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Activities: The actions necessary to achieve the Envisioned Future.

Appreciative Inquiry:  A model for analysis, decision-making and the creation of strategic change, particularly within companies and other organizations.  AI seeks to determine how to grow and improve from current assets and skills instead of attempting to “problem solve” from a deficiency perspective.

Balanced Scorecard: The balanced scorecard is a strategic planning and management system that is used to align business activities to the vision and strategy of the organization, improve internal and external communications, and monitor organization performance against strategic goals.

Best Practices: A method or technique that has consistently shown results superior to those achieved with other means, and that is used as a benchmark.

BHAG (Big, Hairy, and Audacious Goal): The term ‘Big Hairy Audacious Goal’ was proposed by James Collins and Jerry Porras in Built to Last.  A BHAG encourages companies to define visionary goals that are more strategic and emotionally compelling. A BHAG (pronounced BEE-hag) is an audacious 10-to-30-year goal to progress towards an envisioned future.

Business Modeling: A business model describes the rationale of how an organization creates, delivers, and captures value, in economic, social, cultural or other contexts. The process of business model construction (business modeling) is part of business strategy.

Business philosophy: The business philosophy established the rule of conduct for operating the organization.  It translates the values of the organization into more concrete descriptions of how the values will be applied to run the business.

Client Information: Data gathered about a client (surveys, anecdotal, searches, and materials, articles…) to inform the work of E4.

Compelling Vision: A compelling vision offers urgency to move toward the long-range goals.  A compelling vision is people oriented, clear, explicit about timing, achievable and measurable.

Control: Relies on self-reference – a sense of strategic intent and purpose embedded in the minds of managers throughout the organization that guides their choices on a daily basis in a process that is often difficult to measure and monitor from above.

Core Purpose: The organization’s reason for being reflecting idealistic motivations for doing the company’s work.  It captures the soul of the organization.  It is ‘discovered’ not created.

Core Values: Essential and enduring tenets of the organization.  Timeless collective guiding principles that have intrinsic value and important to those INSIDE of the organization.  Businesses hold them even if they become a competitive DISadvantage in certain situations.  They define the character of the organization.

Customer Segments: These define the different groups of people or organizations an enterprise aims to reach and to serve.

Data Collection: The process of gathering and measuring information on variables of interest, in an established systematic fashion that enables one to answer stated research questions, test hypotheses, and evaluate outcomes. The goal for all data collection is to capture quality evidence that then translates to rich data analysis and allows the building of a convincing and credible answer to questions that have been posed.

Data Analysis:  A process of inspecting, cleaning, transforming, and modeling data with the goal of discovering useful information, suggesting conclusions, and supporting decision-making.

Deliverables: The completed tasks and outputs necessary to change thinking and actions in order to achieve the Envisioned Future.

Emotional Intelligence: (EI) is the ability to monitor one’s own and other people’s emotions, to discriminate between different emotions and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior.

Engagement Framework: A graphic way of depicting the inputs, activities and deliverables as elements of the E4 Engagement.  These elements result in outcomes and impact which are the Envisioned Future.

Envisioned Future: Jim Collins definition from HBR 1996 “The second primary component of the vision framework is envisioned future. It consists of two parts: a 10-to-30-year audacious goal plus vivid descriptions of what it will be like to achieve the goal. We recognize that the phrase envisioned future is somewhat paradoxical. On the one hand, it conveys concreteness—something visible, vivid, and real. On the other hand, it involves a time yet unrealized—with its dreams, hopes, and aspirations.”  

Envisioned future model: The process E4 uses to assist an organization to determine where the organization wants to be to achieve their envisioned future.

Evidence-based practices:  EBP is an interdisciplinary approach that has been gaining ground following its formal introduction in 1992. It started in medicine and spread to dentistry, nursing, psychology, education, library and information science and other fields. Its basic principles are that all practical decisions made should be based on research studies.

Feedback Loop / Iteration: The section of a system that allows for obtaining feedback for self-correction to adjusts its operation to the desired or optimal output, outcomes and impact.

Guiding Principles: Any principles or precepts that guide an organization throughout its life in all circumstances, irrespective of changes in its goals, strategies, type of work, or the top management.

High Performance Organization: A High Performance Organization is an organization that achieves financial and non-financial results that are exceedingly better than those of its peer group.

Impact: The long-term changes in the larger situation (environment, social conditions, culture, patterns of behavior, economic conditions, political conditions, preferences) necessary to achieve the Envisioned Future.

Inputs: The resources necessary to achieve the Envisioned Future (time, money, partners, equipment, facilities)

Mindset: A set of beliefs or a way of thinking that determines one’s behavior, outlook and mental attitude.

Mission: The mission specifies an organization’s purpose or reason for being.  It is the objective toward which the organization’s plans and programs should be aimed.  A mission is to be accomplished, while a vision is something to be pursued.

Motivation: A theoretical construct used to explain behavior. It represents the reasons for people’s actions, desires, and needs. Motivation can also be defined as one’s direction to behavior or what causes a person to want to repeat a behavior and vice versa.

Niche: A distinct segment of a market.

Operational Performance Management:  Operational Performance Management includes the alignment and cascading of strategic goals and priorities into the operations of the organization to foster performance and accountability.  Balanced Scorecards, Operational Dashboards and Strategy Maps all ensure that strategy will be successful.

Organizational Alignment: Organizational (or Strategic) alignment is the process and the result of linking an organization’s structure and resources with its strategy and business environment (regulatory, physical, etc.) Organizational alignment enables higher performance by optimizing the contributions of people, processes, and inputs to the realization of measurable objectives and, thus, minimizing waste and misdirection of effort and resources to unintended or unspecified purposes.

Organizational Behavior: Organizational Behavior is a field of study and practices that advance the understanding of how to lead and manage with the aim of increasing personal and organizational effectiveness. It is the study of human behavior in organizational settings, the interface between human behavior and the organization, and the organization itself.  OB is divided into three levels (a) individuals in organizations (micro-level), (b) teams (meso-level), (c) organizations (macro-level).

Organizational Charts: Organizational charts are graphic depictions of the current Organizational Structure or the ideal Organizational Design.  Because of design, redesign, adding positions, promotions or shuffling responsibilities, charts can change with great frequency, which necessitates a company to find means of reeducating staff on the current chart (intranet, bulletin boards).

Organizational Culture:  Organizational culture represents the collective values, beliefs and principles of organizational members and is a product of such factors as history, product, market, technology, and strategy, type of employees, management style, and national culture. Culture includes the organization’s vision, values, norms, systems, symbols, language, assumptions, beliefs, and habits.  It is also the pattern of such collective behaviors and assumptions that are taught to new organizational members as a way of perceiving and, even, thinking and feeling.

Organizational Design: It’s a plan of how the company should function or would perform better.  Takes inventory of all the tasks, functions and goals and then develops grouping or positions, departments and individuals to best achieve those ends.  Usually a design is expressed through an organizational chart to help clarify functions and power relationships.

Organizational DNA: A metaphor used to attempt to codify the distinctive characteristics of an enterprise’s four strands of unique traits including Structure, Decision Rights, Motivators and Information.  Mission, core purpose and core values reflect an organization’s DNA.

Organizational Redesign: Growth, decline and changes in how a company does business or in its business environment or strategy make organizational structures obsolete.  As a result, organizations undertake redesigns, sometimes called restructuring.

Organizational Structure: The skeleton of an organization and is the formal outline of the reporting relationships within a company.  The Org Structure lists job positions, titles, reporting structure for current state of affairs (not ideals).  Major benefits of an effective org structure is that it reduces conflict by enhancing clarity, facilitates specialization, simplifies control over resources, enhances communication, improves performance and develops leaders.

Outcomes: The change in behavior, attitudes, knowledge, skills, practices, policies or procedures necessary to achieve the Envisioned Future.

Product Line: A group of products of the same manufacturer having similar or related characteristics and intended for similar or related markets.

Promise: The (client/brand) promise is what audiences are assured of receiving as a result of their relationship with the brand.

Research: Creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge and the use of this stock of knowledge to devise new applications.  It is used to establish or confirm facts, reaffirm the results of previous work, solve new or existing problems, support theorems, or develop new theories. The primary purposes of research are documentation, discovery, interpretation, or the research and development (R&D) of methods and systems for the advancement of knowledge.  E4 conducts basic (as opposed to applied) research within the fields of business management, planning, leadership, execution, governance, organizational development and organizational psychology.

Strategic Blueprint:  Strategic Blueprint is a document which is a culmination of the critical outcomes from the E4 Envisioned Future Model which provides the plans for achieving the envisioned future.

Strategic Focus Area: Strategic Focus Areas are overarching, futuristic, and reflect those critical areas on which an organization targets its efforts.  They represent the longer-term aspect of the plan.

Strategic Formulation and Implementation: Formulation and implementation are interactive rather than sequential and discrete.

Strategy Making: Sees strategy and change as inescapably linked and assumes that finding new strategic options and implementing them successfully is harder and more important than evaluating them.

Strategic Planning: Strategic planning has been defined as a systematic process of envisioning a desired future and translating this vision into clearly defined goals or objectives and a sequence of steps to achieve them.

Strategic Priority: Strategic Priorities serve to further clarify and identify exactly what issue, area or initiative will be addressed as part of the Strategic Focus Area.  They represent the major initiatives on which the organization will focus as part of each Strategic Focus Area.  They connote an outcome.

Success Indicator: These are the indicators by which success will be measured.  Success Indicators are analogous to performance indicators or performance measurements.  They are about results and outcomes; not completion of activities and projects.  They determine how high the bar is being raised.  They can be either quantitative or qualitative and must be measurable.

Target Market: A specific group of consumers at which a company aims its products and services.

Trend analysis: Trend Analysis is the practice of collecting information and attempting to spot a pattern, or trend, in the information.

Value Proposition:  This describes the bundle of products and services that create value for a specific Customer Segment.  A VP explains how your product solves your customers’ problems or improves their situation (relevancy), delivers specific benefits (quantified value), tells the ideal customer why they should select you and not the competition (unique differentiation) and describes the bundle of products and services that create value for a specific customer segment.

Vision: The vision of an organization is a concise word picture of the organization at some future time, which sets the overall direction of the organization.  It is what the organization strives to be.  A vision is something to be pursued and inspirational, while a mission is something to be accomplished.

Vision of the Future: Only the shape of the future can be predicted.