Explain Like I’m Five: What is Strategic Visioning?

Reddit - Explain Like I'm Five

Reddit.com – /r/explainlikeimfive

One of my favorite websites is Reddit.com. I’m totally addicted. And one of my favorite “subreddits” (sub-forums on the website that deal with one topic) is “Explain Like I’m Five.”

Kind of like the Simple English version of Wikipedia, it’s a great way to learn about something that you never thought you’d be able to understand before. Complex issues are broken down and explained in a way that easier to comprehend.

One day I was browsing /r/explainlikeimfive, and it made me think, “Do the people we interview actually understand what strategic visioning is?”

Sure, we try to explain it to each person we come in contact with. We hand out papers that go into detail about what we’re doing, why we’re doing it and the process we’re using to accomplish these goals. If you look to the left, this blog even has a page dedicated to explaining it.

It never hurts to explain it one more time though and to explain in a simple way.

Here’s what Wikipedia says about strategic visioning, by the way:

“Strategic planning is an organization’s process of defining its strategy, or direction, and making decisions on allocating its resources to pursue this strategy. In order to determine the direction of the organization, it is necessary to understand its current position and the possible avenues through which it can pursue a particular course of action.”

Visioning Binoculars

Photo credit – fluffbreat, SXC.hu

Did you understand that? Even though it’s summed up fairly concisely, I feel like we still need to get a little simpler.

How about this?

Strategic visioning lets an organization (like IUP) know :

  • What people think about where it stands now and where people think it should head in the future
  • What the organization excels at
  • What needs to be improved
  • How and why it has succeeded in the past
  • Exactly what it does, and for who it does it

Strategic visioning answers these questions by:

  • Interviewing “shareholders,” aka people who are in any way affected by what the organization does
  • Gathering data about what the organization has done in the past
  • Collecting information from as wide and comprehensive a group as possible

Is there anything I forgot? What are some questions that you still have about the project? What would make the concept of “strategic visioning” easier to understand?

Comment one or two sentences as if you were explaining strategic visioning to a five-year-old.

–Brittany Madera


One thought on “Explain Like I’m Five: What is Strategic Visioning?

  1. I like your definitions. I paraphrased the Wikipedia page (and a couple of the sources it references) when I wrote that page, by the way. 🙂

    My definition would be: strategic visioning helps us figure who we are now and who we want to be in the future. Strategic planning will help us get there once we have a vision. Maybe that also helps to clarify the two.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s