For the plan’s time horizon

1. John F. Kennedy asserted in the early 1960’s that “before the decade is passed, we will send a man to the moon and return him safely to earth.” With this statement he created a vision and momentum for NASA and all Americans. It became the goal for the decade. And it accomplished.

2. Similarly, in the Strategic Plan of an organization, it is important to state one, two, or three MAJOR corporate goals for the plan’s initial time horizon (typically two years or less). Our planning group should use the following inputs to determine our MAJOR corporate goals:

a) Each participant’s input about what he/she believes the major goal emphasis should be.

b) The implications of the Sustainable Competitive Advantage, Mission Statement, derived by the planning group.

c) Intentions expressed in the President’s Vision

3. The Major Corporate Goals should be succinct. Others in the organization who were not directly involved in developing our Strategic Plan should be able to relate to it. They should, in short, stand as a “flag” for our firm in terms of what we are trying to accomplish.

4. And finally, like the Mission Statement, our Major Corporate Goals should be communicated and explained to every employee in the organization.

5. Major Corporate Goals can change, usually on an annual basis, when the entire Strategic Plan is reviewed.

6. Remember we must limit our major corporate goals to no more then two, three or four. If we have too many our significance will be lost

Corporate project and program objectives

Anything that is not strategic should fall in the category of a “Corporate Project and Program Objective.”

It gives the management group a chance to “lateral” operational issues that surface during the strategic planning session, and there will be many “non-strategic issues”. This is not the fault of the process. It is the reality of our business–we are all engaged and swamped by the demands placed upon us each day to meet operational requirements.

As a planning group we can use these program objectives as a way of taking a purely tactical issue, and relegating it to an objective that insures that it will not be ignored in the minds of those in our group who believe it must be dealt with. Some have referred to this as the “file 13” of strategic planning–meaning, that if the group falls into a non-strategic thinking mentality, then the assignment of a program objective can be used as a technique to get the planning group back on track.

Here are the kind of issues which may qualify for consideration as a project/program objective:

1. What to do with employees who will not be a part of the company’s long term future?

2. What to do to satisfy employees who believe that existing work conditions are lacking for them?

3. What to do with a government agency that wants out firm to develop an environmental plan in the event we would ever discharge by-products accidentally in the waste water system.

IN SHORT: Detailing these objectives is an important signal to our employees that our major corporate goals are a reflection of where our competitive advantages really lie. Project and program objectives, as described above, signal a different message altogether–important, but not critical to strategic goal accomplishment.

Arriving at a good mission statement

Our mission Statement will not look perfect after our first go at it. Many use the word “clumsy” to describe how they feel about it. Most importantly, however, our mission, agreed upon by the planning team, should at a minimum capture the following:

1. Some elements of the Presidents vision

2. Some reference to the basic nature of the business.

3. Some reference to the definition of key customer groups.

4. Some reference to what our planning group believes to be the company’s major competitive strength (advantage).

5. An optional reference to employee expectations and ownership wants.

Items one through five should be expressed in as few words as possible. A good mission statement is stated in less than one page; an excellent mission statement is expressed in 100 words or less.

The purpose of a mission statement is to succinctly record the “here and now” of business focus. It’s a device to enable employees to get “the big picture” very quickly.

Don’t expect the mission statement that originates at our planning session to be the end product. It should be a beginning to a continuing process to refine this important corporate commitment.

An important addition to the Mission Statement is a one or two page definitional treatment of any word or phrase in the Mission requiring further “operation all zation” to facilitate employee understanding. This addendum is referred to as “Mission Statement Implications”.

Sample mission statements

Dollar Rent A Car

Our Mission is to provide the best personal service and value among car rental companies worldwide while creating an atmosphere for our employees which inspires innovation, loyalty and service to our customers and communities.

Alden Ocean Shells, Inc.

We share a common mission: To produce the finest open water rowing shells human hands can build, to back them with the best possible customer service and to improve the quality of people’s lives through recreational rowing.

Center for Creative Leadership

Our mission is to encourage and develop creative leadership and effective management for the good of society overall. We accomplish our mission through research, training, and publication– with emphasis on the widespread. innovative applications of the behavioral sciences to the challenges facing the leaders of today and tomorrow.


To contribute to the theoretical and practical knowledge relevant to creative leadership.

To improve the practice of leadership and the effectiveness of management across a broad range of organizations and groups, both public and private.

To build a robust professional organization capable of achieving our institutional mandate over the long term–with particular regard for the development of individual staff members.

TEC (The Executive Committee)

To increase the effectiveness and enhance the lives of CEOs

Marriott Windwatch Hotel

Every auest leaves satisfied.

the best in document processing equipment and related supplies, accessories anual services.

We do this by:

Exceeding our customers’ expectations.

Treating our people with respect.

Executing our business in a manner that meets the highest quality standards.

Never compromising our integrity.

American Laubscher Corporation

ALC Mission Statement

American Laubscher Corporation’s mission is to provide North American companies and their worldwide affiliates with high precision small to micro-sized components and assemblies from a wife range of technical materials.

ALC Vision Statement

It is ALC’s vision to be the Benchmark Supplier of miniature, sub-miniature and micro-sized components and assemblies in North America.

ALC Quality Policy

The goal of ALC is to continuously improve our efforts to meet the needs of our customers and strive to become the Benchmark Supplier of miniature, sub-miniature and micro-sized parts and components and assemblies in North America.

each planning: participant prior to the meeting as part of their meeting preparation assignment. The task at the meeting is to arrive at one agreed upon statement of Corporate Mission value-added products and services that meet customer needs.


For the plan’s time horizon