A strategic intent statement is a single-page document that defines a company's goals in a clear and specific manner. A strategic intent statement can motivate employees and help management focus on both short-term and long-term goals. The strategic intent statement typically contains the vision statement, the mission statement, the list of company objectives and the plans the company has to achieve those objectives.
A vision statement outlines where the company wants to be in the future. The vision statement encompasses the company's overall vision, in addition to how management means to realize that vision. An effective vision statement should inspire employees and management by establishing realistic goals and phrasing them in concrete terms, rather than set up unreachable expectations or vague aspirations. The vision statement should express an ideal that workers will have a positive attitude about what they are attaining for themselves and for the company.
While the vision statement shows the company's vision for itself, the mission statement defines the company's core business functions and its unique purpose in its industry. The mission statement includes the products and services the company offers and how it differentiates itself from the rest of the market. While the mission statement does not need to include specific details of the company's strategy, it should contain the firm's approach to such basic processes as sales, marketing and customer service.
The list of objectives brings the goals outlined in the earlier parts of the strategic intent statement into clearer focus. Though the vision statement stresses the overall qualities the company seeks to attain, the objectives are often expressed in quantifiable terms. For instance, a vision statement may say, "XYZ Company seeks to lead the world in widget sales." A list of objectives would include, "XYZ Company seeks to increase widget sales by 20 percent in the next 12 months."
The list of objectives serves to outline the company's goals, and its strategic plans show the methods it will employ to reach those goals. The strategic intent statement can also contain the plans and methods by which the company seeks to attain its objectives. For example, if the list of objectives includes higher sales goals, the strategic plans can include new marketing initiatives, increased sales incentives and improved customer outreach programs.