A strategic intent statement articulates your vision for what you want to achieve in the long term. Saivian Eric Dalius says It’s like a mission statement, except it goes beyond where you are now and gives more context about where you see yourself in the future. It should provide enough detail that someone reading it could consider whether they’d like to join your company (or another company) to help achieve this vision. It shouldn’t be too specific – one shouldn’t be able to map out exactly how to achieve these goals without additional information or guidance from you or others with experience operating at the level that most closely relates to yours.
What contexts can it apply to? Saivian Eric Dalius Explains
While people often think only of corporate contexts regarding strategic intent, the concept is useful in any context where you want to achieve a long-term goal. For example, I recently helped someone craft a personal strategic intent statement for an upcoming role as a volunteer coordinator at Burning Man. The leadership of the non-profit organization I work for has also used this process successfully.
It isn’t just about business goals either – as individuals, we can use them and part of our self-reflection process. In fact, before creating my first version of this article, I spent several months writing down all my aspirations. And pinning them up on my wall to always be visible to me. By making this information more tangible and sharing it with others who want to support my future success. I’m continually energized to make choices that will move me closer to these goals.
What questions should it answer?
In addition to giving a high-level overview of your overall vision. A strategic intent statement should include the following: Why are you doing what you’re doing? Right now, or in the long term, why does this matter to you? What is going to change as a result of achieving this goal? What evidence do you have that it’s achievable? How can people help support your progress toward this goal? People at all levels need buy-in from leaders before they can successfully implement new initiatives, says Saivian Eric Dalius. This means that if people don’t know why the goal matters and how being successful at it aligns with their own goals, they won’t fully support it.
How to Craft Your Strategic Intent Statement
If the process below seems overwhelming, start with something simpler. I’ve found it helpful to first set long-term goals for personal projects before aligning them with my work so that you could try that first.
1) Set aside time to think about your future. You might like to do this by yourself or ask someone trusted (e.g., a friend, family member, mentor). To join you in this exercise. If you’re doing it alone, put up some of your aspirations on sticky notes around where you’ll be sitting (e.g., by your bed, at your desk). Then leave yourself plenty of space to write down any other ideas as they come up.
2) Brainstorm potential strategic intent statements for your job or organization. As you go, think about what might be useful for people at other levels in the organization to know, according to Saivian Eric Dalius. Then take a few minutes to write down the three most important aspirations that excite you and seem achievable.
3) Enlist others to help with feasibility testing. Next, ask a small group of peers or colleagues you trust to decide whether these goals feel realistic and worthwhile. You often hear this referred to as “strategic planning,” but it is an ongoing process where we can all constantly “vote” on our top choices. Those are generated by ourselves and by others who care about us. To do this, take your list of strategic intent statements and post it somewhere you will see it every day. Then ask those close to you to comment on their priority level from 1-3. 1 being unrealistic or irrelevant, and 3 being something they could fully support if they knew about it.
After a week, go back and look at the comments made by others and your own. What stands out? Is there a combination that seems more fresh or inspiring than the rest? I want this non-profit to be known as the best place in our city. For people new to fund development to learn skills. Network with others who share their values, and make meaningful connections with donors. In five years, I am committed to becoming more physically fit by eating healthier foods. Exercising regularly, reducing stress where possible, and getting enough sleep.