Understanding your Organization’s Mission, Vision, and Values

This course examines concepts, tools, and processes for planning and executing an organization’s strategy, the “big-picture” approach to making decisions and allocating resources to achieve long-term goals related to the its mission. Government agencies and not-for-profits, as well as for-profit organizations, use their resources more effectively when they:

Have a well-articulated, coherent strategy appropriate to the external environment;

Put in place sustainable resources and activities to implement that strategy; and

Help individuals understand how their work relates to the organization’s strategy overall.



Articulated and/or critiqued your organization’s mission, vision, values, and three key objectives;

Conducted stakeholder analyses for two of those objectives;

Analyzed your organization’s external environments, including assessing possible consequences of current trends in the environment;

Performed internal analyses of your organization, focusing on resources and capabilities;

Made well-reasoned, actionable recommendations, informed by your analyses, for 3 strategic projects to help your organization be more effective in articulating and/or implementing its strategy;

Created a plan for engaging relevant stakeholders on work related to one of your organization’s strategic objectives.



The strategic plan that matters. “Planning” as orientation and integration. Why the process matters.  Communication iterations and cycles for creating shared understanding. 

Missions, visions, and values. Strategic and financial objectives. Generic strategic approaches to organizational distinction.

Stakeholder analyses. Distinguishing between the donor environment and the beneficiary environment. Managing stakeholders to achieve organizational objectives.

Applying Porter’s Five Forces analysis to the donor environment. Analysis of trends driving change in the operational environment. 

Resources and capabilities. Assessing strategically valuable resources. Core and distinctive capabilities. 

Comparing the resource view with the vision, mission, objectives, and strategy. Assessing the fit of internal resources with external environments to achieve objectives. Making strategic, actionable recommendations.

Communication pacing. Visual works-in-process. The value of “bad drafts.” Creating action plans based on shared understanding.