Check that everyone in the organisation knows and understands the vision. It's important to communicate it clearly and regularly.

Don't neglect to monitor progress towards the vision. It's important to track and measure how well the action plans are working and adjust as needed.

Where can I get ideas to help me achieve my business and personal goals?

Why might I benefit from looking at areas not directly related to my business?

Do I need nice-looking documents that bear little relation to the business?

Are these areas consistent with each other and our brand / image?


Are there clear strategies, including critical success factors, in place to deliver the vision?

Are our strategies regularly reviewed for effectiveness and updated?

To what extent are the strategies clearly documented as action plans that help drive day-to-day activities?

Strategy overview

Are there clear strategies, including critical success factors, in place to deliver the vision?

To ensure a vision is adopted by an organisation it must establish a set of action plans with specific objectives to track and measure progress towards the vision. These action plans should be tactical in nature and actionable for team members. They should be supported by Critical Success Factors (CSFs), which are in turn supported by Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that provide metrics for determining how successful the business is in working towards the goals determined by the process.

Action Plans are the means of implementing strategy but unless accountabilities are assigned little is likely to happen.

TIME TO COMPLETE: 5-30 days depending on the size and nature of the business and assuming widespread involvement.


Step 1 - Clarify the current vision of the business.

NOTE: If the vision is not clearly documented and shared with team members it would be appropriate to implement some of the vision action steps before this one such as developing and documenting a clear vision and developing a communication plan to share the vision.

Step 2 - Determine how the vision impacts each functional area.

Once the vision has been determined, consider how it will impact the functional areas of the business. Establish goals for each functional area (no longer than three years out). These should be in the areas of products and services, marketing and sales, people, systems, processes and finance. All goals should be aligned with the vision of the business. Here are some examples to provoke thought:

1. “Honesty and plain speaking” are values in the vision - ensure there is an area in performance appraisals that captures that and requires the team to give examples

2. “Our products will set the benchmark for quality in our industry” is part of the vision - in a manufacturing business this will impact primarily research and development work and production. Still, service businesses, such as hotels, also have their quality benchmarks. Irrespective of whether the company has formal quality accreditation, it will now need to set new benchmarks that are clearly beyond anyone else in the market and sustain that position. The implementation of standards and the investment required to meet such a commitment could be extremely high and need to start immediately.

Step 3 - Involve the whole team in the process of determining how goals will be achieved

Break the team into functional working groups to brainstorm the process of developing and prioritising action plans for their areas. The plans should focus on identifying the critical success factors (CSFs) for their functional area given the agreed vision of the business. These CSFs should be backed up with specific actions detailing what needs to happen to ensure the CSF is satisfied, by whom and when.

Consider the quality example in the context of a hotel per the previous step. CSFs might include:

  • Being able to measure quality in both our hotel and our competitors will be mandatory. If the accepted measure is an annual survey by an industry journal it is imperative to know how they compile it and take steps to anticipate its outcomes and act ahead of time to influence them, i.e. a tracking system is needed.
  • Anticipating trends of customer-perceived quality in hotels means monitoring international trends, perhaps speaking with key interior designers, and attending trade shows and conventions, i.e. a proactive system of competitive intelligence is needed.
  • Being able to act quickly to match changing quality expectations ahead of the competition is where 'the rubber hits the road'. Whilst changing room shape and size cannot be done overnight, many changes can be arranged quickly, e.g. a broadened offering of beds (perhaps e.g. traditional, futon, water bed etc.) Be alert to changing food tastes, methods of booking, checking out and payment, offers of “free” services, e.g. shoe cleaning, shoulder / foot massages etc.

Encourage creative thinking but remember, it must all be funded and must pay for itself somehow.

Step 4 - Implement a monitoring system to measure progress

Establish reasonable benchmarks, i.e. KPIs, and milestones for each of the functional CSFs. Develop systems and processes for tracking team members toward those goals. Recognition and reward systems can also be used to motivate team member performance.


A series of action plans for each functional area that team members throughout the organisation can use as a guide for supporting the business' vision. Each action plan must:

  • Be clearly aligned to realising the vision
  • Have actions that are specific and actionable
  • Include timelines and milestones. Specify the CSFs and KPIs
  • Allocate responsibility for execution and monitoring of progress
  • Be costed as far as possible


Encourage buy-in to the business' vision. Team members should share the vision and the best way to do so is to gain their involvement in the development of the action plans.

Encourage creative thinking about how to realise the vision - not just the obvious steps that may be very expensive.


Make the action plans too tactical and budget-oriented. Visions are long-term goals and should not be confused with annual budget objectives.