Organizational “Vision” Development
“Visioning is a deep voyage into the heart and soul of an organization. Visioning is looking at the big picture and attempting to foresee the future. Visioning was designed to appeal to both the mind and spirit, and to involve employees in the exciting process of creating the future within a successful organization. The essence of successful organizational visioning is the commitment to rethinking and reviewing the organization. The process empowers members and the organization to achieve and reach its full potential.”
Peter Drucker, leadership guru, stated “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” Unlike prior methods of organizational planning, visioning begins with the future, not the present; it focuses on the end-state, not the means of getting there. The description of that ideal end-state is called a vision.
The following are sample vision statements taken from the private sector and government entities.
Delta Dental, New Hampshire: To be the premier dental benefits provider.
Department of Children, Youth and Families, Rhode Island: As active members of the community, we share a vision that all children, youth and families reach their fullest potential in a safe and nurturing environment.
City of Richmond, Indiana: The City of Richmond intends to be a premier Midwestern city recognized for its superior business environment, focus on education, culture and historically rich neighborhoods. Richmond will be a well-planned city, valued by its citizens for its economically vibrant and aesthetically pleasing sustainable environment. The city of Richmond and its citizens will commit to a high standard of community planning as evidenced through their involvement and participation in decision making for proper growth and development. The City of Richmond values and preserves the beauty of its natural and architectural resources and shall promote smart growth through its sustainable development philosophy.
Electronic Government Vision Statement, Montana: Montana’s electronic government initiative will make state government more accessible and responsive to the public, businesses, and other government entities through direct, electronic access to government information and services.
Orange County Corrections Department, Orange County, Florida: We envision a professional and culturally diverse corrections organization that sets the standard for excellence in public safety and service to the community achieved through sound correctional practices, inmate/offender programs and health care, and community partnerships.
City of Albuquerque, New Mexico: Albuquerque is a thriving high desert community of distinctive cultures coming together to create a sustainable future.
City of Farmville, Virginia: In the year 2020, Farmville has created a public and private environment recognized as a destination of choice for individuals and families in search of high quality recreational activities, personal growth opportunities, and lifestyle services. Farmville’s success in creating this environment is the result of its leadership role in forging progressive partnerships with its stakeholders in the community and the region. To create an overall sense of wellbeing and pride of residence, Farmville’s strong governmental leadership encourages public participation and is aggressively responsive to the needs of its citizens. Farmville is “open for business” and receptive to innovation, yet mindful of the responsibility to preserve its historic and natural resources for future generations. We are the hub of economic activity in the region, while maintaining our identity as a diverse academic village, a center for culture, and a family-friendly town.
eGovernment Vision, Oakland County, Michigan: To create a technology-enabled community by which all residents, businesses, governments and employees can access relevant government information value added services at any time and from anywhere.
How does my organization develop a vision statement?
State agencies and boards that do not already have a written vision statement should follow the procedure outlined under “How does my organization develop a purpose statement” on page 16.
Your organization’s mission statement is a clear but brief statement specifying the organization’s primary focus or thrust for the next four to five years. It should be easily understood by all personnel and serve as energy source/rallying point for the members of the organization. Mission statements can be used as a template for making decisions. In other words, administrators can ask the question “Is what we are doing or propose to do consistent with our mission?” If the answer is “No” then we must ask the questions “Why are we doing it?” or “Why are we thinking of doing it?”
The following are sample mission statements from both the private and public sector.
Delta Dental, New Hampshire: It is our mission to be the leading force in the dental prepayment marketplace by offering quality, versatile and affordable dental programs to benefit our purchasers, subscribers and participating member dentists.
Department of Children, Youth and Families, Rhode Island: It is the mission of DCYF to assist families with their primary responsibility to raise their children to become productive members of society. We recognize our obligations to promote, safeguard and protect the overall well-being of culturally diverse children, youth and families and the communities in which they live through a partnership with families, communities and government.
Orange County Corrections Department, Orange County, Florida: The Mission of the Orange County Corrections Department is to protect the public by operating safe, secure incarceration facilities, which maintain the health and well being of the inmates, in addition to providing effective and meaningful supervision of offenders in the community.
Maine State Board of Education: The Mission of the State Board of Education is to provide statewide leadership by advocating, promoting and improving educational policy and life-long learning for all Maine citizens. In particular in this rapidly changing 21st century, we are concerned that graduates of the Maine Pk-12 public school system have the skills and knowledge to be college ready, career ready, and citizenship ready. The Board offers direction to the Executive and Legislative branches of state government; thus, fulfilling its statutory requirement.
Pennsylvania Department of General Services: The mission of the Department of General Services is to provide high quality services at a good price to support the operation of state government. As the state’s purchaser of commodities and services, the manager of capital expenditures for buildings, and the entity that maintains and protects our facilities, it is imperative that we make cost-effective service our primary mission. In addition, we will work to make government more friendly for its users, expand opportunity for minority and women-owned businesses, and reduce operating costs for the agencies of state government that we support.
How does my organization develop a mission statement?
State agencies and boards that do not already have a written mission statement should follow the procedure outlined under “How does my organization develop a purpose statement” on page 16.
Organizational “Goals and Objectives” Development
Many people tell us that goals and objectives are confusing. They are not sure of the difference between a goal, objective or an action step. This difficulty is understandable when you read some of the poorly written goals and objectives that can be found throughout resources such as the internet. There are some basics concerning goals and objectives that can be helpful to the writer. In this section we will attempt to provide the reader with some of the basics regarding writing goals and objectives.
Why do we need to identify goals and objectives?
Plans and actions based on clear goals and objectives are more likely to succeed in meeting the organization’s needs.
Goals, by definition, are outcome statements that define what an organization is trying to accomplish. Try to think of each goal as a large umbrella with several spokes coming out from the center. The umbrella itself is a goal. Now think of each spoke as an objective. Without the specifics of the objectives the very general goal could not be accomplished; just as an umbrella cannot be put up or down without the spokes.
Goals are general guidelines that explain what you want to achieve in your organization. They are usually long-term and represent the large issues or problems you want to address like “protect public health and safety”.
Objectives define strategies or implementation steps to attain the identified goals. Unlike goals, objectives are specific, measurable, and have a defined completion date. They are more specific and outline the “who, what, when, where, and how” of reaching the goals. Objectives are developed to help achieve goals by dividing them into manageable components. For example, “eliminate flood damage” would be a goal. A supporting objective could be “adopt a zoning ordinance prohibiting new development in the floodplain.” This objective would need a date of completion, a person responsible for implementation and specific actions steps outlining what needs to be accomplished in order to adopt the zoning ordinance.
By definition objectives are described as being precise, time-based, and have measurable actions that support the completion of a goal. Objectives must:
· Relate directly to the goal
· Be clear, concise, and understandable
· Be stated in terms of results
· Begin with an action verb
· Specify a date for accomplishment
· Be measurable
What are the differences between goals and objectives?
Goals are broad objectives are narrow.
Goals are general intentions; objectives are precise.
Goals are intangible; objectives are tangible.
Goals are abstract; objectives are concrete.
Goals can’t be validated as is; objectives can be validated.
Example: A goal could be “to know about the human body.”
The objective might be “the learner will be able to name all of he bones in the human body as stated in the medical textbook “The Human Body”.
All objectives should be SMART.
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Attainable
R – Realistic
T – Time-bound
Remember, objectives are important because they are the measureable factors by which the success or failure of one’s service, product, project or program is decided. From these objectives strategies [sometimes referred to as action steps] are developed with specific roles and responsibilities.
Examples of objectives:
· To have a 75% customer satisfaction rating on reference requests by xx date.
· By the end of FY xx 50% of all employees will be trained in at least three computer application programs that support the mission of the department.
· By December 31, 20xx all users of the Lexis-Nexis system will have received online database search training.
· By July 1, 2009 all state agencies and boards will have a written strategic plan that includes a viable workforce development plan.
What are Action Steps/Plans and how are they developed?
Action steps [sometimes referred to as strategies] are an outline of how you will accomplish a specific objective. Below you will find four examples of goals with accompanying objectives and action steps. Each example provides a slightly different format. Like the examples below, your organization should choose a format that works best for its’ mission and purposes.
Point Pleasant Middle School Goals, Objectives, and Action Steps
Goal 1: The percentage of students scoring at mastery or above in
reading/language arts will increase annually.
Objective 1.1 The percentage of students scoring at mastery or above in the
ALL subgroup will increase a minimum of 3% annually.
• Teachers will utilize CSO checklist.
• IEP’s are written to according to grade level CSO’S.
• The principal will monitor lesson plans.
• Teachers will receive training in implementing a standards based curriculum.
• Survey parents for input regarding suggested programs to strengthen the
• Initiate student led conferences to provide an opportunity to showcase student
achievement through portfolios and work samples.
• Establish a Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO).
• Utilize the county K-12 Literacy Plan.
• Design lessons according to the prioritized CSO’s.
• Review and revise prioritization annually to reflect Westest data.
• Principal will provide walkthrough reflections.
• Principals will monitor for DI implementation.
University of Missouri
Strategic Goal 2:
Maintain a strong focus on student learning and achievement for
undergraduate, graduate and professional students to strengthen the national reputation of UMR.
– Conduct a multi-dimensional evaluation of student performance that verifies the ability of students to perform as a professional in their discipline, including their ability to communicate their ideas both orally and in writing, and that contains elements that can be compared to national standards. (Student Learning and Achievement 2:2.1, 2:2.2 and 2:3.3)
– Develop a learner-centered environment that promotes the improvement of learning, team work and personal development of undergraduate, graduate and professional students. (Student Learning and Achievement 1:1.3 and 1:1.5)
– Create a sense of community among students, faculty and staff. (Student Learning and Achievement 1:1.3 and 3:3.2)
– Strengthen the learning connection between students and faculty through collaborative learning experiences, improved academic advising and faculty-peer mentoring. (Student Learning and Achievement 1:1.3)
– Adopt the Seven Principles of Good Practice in Undergraduate Education. (Student Learning and Achievement 1:1.1)
1. Improve existing and create new learning communities where faculty, staff and students can collaborate to enhance learning and achievement.
2. Evaluate the Learning Enhancement Across the Discipline (LEAD) Centers.
3. Create learning centers in core required courses in as many disciplines as possible.
4. Implement summer bridge programs to enhance the preparation for incoming freshman in chemistry, math and student success skills.
Goal / Objectives / Strategies [Action Steps] Worksheet
Goal: John Doe School will improve the overall educational experience for its youth and reduce later involvement with the juvenile justice system by having 95% of its third grade students reading at or above grade level by school year 2007-2008.
|Resources Needed||Personnel Responsible||Time Line||Evaluation
|Increase enrollment to include 30 more students
80% of students will improve literacy skills
|Hire after-school tutor
Promote school and encourage enrollment in local newspaper
Refer 30 students to after-school tutoring
Tutor students two days per week
|Personnel, budget, and Human Resource Dept.
Students, Teachers, and Parents
Textbooks, and other instructional materials
After School Tutors
|June 2007 –
July 2007 – August 2007
August 2007 – September 2007
August 2007– May 2008
|100% Positions Filled
Counting of the number of referral forms turned in
Attendance Logs, S.T.A.R. reading assessment tool
Iowa University Extension Program – Examples of Goals, Objectives and Strategies/Action Plans
Below are goals, objectives and action plans (strategies) for AgVA. Note how the action plans accomplish the objectives and the objectives accomplish the goals. The goals support the fulfillment of the vision and mission.
Goal 1: Build a team of local farmers interested in business development. Objective: Create a team of ten farmers by February 1. Action Plan: Identify twenty farm leaders in the area. List them in order of qualifications with most qualified first. Contact them in order of listing until ten have accepted
Goal 2: Recruit experienced and reliable consultants. Objective: Identify and retain legal, accounting and industry consultants by March 1. Action Plan: Talk to Prairie Ethanol, Peterson Organics and Valley Bio-Diesel about who their consultants are, select a small group to interview and hire an attorney, an accountant and an industry consultant.
Goal 3: Identify and analyze market opportunities for possible business ventures. Objective: Conduct market scanning activities to identify three potential market opportunities by June 1. Action Plan: Contract with an industry consultant (goal 2) to conduct an industry scan.
Goal 4: Build a membership base Objective: Have 500 members by August 1. Action Plan: Conduct 10 membership meetings at specified locations on the following dates in June and July.