Successful organizations have a clear understanding of why they exist, what they are striving for, and a defined set of activities to achieve their goals. The purpose of a strategy map is to depict, on one page, what these major strategic goals are, in addition to how they relate and support each other. Below is a brief explanation of how to read and understand our map.
We begin at the top, where the purpose of our organization is stated. This tells you in concise language why we exist and what we hope to achieve. Everything below this clarifies what Friends of the Eau Claire Lakes Area will work towards to achieve our purpose.
The next row of three boxes identifies the three major “stakeholders” of our organization. What each stakeholder values is found within each box. For example, our “Members” want the organization to (C1) “Promote environmental stewardship of the EC Lakes Area for current and future generations.” There are similar statements for the (C2) “Community” and (C3) “Government Officials.”
The next portion of the map, Internal Processes, describes what must be focused on to achieve the stakeholder’s described expectations. The arrows are read as “if then” statements. For example, the box labeled P3 should be prefaced with the phrase “If the Friends of the Eau Claire Lakes Area works to” (P3) “Create well-organized, structured training/education programs & opportunities to volunteer” this will support the objective (P2) “Demonstrate good lake stewardship practices” which, in turn will drive achievement of the strategic goal stated in the C1 box to “Promote environmental stewardship……….”
The purpose of the third section of the map, Learning and Growth, is to summarize the major objectives that must be addressed to keep an organization strong internally and achieve what is stated in the Internal Processes section above. For example, in our map we describe the importance of (L1) qualified board members and the value of (L2) involved volunteers with a variety of opportunities. This is the infrastructure that must be continually developed to achieve the objectives labeled P1-P4 in the Internal Processes section of the map.
The final section of the map is called “Financial” and conveys what the focus must be in order to keep the organization financially strong and assure its continued success. It is placed as the “foundation” of the map since financial strength is required to support the entire strategic plan.