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Strategic Planning Pyramid

It might seem early to commit to a long term plan but your vision needs to be embedded in your business design from the start.
Pyramids in Egypt

This exercise is one that you will adjust and adapt over time, but it’s a good idea to start with a blank canvas now. We often advise founders to print out exercises like this on large paper and stick it up on the wall, so you can always see it and make changes as your ideas grow.

Why not create a blank version of this pyramid with the sections labelled, and add some thoughts over the coming weeks?

The following information is provided by The Spur Group

  1. Define Your Vision – an organisation’s vision statement is an aspirational description of what it wants to achieve in the future.
  2. Create Your Mission – while your vision is an organisation-wide goal, your mission is how you plan to achieve the vision.
  3. Set Your Objectives – objectives are specific results that a person or system aims to achieve within a time frame.
  4. Develop Your Strategy – your strategy is a long-term plan that enables you to achieve your organisation’s objectives.
  5. Outline Your Approach – an approach provides a methodology for executing your strategy.
  6. Get down to tactics – tactics are focused initiatives, projects, or programs that allow organisations to execute a strategic plan.

A real-world example

Warby Parker is an American-based online prescription glasses retailer founded in 2010 that is now worth an estimated $3 billion.

  1. Define Your Vision – ‘We believe that buying glasses should be easy and fun. It should leave you happy and good-looking, with money in your pocket. We also believe that everyone has a right to see.’
  2. Create Your Mission – ‘By circumventing traditional channels, designing glasses in-house, and engaging with customers directly, we’re able to provide higher-quality, better-looking prescription eyewear at a fraction of the going price.’
  3. Set Your Objectives – In the Warby Parker 2019 Impact Report, the top issues cited were: the Buy a Pair, Give a Pair program, customer experience, innovation, product safety, and responsible sourcing.
  4. Develop Your Strategy – According to the impact report, 2.5 billion people around the world lack access to affordable glasses to learn and work. In order to make a positive impact, Warby Parker needed to develop strategies to continue chipping away at that need, as well as meet company objectives, mission and vision. An example strategy for this program could be expanding the US-based Pupils Project, which gives school children access to free vision services and glasses.
  5. Outline Your Approach – A key decision requiring a strong approach within the Pupils Program was how to have the greatest impact with the funds available. The company needed an approach that would help them answer and inform key decisions. Those decisions could have included an analysis of whether to contribute the glasses directly or make a cash equivalent donation to the nonprofits, how to identify schools for the project (for example considering the greatest overall need or the number of glasses Warby Parker can provide), as well as who should manage the logistics of the screenings and eyeglasses deliveries.
  6. Get down to tactics – For the Pupils Project at Warby Parker, the decision for how to have the largest impact possible required several tactics or initiatives to make that happen. The company chose to have the nonprofit partners run the screenings while Warby Parker provided the glasses and had the students choose their styles from 40 options in a truck show. One necessary tactic was bringing together the design and logistics teams to narrow down the style options that would be appealing to kids, cost effective, and easy to produce in large numbers.

Over to you

Complete the Strategic Planning Pyramid for your organisation!

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