Some targeted emphasis on some of the core values may be applied by a department’s purpose.  In a Customer Service Department, the emphasis could be on providing the best possible customer service, but in cost efficient fashion.  It is all about making the overall organization successful.

Part 2 – Environmental Analysis

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