A strategic vision is a broad term used to describe one of the essential elements of an overall strategic planning endeavor. Essentially, a vision is the identification of the ultimate aim or purpose for a business. Within this context, the strategic vision helps to set the parameters for the development of planning specific steps to go about making that vision come true, since it establishes the general direction that the business will pursue. A workable vision clearly looks beyond where the company is today and determines where the owners want the company to be at some point in the future.
In order to properly craft a strategic vision, several key elements must be considered in order for that vision to be truly viable. One of those elements is that the vision must be realistic. This means that vision must be somewhat specific rather than a vague idea about the future. For example, setting a vision to become the largest pencil manufacturer in the world may be a bit broad, whereas a vision to capture five percent of the pencil market within a given country within the next ten years does have focus and has the potential to be workable.
Along with viability, a strategic vision has to be relevant to those who will be involved in reaching that ultimate goal. This means employees as well as owners must recognize the potential of the vision and be committed to helping it come to pass. If everyone in the company does not believe in and support the vision, the chances of reaching the goal within the time frame identified are reduced significantly.
A true strategic vision is attractive, in that all parties involved can identify some benefit from pursuing the vision. This means that employees can foresee improved working conditions resulting from going after the vision, as well as additional financial benefits from working hard to achieve the goal. The degree of attractiveness must be sufficient to sustain that commitment even when unforeseen difficulties threaten to slow progress toward the goal, inspiring everyone concerned to overcome the adversity and keep moving forward.
One final characteristic of a strategic vision is that there is room for adjusting strategies when and as needed without actually changing the ultimate goal itself. This built-in flexibility makes it possible to alter policies and procedures when necessary to keep the momentum going, introduce new advertising and marketing campaigns, make improvements to the product line, and any other strategy that is likely to move the company forward toward achieving the vision.
In order to succeed, a business must have at least one visionary that can formulate a workable and attractive strategic vision. Employees with the skill sets needed to bring the fulfillment of that vision to life are just as important to the well-being of the company. A company that is composed mainly of visionaries, or one that does not have at least one visionary among the owners and managers, is much more likely to remain stagnant at best, or to fail completely at worst.