Aspiration stokes the fire of business strategy

The start of a new year is a great time to reflect on and revisit the bigger questions in life: who we are, how we want to live and what we want to achieve.

It’s no different in business. Taking the time to think about our company’s fundamental purpose and longer-term goal is critical. It re-energizes our passion for what we do and inspires us moving forward. Having a sense of purpose also guides strategy in a very practical way. If you know where you want to go, you can plan the best way to get there.

In StratPad, we refer to this grounding, glowing core of strategy as a company’s “aspiration.” Aspiration is the big-picture goal that answers the question, “Where do we want our company to be in 10 (or more) years?”

More than just a long-range goal, an aspiration expresses a higher sense of purpose. You want to think about why your company exists, not just what it does. For example, I recently bought a new pair of eyeglasses at Goo Goo Goggles in Victoria BC. The service was exceptional: attentive, well-informed, friendly. When I remarked on it to the staff person who served me, he said: “Thanks. We like helping people see better.” Ah – there’s a business that knows, and lives, its aspiration.

What’s your aspiration?

Here are some questions to help you and your team think through your company’s aspiration:

  • Why do we exist? What is our deep reason for being?
  • If our company shut down, who would care and why?
  • What do we aspire to become, achieve, create?
  • It’s 10 years in the future: what would we love to see? What would our company look like? How do our employees feel? What have we achieved? What do our customers say about us? If a major business magazine did an article about us, what would we want it to say?
  • Does our aspiration get our juices flowing? Does it inspire us? Does it spur us onward?

Write one to three sentences on your company’s aspiration that starts with “We want to become…” Imagine what you could do if you could not fail; be bold and optimistic. At StratPad, we aspire to help you create a strategy that will make your aspiration a reality. Download StratPad Free from the iPad App Store and/or sign up for a free trial of StratPad Cloud.