Thoughtstarters for Planning

Sometimes use a “Thoughtstarter” to get the juices flowing when I work with clients on business planning.  This simple tool prompts discussion and interaction….

Vision Exercise

This is “what” you aspire to as an organization. The vision statement communicates both the purpose and values of the organization.  Example: In the early days of the technology revolution, Microsoft’s vision was: “A personal computer in every home running Microsoft software.”  The vision should energize and inspire your team.

Mission for Your Organization

This is “how” you are going to accomplish your vision – using objectives to deliver results. Take a look at your current mission if you have one. Does it still apply? How has your business changed since you created this mission?


This is how you’re going to differentiate yourself from others who offer a similar product/service/idea as you do (the competition). What are the products and services and intangibles that lead your customers and suppliers to do business with you? How do you demonstrate and measure this value? More importantly, how/why is this different than what’s on the market today?


What are actions that you’ll take to implement the vision and mission and to promote the value that you bring? Set timeframes and key milestones for each action. If you don’t know where to start, consider hiring a consultant.

Document each discussion and each iteration of Vision, Mission, Value and Plans. Use this as a compass to guide your planning activities and keep a Healthy Business Checklist.